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New school for 4 year old

(5 Posts)
mashedpotatoes Fri 23-Oct-09 10:26:33

Hello, This is the first time I've posted on Mumsnet although I've been reading the messages for a few years now. We are due to move house in just over a month (about 20 mins drive away).

My 4 yr old dd started school a year ago when she was 3 (we're living in France). To prepare her for the new school, I went along with her to her new school for an afternoon recently, as we were invited to do so by the headmistress. Before we went I explained that we were going to a different school with other boys and girls and another teacher for the afternoon, and she was fine about it.

It was only when she realised that it meant not seeing her own teacher that she got really upset. She absolutely adores her teacher, talks about her all the time and always looks forward to going to school. It went OK that afternoon at the new school but she couldn't wait to see her old teacher the next day. I'm absolutely dreading telling her that soon she will be going to the new school for good, with a new teacher.

I've read from similar posts that I should focus on the positives and make the move sound exciting, but I'm finding it very difficult to find any positive points for her, so I'm putting off bringing up the subject. It would break her heart to leave her teacher. The positive points are in reality the fact that we would be buying our own house rather than renting and that we will have a small courtyard outside for her and her little brother to play in. But she obviously won't be bothered by the house-buying and I don't think will appreciate the courtyard until the weather gets warmer.

I've started thinking that I should just be honest and tell her that it will be hard, rather than jollying her along, because I know she'll be able to see through it. I don't even know myself if her new teacher will be as good as her current one, so how can I tell her that it will be fine? The library has no storybooks on the theme of starting a new school, which I thought could have been helpful.

Does anyone have any ideas of how to prepare her a)for leaving her old school and b) for starting her new school?


purpleturtle Fri 23-Oct-09 16:48:04

Dd has moved school twice now - although she was older than yours. I'm not sure I can help you very much with the ideas you're looking for. We never did a huge amount by way of specific preparation. What we always have done is talk (a lot, probably) about the fact that we'll be moving and it'll involve a new school.

I don't think you have to talk it up hugely - just be matter of fact. There will be days when it's hard for everybody, but it probably won't be as awful as you fear it might be.

mashedpotatoes Sat 24-Oct-09 09:19:55

Just being matter of fact would probably go a long way. And to expect hard days now and again. Thanks.

smee Sat 24-Oct-09 12:27:59

Surely even if she stays at the current school that teacher won't be with her forever. So stress that maybe? Then go for the exciting positives of the move. New garden, bedroom, new school means new friends. Never waiver as it's not optional, listen to her worries if she has any but just be positive. She may even surprise you and be fine about it all.

SorciereAnna Sat 24-Oct-09 12:30:57

Don't overthink this. School changes happen as do changes of teacher - you love some, you loathe some. If you overplay this, you are not preparing your DD for life.

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