Strategies to Support Your Child - School

Play & Learn OT

Building School Readiness

From social skills to academic readiness, there are many aspects to consider. 
As parents, you play a crucial role in building your child's school readiness. 

Here are a few practical strategies you can implement:
 • Practice self-help skills: Where possible, encourage your child to dress themselves, use the toilet independently, and manage their belongings.
 • Foster independence: Give your child opportunities to make choices and solve problems on their own, building their confidence and sense of autonomy.
 • Create a routine: Establish a daily schedule that includes consistent mealtimes, bedtime, and activities to help your child feel secure and prepared for the structure of school life.

How Can I Help My Child Prepare for School?

Here are some practical tips you can implement at home:
 • Read books about starting school to familiarise your child with the idea and address any fears or concerns they may have.
 • Schedule playdates with other children to help your child practice social skills and become more comfortable interacting with peers.
 • Visit the school together before the first day to explore the classrooms, meet the teachers, and familiarise your child with the new environment. If possible, schedule in a few visits before school starts - you can ask for 'extended transition' if you feel your child will need more time/repetition to learn about school
 • Ask for teacher photos, and take photos of the school spaces (classroom, playground, etc) to create a personalised 'going to school' story for your child

I Worry My Child Won't Cope with the Structure of School Lessons and Routines…

Structure and routine are important aspects of school life, but they can be challenging for some children to navigate. If you're concerned about your child's ability to cope with the demands of school, talk with your child's teacher/school leaders about strategies that can be available.
  • have a meeting/discussion before school starts to make sure that these strategies are ready to go from day one of school.
Ideas could include
  • using visual schedules,
  • having regular sensory breaks,
  • creating an individualised learning plan,
  • having individual or small group learning times,
  • organised activities at playtimes, and
  • having a 'break out'/quiet space available.