Congratulations! Now that your child has been accepted into our local primary school system, the hardest part is over. This is the exciting part where you can help your child prepare to enter the “big boy” or “big girl” school in the new school year.
1. Get Your Child Familiarize with School Grounds
When you are notified of acceptance of your child into the primary school of your choice, you will receive a welcome pack that comes with instructions to buy school uniforms and school textbooks. Most schools usually allocate the end of the school year (during the year-end school holidays) when parents can bring their newly admitted students to buy the uniforms and textbooks. Take this opportunity to also walk around the school grounds with your child and introduce him/her to the canteen, play area, and possibly classrooms.
The new COVID pandemic may place some restrictions on your ability to do a walk-around in the new school. Check your school’s website if they have virtual tours of the school ground. Failing which, maybe a sneak peek at these places will have to suffice for now.
Primary one students are notorious spenders at the bookshop so there is no need to buy too much straight away. You may wish to purchase a new pencil case, water bottle, snack/lunch box, school bag, and school shoes. These items can be purchased outside of school, online, or at your favorite department centers.
2. Decide How Much Pocket-money Your Child Needs For School.
A good rule of thumb for most parents to follow is to calculate how much money your child needs during recess. Canteen food typically costs between 80 cents to $2 for noodles. The prices for food and drinks differ in each school and are subject to the vendors operating the food/drink stalls.
You should also consider if you want to include a little extra in case your child needs to buy some stationery from the bookstore or snacks or for emergencies like forgetting to bring his daily allowance. You may wish to take this opportunity to teach your child about savings by giving some extra money that your child can set aside.
Once you have calculated the amount of pocket money to give your child, you can decide if you wish to give the allowance on a daily or weekly basis. Most parents begin with a daily allowance for the first few weeks of school and adjust the amount accordingly.
Create opportunities for your child to have practice sessions paying for food or books with real money. This will boost their confidence when they have to buy food or books from the canteen uncle or bookshop aunt
3. Logistic Arrangements for the School Run
How is your child going to and from school? If you are doing the school runs yourself, what is the best route to take to avoid congestion or delays. Does your child know where to meet you after school?
Do you need to arrange for the school bus to pick up or drop off your child? You will need to check with the school to arrange with their bus transport vendor.
4. Is Your Child Academically Ready?
Is your child academically ready for primary one? Read this article to ensure your child has all the skills needed for primary one. If your child requires some last-minute boosting classes in reading or writing skills, check out the preparatory classes available in your neighborhood to help you do that.
5. Prep Your Child On What To Expect In School
Sit down and have a conversation with your child about entering a big boy/ big girl school and what it is like. Be open to any questions or help settle any anxieties they may have had regarding the impending school year.
Introduce school rules like raising hands to ask questions, queuing with partners, taking turns during school activities, not talking when the teacher is teaching in class, and asking for permission to visit the toilet. Help your child understand what to expect during the school day, for example, lesson time and recess time. This will help put his mind at ease.
6. Develop A School Routine Prior To the Start of School Year.
Encourage your child to develop the good habit of going to bed early and waking up early in the morning to get used to our local school schedule. By introducing some rituals a month or two before the school year begins will help your child acquaint with routines such as having breakfast early in the morning.