Starting School | Top Tips for Parents

A woman helping a young girl learn to write

We understand that starting school is an exciting but nerve-racking time for children and, as a parent, you’re looking for the best ways to support them during the transition. That’s why we asked parents and educators what their top tips are for helping prepare and reassure children for the upcoming academic year, so you can feel confident in your child having a happy and positive school experience that will stay with them for years to come.

Top Tips


“Ensure they feel confident with basic tasks such as putting on their own coat and shoes, using the toilet, using their water bottle and packed lunch box and even recognising their name. When they feel successful in the little things, it will help them feel positively about bigger things.”

– Jennifer Jardine, Teacher

“Meet up with other children that are starting school at the same time, then friendships can start to blossom before they start school. Also, a friendly face on the first day will help with any worries about leaving parents.”

– Vicky Oldridge, Teacher

“Listen to their worries, however small. They may seem unimportant to you but to your child they may seem insurmountable.”

– Lisa Breen, Librarian

“Positivity! Be positive about the school experience around your children.”

– Amy Evans, Parent

“Make sure they try on all their uniform and school shoes to ensure everything fits properly and is comfortable.”

– Harmony, Parent

“Reading books that focus on starting school can help children understand what to expect and normalise their experience. Look for age-appropriate books that address common concerns or fears and provide reassurance.”

– Kaan Mamikoglu, Parent

“Ask your child questions about school. This gives them the chance to bring up any worries or questions they may have.”

– Marcia Jones, Parent

“Games that involve making a bit of a fool of yourself are always a sure win. If they can see I don’t mind making mistakes, they are more willing to give it a go.”

– Jemma, Parent

“Practise the journey beforehand – take them on the bus/walk through the journey.”

– Jacqueline Harris, Parent

“If they have separation anxiety get matching keyrings for their bag/book bag and one for you so they can hold it when they miss you.”

– Joanne Barclay, Parent


Books for starting school

  • The Boy at the Back of the Class The Boy at the Back of the Class
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  • Wonder Wonder
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  • The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh

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  • The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark
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  • Welcome to Dinosaur School Welcome to Dinosaur School

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  • The Goldfish Boy The Goldfish Boy
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  • You Are a Champion You Are a Champion
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  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
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  • Finding My Voice Frankie's World #2: Finding My Voice

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  • Can You See Me? Can You See Me?
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  • The Proudest Blue The Proudest Blue
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  • This is Me This is Me

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  • My Monster and Me My Monster and Me
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  • Ruby's Worry Ruby's Worry
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  • When Ice Cream Had a Meltdown When Ice Cream Had a Meltdown

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  • The Worrysaurus The Worrysaurus
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  • Stompysaurus Stompysaurus

    Award-winning author

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  • The Treasure Hunters The Treasure Hunters

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  • The Lion Inside The Lion Inside

    Award-winning team

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  • Nat Enough Nat Enough
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  • This Rock Is Mine This Rock Is Mine
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  • Ella on the Outside Ella on the Outside
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  • Can I Play? Can I Play?
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  • When Jelly Had a Wobble When Jelly Had a Wobble

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  • A Better Day A Better Day
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  • Fabulous Frankie Fabulous Frankie
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  • Dream Big: Heroes Who Dared to Be Bold (100 people - 100 ways to change the world) Dream Big: Heroes Who Dared to Be Bold (100 people - 100 ways to change the world)
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  • Glitter Boy Glitter Boy
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  • A Little Bit Brave A Little Bit Brave
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  • Go Big: The Secondary School Survival Guide Go Big: The Secondary School Survival Guide
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