Transitioning from kindergarten to primary school marks the beginning of a new stage for your child. This process does not only include moving into a new learning environment, it also includes transitions in daily routines, social life and emotional development. It is very important for parents to be mindful in this period, and work together with your child to adapt smoothly to the new challenge based on your child’s capacities and readiness.

Every child responds to transitions differently; some children may feel excited about the new experience, whilst others may be worried about learning demands, making new friends or adapting to a new environment. Most of the time, these problems are not permanent. As a parent, it is also important to maintain an open attitude to such situations and to contact the relevant professionals if the situation is becoming overwhelming for the family.

Prior to the first day of school, you can help your child to prepare for their new school life in the following ways:

  1. Familiarise your child with the environment and keep up with daily routines:
    • Walk around the new school premises with your child
    • Guide your child to try out school facilities- use the school’s website
    • Find out the classroom routines from the teacher in advance and talk about them to your child
    • Outline the drop-off and pick-up arrangement to your child
    • Get to know other parents and classmates
    • Keep their daily resting routine constant, allow your child to have enough rest after school
    • Acknowledge any feelings of anxiety or worries about the new environment, encourage your child to express these emotions by talking, drawing or writing them down
  1. Prepare your child to be an independent learner:
    • Encourage your child to explore new places and work out solutions to everyday problems
    • Promote creativity and imagination
    • Build up good reading habits- read with your child on a daily basis
    • Develop their learning interest in different areas, including language, arts, science, sports and maths to help them become a holistic learner
  1. Equip your child with the social changes:
    • Encourage your child to participate in small group activities with other children
    • Engage your child in group discussions
    • Encourage your child to take on more responsibilities at home so they are prepared for helping out at school in a group. Assign clear duties to them, for example, cleaning the table, cleaning up their toys, etc.

If your child continues to show anxiety and worry over an extended period of time after they have transitioned from kindergarten to primary school, it is time to seek professional help from the school personnel (teachers, social worker, psychologist) to discuss further solutions to help your child.