7 Tips for a Smooth Nursery-to-School Transition

by Kids Inc Nurseries | 27 March 2024 | Blog

The transition from nursery to school is a big step for your child, full of new experiences and challenges. It’s a time that can be exciting but also a bit overwhelming for both of you.

The good news is that your support and preparation can make all the difference in helping your child get ready for that big day. To help, we’ve put together some practical tips to ensure a smooth transition and make the move from nursery to school a positive experience for you and your little one.

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1. Start the Conversation Early

Long before their first day, start introducing the idea of school early in your family discussions, framing it as an exciting new adventure.

Think about your own school days, the friendships you made and the fun you had; sharing these stories with your child can be a wonderful way to create excitement about the opportunity of school. It’s these kinds of conversations that will plant a seed of curiosity and enthusiasm about school life.

2. Visit the New School Together

Familiarity breeds comfort. Just as visits to our nursery have eased many first-day jitters, visiting the new school can work wonders. Whether it’s during an open day or a quiet stroll around the school playground, these visits help build familiarity with the new setting, making the school less of an unknown and more of a place they’re excited to go to.

3. Establish Routine

As parents, we know how important a routine is for our children, providing comfort and predictability to their day. If your child has attended nursery, they will already be familiar with a structured day.

Gradually introducing a school-like routine at home can make the transition smoother. Adjust bedtime and morning routines to match the school schedule. This will help them feel comfortable on their first day instead of abruptly entering something new.

4. Encourage Independence

When children go to school, they quickly learn that they need to do much more for themselves. You can help them prepare for this by introducing daily tasks like dressing themselves, packing a snack, or trying to tie their shoelaces. Encouraging children at home and celebrating independence will help your child feel more comfortable at school. 

5. Read Books About School

The stories we share with our children can shape their perceptions and feelings. Books about starting school with relatable characters and fun experiences can help alleviate any underlying anxieties. 

Some fantastic books are available online to read to children who are starting school for the first time. 

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Books for Starting School

You can find some wonderful books for children starting school here.

Visit our EYFS page

6. Connect with Other Parents and Children

Friends make everything easier. If your child has fellow nursery friends who are also starting school, arranging playdates can help establish friendships that will make school more enjoyable. It can also offer reassurance for you and your child, knowing that they have a friend at school.

This applies to you as a parent as well. Other parents are likely feeling just as anxious about their child starting school. Connecting with them and discussing your thoughts and feelings can provide a sense of comfort, knowing you’re not alone in this experience. Seeing a familiar face at the school gate can also be reassuring too.

7. Stay Positive

We know it’s easier said than done, but staying positive will help you and your child. Children are incredibly intuitive, often mirroring the emotions and attitudes they sense from us.

Maintaining a positive outlook about the transition, even when facing your own set of worries, sets a powerful example. Talk to your friends and family if you’re feeling anxious about your child going to school. This often helps you address any fears and feel more confident about the change. When you feel confident about your child going to school, your child will feel more confident too.

The transition from nursery to school is a big step, but it’s one you can prepare for together. With the right support and preparation, we’re confident that the move to school will be smooth for you and your child.

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