First Day Of School: 9 Tips to Prepare for School Start

The first day at a new international school is a big challenge for both children and parents. It is important to prepare both your child and yourself as a parent for this big day, ensuring a successful start to school life. In this article, we will share a few tips and pieces of advice from our experienced educators at GESS International School for your child's first day at school.

9 Tips to Prepare Your Child for Their First Day at School

1. Speak about school and your own experiences

In the eyes of most children, their own parents are the greatest role models, so it is all the more important to talk to children before they start at a new international school and to share your own (positive) experiences of school with them. This will help to ease your child's anxiety and prepare them mentally for school. It is also particularly important to address your child's questions and fears.

2. Visit the school before the first day of school

Attending orientation or a visit to the international school campus before the start of school can also help reduce your child’s anxiety. Children feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. Make sure the visit to the school includes the drop-off and pick-up points and your child’s classroom. You can also show your child where they can go to get help. This could be the school’s reception or main entrance office. It depends on the international school and the layout of the campus.

This situation can be very stressful for children, especially for families who are moving or coming from another country. That's why at GESS International School Singapore offers a four step orientation programme called SureStart that also includes a school tour for new families and their child.

3. Go shopping for school

Another good way to motivate children to start school is to go shopping together for school materials, uniform and supplies. Whether it's a school bag, school pens or school shoes, these can help make your child feel more involved and engaged with the start of school preparation. Allow your child to make their own decisions and choose some of the school supplies themselves.

4. School routine training

Why not have a trial school morning routine with your child at home? Set the alarm clock and wake up as you would on the first day of school. Practise the morning school routine, you could even get your child to wear the school uniform! That way, everyone will know what to do and expect on the big day.

5. Attend the Orientation Day

Many international schools offer an Orientation Day, which is an information event for children and parents. Usually your child’s teachers are there, which in turn ensures that the children can get to know their teachers before they start school.

6. Packing the school bag with your child

Packing the school bag together with the child is a bonding ritual for both of you. The individual items that belong in the school bag can be introduced to the child individually. Conversations and discussions about school can also take place with your child while packing. Remember to label everything with your chid’s full name.

7. Make your child aware of what to do if there is an emergency or they need help

Your child should know where the school nurse or reception is in the international school campus. Explain to your child what to do in an emergency. It is also best to prepare a small card with important telephone numbers that your child can always carry in their school bag in case of an emergency.

8. Celebrate before the start of school

Organise a small family celebration for your child so they realise that this is a big and wonderful moment in their life, just like celebrating birthdays. This will give your child a lot of positive energy and create a sense of excitement.

9. Your child should sleep early

As adults, we can forget from time to time that we don't get enough sleep. For children, sleep is even more important. It is very important to send your child to bed early enough. A good night's sleep is essential so your child is fully energised and ready for a full day at school.

Moving to a new international school in Singapore doesn’t have to be a traumatic or scary experience. With careful planning and involving your child in the journey, you can all have a great start to school.

More advice for choosing an international school in Singapore

We hope that you found this article useful! If you have any further questions, our experienced admissions team will be happy to help you. At GESS International School, we support families in choosing the right international school in Singapore for their child. Click the button below to book a no-obligation school tour or online study consultation meeting with our admissions team.