Movin’ On Up – Changing Class, Changing School or Starting School for the First Time!

I have one changing school this year, last year I had one starting school for the first time. Transition can be a worrying time for a child at any age and it’s important to recognise this and help make it as smooth and easy as you possibly can.

My top three tips are:

1. Listen without interrupting, allow them to say how they are feeling rather than telling them how you think they are feeling. Don’t badger, they may be absolutely fine and your words may actually prompt fear rather than soothing it. Create opportunities for chatting by asking a positive question such as ‘What are you looking forward to most?’ which should also prompt them to talk about anything they are not looking forward to. Chat over gloop…we have had some of our deepest conversations over a tray of the gloopy stuff!

2. Take them with you to buy uniform and indulge in a new bag and stationery. Allow them to choose it. If money is tight give them a budget (if they are too young to grasp this tell them they can choose, say, three things from a selection of six or ask them to choose ‘either this set or this one’ – you may need to go on a reconnaissance mission first so you know what you are getting in to!) It’s important that they feel they are getting ready and have some form of control rather than just being pushed along the way.

3. Worry points are going to the loo, where to hang your bag and what happens at lunchtime. Remove this worry by telling them you will be taking them in to the classroom on the first day (and if they are just starting school probably for many days!) and will show them where to put their things and where the loo is. Packed lunches are an easy option when they are just starting out, you can see how much they have eaten and they are faced with the familiar. Tell them the teacher will explain everything and that it is fine to ask if they are not sure of anything!

There are some lovely books to share and help you to prepare. We have always loved ‘Lucy & Tom Go to School ‘ by Shirley Hughes

Lola is her usual inimitable self in ‘I am Too Absolutely Small for School

Spider School ‘ by Francesca Simon and ‘Leaving Mrs. Ellis‘ by Catherine Robinson are both good for children changing classes or schools

There is also a wide range of books to help children who are moving on to secondary school.

Headline have very kindly sent me a copy of the Netmums book Getting Ready to Start Schoolfor  me to give away to one lucky reader! It is packed full of useful information and practical advice from parents who have already been through it as well as from experts in the field.

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is leave a comment below (one entry)

If you’d like a second entry tweet ‘I’m entering @christinemosler’s competition to win a copy of Getting Ready For School

Competition closes August 8th at midnight. UK entrants only. Winner will be selected using an online number generator. My decision is final.

What would be your top tip for the transition from home to school, class to class or first school to secondary school?

Edited 9/8/11 to announce: The winner is C Holmes/@Lianneholmes. Congratulations! Email/DM your postal address and I’ll get it sent out to you!


Filed under Books For Kids, Children's Development, Competitions, Giveaways

45 responses to “Movin’ On Up – Changing Class, Changing School or Starting School for the First Time!

  1. Please enter me, this would be perfect for my little one starting school x

  2. I have also tweeted @susankmann

  3. Katy Beale

    I make a visual planner with the days of the week on it so they can see what days they are going to school and there’s space for them to draw what they did that day


  4. Karen Scrowther

    I have my eldest moving up to secondary school and my youngest starting primary school this year. I think your tips are fab. My son started reception class last year and for him having his packed lunch was a very comforting familiar thing. Another thing that I have done with my eldest is to make the trip to her new school a few times with her at the times that she will need to leave so that she is confident in making her own way there come September. My youngest has most certainly enjoyed the process of shopping for her uniform too. They could bot be more excited which puts my mind at rest!

  5. Please enter me. This would be great for Middle who is starting school in September. He’s really keen and I’m hoping he’s still that way in September!


    This is a really useful book.

  7. pamela

    Please enter me this would be really useful

  8. I’ve tweeted as well.


  9. Ashleigh

    please include me, my daughter doesnt start until next year but i like to be organised!! would love to win this! My tip – not really sure since never been through it yet but i would think be ultra organised!

  10. Ashleigh

    i have tweeted as @ashlallan

  11. karen turtill

    this would be ideal for my little grandson who is starting school in September x

  12. Susy AB

    My youngest is starting reception in september. Luckily his older brother has gone it all first so he has talked him through where to put your coat, lunchtime, water fountain etc. Unfortunately we’re not allowed to take the kids into school they have to line up with the big ones, which can be so daunting. Wish the school would produce a leaflet on how to survive your first few days. Perhaps the older ones should write it for them?!

  13. I’d love to win this for my grandson, he’s very worried about starting school and i’m sure it will help him enormously.

  14. jennie jackson

    please enter me – this would be very useful for me

  15. Stacey

    Great idea for a book, my son is due to start school in September so would be perfect! Please enter me xxx @Stacey_ray

  16. Helen

    Please enter me,
    gd luck all xx

  17. k jones

    looks great, please enter me

  18. Thank you, some lovely tips! You will have to bring this post back next September when Funky Monkey starts school

  19. Daniel starts school in september, I’m torn between sobbing and cheering! I’d love a copy of this book, especially as he’s one of the youngest in his year; we’re worried about that.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. mummymummymum

    Brilliant tips. I am off to look for the Lola book now.
    Please enter me.

  21. Victoria B

    Please enter me in the draw.

  22. Sarah Robinson

    Would love to win this book. My little boy starts school in september. He will be one of the younger ones. Would like to know more tips on how to prepare him.

  23. Cheryll H

    This would be fab – I have one starting reception and one starting pre-school in September! Any tips gratefully received!! I know I’m going to cry😥

    My top tip for leaving my girl at pre-school was to let her take her Noo-noo (comfort/soft toy) with her in a bag, then if she got overwhelmed her carers could give her something to remind her of home🙂 @pipersky1 on Twitter🙂

  24. Cheryll H

    I have also tweeted about your giveaway🙂 @pipersky1

  25. lucy Robinson

    sounds like a really useful book. have also retweeted. @lucyrobinson3

  26. C Holmes

    please enter me into this competition. I have been looking for a book like this as my daughter is starting in the nursery class in september and I’m an emotional wreck about it!!

  27. C Holmes

    i have also tweeted as @Lianneholmes

  28. Solange

    Please enter me in the draw.

  29. Rachael G

    Please enter me into the draw, this would be so handy to have for guidance.

  30. Rachael G

    Have also tweeted @rachiegr

  31. Siobhan Parker

    Please enter me, thank you x

  32. My daughter starts school in Sept this would be great


  33. Tweeted too


  34. Danielle Baker

    Hi ,
    I’d love to enter this competition.
    My little girl starts school in September and will go full time on the day my baby is due to be born so we’ve got lots going on.
    At the moment , I’m more anxious than she is and am trying hard not to let her detect this.
    I’ll also RT on twitter (@dizzydanni84)

  35. My daughter will start school in September. I’m sure she will be fine, as for me, well I’m going to be a blubbering wreck! Would love to be entered into the competition to win the book. Thank you.

  36. Please enter me – my youngest starts next September.

  37. Claire

    Please enter me

    Ive tweeted @BBDIVA1977

  38. jess

    very useful @jessws2011

  39. jess

    tweeting message to @jessws

  40. Ruth

    I’d love to win!!

  41. my third son is very much looking forward to starting school unlike me

  42. Kate Cunningham

    Sounds an interesting book. Best to make transitions as easy as possible through early preparations. Have tweeted @01592_katie

  43. lisa taplin


  44. Carolina J.

    A very useful guide!

  45. Carolina J.

    Tweeted! (@pandcands)

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