My neice starts reception in Sept. She lives in a very rural area and unfortunately hasn't got a place at the school where she is a preschooler. This isn't the end of the world. The offered place is a small village school and she will be in a class of only 14 (no split year teaching). The problem is that she is very shy, has struggled socially in the existing place and is very upset about moving somewhere new and making new friends. She has had a few settling in days and there will be more before the summer .
I've suggested getting her interested in her new uniform and getting some starting school books but I would really welcome some other ideas. My (little) sister is quite worried and I am struggling as my boys were gagging to start..
During the settling in days it's worth being proactive maybe and seeing if any parents are friendly and your sis can approach to arrange a play-date over the Summer?
Also, would do some activities over half term or summer- ones with her, that encourage coping in new situations/getting on with other people, eg sport/museum/national trust family events. Even just going on the bus to town and speaking to strangers- well if adult does to model to child. Is your sis shy? Not a weakness at all, but if your sis could model social behaviour to your niece, and also support her in knowing that her feelings are normal, to be expected, everyone feels a bit shy and unsure in new places and this is what you do if you haven't got someone to play with etc etc.
DS was quite shy at 3/4 but has really come out of himself now. I think being able to verbalise his feelings has really helped and have coping strategies.