To ask about your DC first day at school(18 Posts)
What happened on your DC first day at school, do you introduce yourself to the teacher and leave or is there a bit of a parent day where you get to see what's what and watch for a while?
I ask because every time my DC go into a new 'class' in nursery / daycare (been there since being 1 years old) then DH and I had a 'intro' and got to stay for a couple of hours to settle them in and see how it all worked, meet the staff and ask any questions.
My DCs school had an open day a few months before they started, where you could meet the teacher and other parents and your DC get to know their classroom and classmates. First day of actual school we just brought him in, found out where his peg in the cloakroom was, watched him through the window for a few minutes then left. School hours were "staggered" up until around Halloween so he was only in for about 2.5 hours on the first day anyway.
We had a new parents meeting one day towards the end of last summer term where the children went into their new classrooms for a couple of hours to meet their teachers and each other, and the parents sat in the hall with the head and deputy head and listened to a big long talk about all sorts of stuff.
Then there were a couple of sessions where the children could go to the story time ten minutes at the end of the day, before the end of term.
First day of school was a case of taking them in, finding their peg, putting book bags and water bottles away etc and leaving them to it. The first week was half days, they finished after lunch, then it was full time from then on.
I think I'm more nervous than DC for the start of school!
And that will show to your child so you need to find ways to hide and and be cool.
I was nervous too, as I know my daughter has tendencies to be clingy and anxious in new situations, and she didn't attend the preschool attached to her school so she didn't know anyone. We had a few upset mornings the first week but she now loves it and is doing so well.
My DD's Reception teacher came to visit her at nursery in the June/July so that was nice. Then we just did two weeks of half days (you could request mornings or afternoons as the classes were halved for this 2 week duration to allow more settling in.
Don't show your nerves as it will pass on. Trust me it's great seeing them go off into school happy and confident so worth not overthinking it too much.
My ones first school did a few things. The teacher came into pre school (wasn't linked to school), they did a thing where the kids came in for half hour for story time, another day in the summer they went in for a couple of hours and the teacher came to our home as well. 1st week and half of school were short days too.
Combination. We had a parents meeting the June/July before she started, then 2x settling in sessions for DD. One where parents stayed and one where parents left children after about 15 minutes.
Then the first morning they had a 9.30 start and we took them into the hall to hand them over to the teacher. We never went into the classroom or cloakroom with them in the morning once they'd started, although there were later lots of stay & play type sessions.
We had a parent's meeting and the teacher and TA visited every child at home in the summer term before they started. The children had a couple of brief visits to the school. They had a staged start with 6 starting on the first day, another 6 the next day and so on.
On the first day we just turned up and shoved them through the door. No going into the cloakroom or anything but it is a very small cloakroom and would have been chaos.
I remember DS1's first day. We stood at the door and he looked at me with tears in his eyes. He said, "How long do I have to stay at school Mummy? I said, "Until you're 16 son."
At my school, (from 2 1/2 years old), the children have 5 half days before going up to 5 full days.
The first day or 2, parents are encouraged to stay. Then it's different for different children. for most, the sooner the parents leave, the sooner they get over missing them and have a great time.
When children move from EYFS to KS1, they meet the teachers and go out into the new play area at break time a few times. Year 1 teachers go to Reception to get familiar with the children. Reception children have peer-reading for the second half of T3 with year 3 children to get them used to bigger children.
All teachers have a presentation and Q&A session for parents for the following year in mid-June.
From Y1 onwards, we expect children to be dropped off at the classroom door and then to be picked up 7 hours later. Parents come into the classroom under exceptional circumstances.
i guess the nice thing about having such a community around the school is that there isn't a need for introductions to the parents beyond the Q&A / presentation. Parents don't know the exact teacher of their child until after then end of school on the last day of T3.
The first day itself was very short - just two hours. The term before though, he'd had several settling in visits with the other new starters, there'd been a "parents evening" at the school to talk about how reception worked, what was expected of the parents/children, how the teacher would communicate with them and vice versa, q&a and the teacher/TA did a home visit.
So we weere very well prepared.
All the settling in sessions happen in July. You will get to meet the teacher then.
It varies enormously between schools.
My DCs school did a transition day (couple of hours actually) in July when the DCs went into their classes with their new classmates, the teachers and TAs while the parents had coffee in the hall. The teachers popped in for a chat at the end of the session.
Then, in September, the teacher and TA did home visits. So a chance for them to meet DC 1-2-1 and probably the best time to discuss any issues and concerns.
First day of term is always a Thursday or Friday - so only a couple of days before the weekend and a rest from all the upheaval. On the first day itself, parents are invited into class to help children find their pegs and hang up their stuff, maybe have a look at the displays and toys but only staying for 10-15 minutes. Bear in mind that some children will be escorted by mum, dad, grandparents, younger siblings et al so, IMO, it is a kindness to the new starters if all the extraneous people leave at the earliest opportunity and let the children settle in relative calm (and without a overcrowded classroom full of weeping parents).
Our primary did the same as PerspicaciaTick's. One transition day in July, home visit a few days before school started, where teacher talked to the parents (more formal and form-filling) and TA to the child (far more personal - my important people, my pets, my friends, where I live, things I like to do). Then school started on the Wednesday for all the children: parents went in to help find pegs and propel children into classroom.
Reduced the amount of weeping (by children, at least).
120 children started when mine did. Nobody cried! The settling in period was very effective, any crying was done then. We didn't go in the class with the kids there isn't room.
In the week before school starts you can go meet the teacher in the classroom.
They don't stagger days here, so it was 9-4.30 from the off, with an hour for a nap.
I'm in Spain. DS started school at 2.9. Reception? I don't know what UK equivalent is. He has been there nearly 3 years, he'll be in 1st of primary this September at 5.9
He hated nursery, cried everyday at drop off, happy as a pig in shit after 2 minutes. He loves school, not a tear or a moan in 3 years. And he can still get a bit clingy at times.
Nobody crying is brilliant. I have no idea why so many adults got upset in front of the children. I thinking seeing mum in tears as she bobs back in and out of the classroom calling out to her child "I'm going now, don't be sad, I'm going. Bye bye. Wave to me. I'm going. Bye. Don't cry", pretty much guarantees that arriving at school is going to be stressful for the child.
Then again, they did it for every school trip too - waving the coach off for a day trip to the museum with tears and hugs.
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