athomeparentingwithJoFrost2017 - 132

SCHOOL AGE

PRIMARY CARE

1 32 | JUN E 2 017

whole year's difference in age
among the children.'

move from being the individual
at the centre of the world to a
member of a community.'

LEARNING CURVE
'So how can we help the children
to settle? Firstly, and it cannot
be emphasised too strongly, you
must both try to RELAX and
remember your child's teacher
and their assistant are highly
skilled at easing the transition
between home and school.
'Soon the children will make
friends, perhaps for an hour,
or perhaps for years, and these
provide the essential security so
necessary to primary education.
'The teacher will be quick
to help friendships flourish by
encouraging the children to play
and learn together. It is a vital
part of the changes all children
experience at this stage, the

WORKING TOGETHER
'It may not be plain sailing at first
because so much adjustment
is necessary, but providing a
loving and secure family life is an
essential part of the home-school
partnership on which sound
educational progress depends.
'If parents and teachers
have confidence in each other,
and work together, then any
problems, both large and small,
will be solved. Be alert to the one
danger signal, "I don't want to
go to school", and be quick to
talk to the teacher about it,
so that whatever is threatening
the child's happiness can be
speedily resolved.'

WORDS: SUE COHEN, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES

As a former school
principal and teacher
trainer, John Coe,
information officer
at the National
Association for
Primary Education, offers
valuable advice about how to
help children settle at school.
'The first day at "big school"
is a truly momentous day in the
life of children. Most would have
enjoyed some time in nursery
school but now they have to
adjust to a world with all sorts
of new demands.
'Although the admission class
remains part of early childhood
education, it will not be long
before children have to learn to
put their hand up before they
leave the room. Remember also
that there can be as much as a



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