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Top tips for beating first day nerves

Starting at a new school can be an emotional time, and not just for your son or daughter!

Mums are 5x more likely to cry than their children at the school gates on the first day (according to a survey of 2000 parents by Fairy Non-Bio in 2014).

But with a little preparation, you can make the first day a great day.

1. Visit the Parents' Hub

We've partnered with Parentkind (formerly PTA UK) to give you access to their Parents' Advice Hub, where you'll find practical information and advice about starting school and school life.

Use their 'Be School Ready' resources which are full of great tips on how to prepare:

2. Visit BBC Bitesize

  • Their Guide to starting secondary school includes a Parent survival guide, SEN Guide, advice about starting secondary school with autism, myth busting videos as well as first day preparation.

3. Be positive

You’ll probably feel quite nervous and this is absolutely normal, but try to be upbeat and show your son or daughter that there is nothing to be afraid of.

4. Be prepared

If your son or daughter knows what to expect, the first day is a lot less nerve-wracking.

If it’s possible, it can also really help for you to arrange to meet up with other children who will be starting at your son or daughter’s school, so that there are familiar faces.

At any age, it’s a good idea to visit the school before the first day so that the building is familiar. Most primary schools will have already arranged for settling in sessions at secondary schools before the summer holidays.

5. Kick start a routine

A good breakfast and plenty of sleep will help ensure that your kids have the concentration power they need to ace their first week and ensure they know what to expect each day.

You could try a couple of ‘trial runs’ in getting to school before the term starts.

On the big day, it will go against all of your instincts, but don’t hang around too long when saying goodbye. Similar, make sure you’re there in plenty of time to collect them from school so that they don’t get anxious in waiting for you.

There's more helpful information on settling in to school here:

  • Mumsnet Advice about starting primary school from other mums

  • Schoolrun Information and suggestions to beat first day nerves

  • Parentkind Preparing to start primary school

  • Parentkind Moving on to secondary school 

Find out more about how you can get the best out of a Staffordshire education for your child.

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