Congratulations - if you're reading this then your Primary School Application is likely done! This week saw the deadline of applications for children starting school in September 2023. If your 3-4 yr old has older siblings this may have been a mostly administrative process, but if you’re applying for the first time it can seem quite daunting. After a tough couple of years, most schools opened up again for visiting days, which may help you make your decisions more easily than parents over the last 2 years. Trying to take everything into account around your choices can still be tricky for so many reasons. Whilst you wait to hear the school you’ve been offered - for most of us around April time – it can help to remember the following;
1) Nothing you can do now will influence the outcome –
Unless your child has specific needs or your family has exceptional circumstances. (If this is the case, you should have received some support from your local authority.) Although choice is important, in many areas of the UK, your Postcode will determine the place you are offered. That is the reality.
2) Talk to your child in general about starting school –
Don’t let them hear you compare or show preference for different schools. Whatever school they go to, they will know no different. But they will pick up on any negativity from you about an environment. If they ask, explain you will find out in a little while which school they will go to and learn more about it then – exciting! If you come across upbeat and open to uncertainty, they will be too!
3) Wrap-Around Care –
Start thinking about any you will need. Most schools offer breakfast and after-school clubs but will you need some care beyond that? If so it’s best to start looking into this as soon as possible – child-minders (especially flexible ones) can get booked up very quickly!
4) Weekday clubs -
If your little one goes to any daytime clubs that you’d like to continue next year, check their weekend/after school availability. Gymnastics, music, swimming lessons, football – the weekend places often get booked up a lot quicker than the weekday daytime ones so try to get to the front of the queue to see if/when you can secure your place!
5) Practice skills that will help them no matter which school they go to-
‘Independence’ is our favourite buzzword here – coats / shoes on and off, eating by themselves and even speaking confidently. School may be the first time your child has spoken to unknown adults and they may find this a little daunting at first. Help them practice saying their name clearly so they become confident in introducing themselves. For loads of tips find our “Handy Hints to Starting Nursery & School’ booklet on JoJo Maman Bébé’s website. – free to download.
GOOD LUCK FOR PLACE ALLOCATION DAY!