The journey starts here

A Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

Lao Tzu

Time is a difficult concept to grasp and, especially at the moment in many areas of our lives, time seems to have stood still. But however you feel about it, one thing is for sure…time is forever moving forward. Not least if you are a parent of a child who is embarking on the journey of a lifetime…that is school. As a parent myself, I remember those months before my children started school: full of excitement, apprehension and most of all… questions! “What do I need to buy?” What does my child need to know?” “What will the first day be like?” “Will my child cry….or more to the point, will I?”

During that last summer my children’s continuous need to be doing something new, going somewhere different, finally brought the realisation that “The time had come…they were definitely ready to begin a new adventure!”

At Queen’s, the journey starts well before September. We endeavour to build relationships with all of our new parents and girls through a series of experiences, from tours of the school site, meeting and chatting to the teachers, visiting the classrooms and joining in with Reception buddies, to sending and sharing much anticipated information to answer those essential questions. We have continued this close communication throughout 2020/21 even though there have been restrictions in place. Of course last year, many of our experiences for parents and their children were ‘from a distance’ but this did not stop us from really getting to know new families through regular Zoom conversations. It was lovely for me to have the opportunity to meet the girls ‘on-screen’ to share a story together; that familiarisation ‘face to face’ is so important to a successful transition. By the time the children arrived on that first morning in September, smartly dressed in their new uniforms, we already felt like we knew each other!

This year, myself and our Reception teacher Mrs Bartram, have met many children and their families already and we look forward to welcoming everybody during the summer term, as government restrictions allow. It is such an exciting time and I know our current Reception girls will be very eager to meet their new buddies, when the time comes!

If you are looking for tips to help you prepare your child for starting school, here are a few suggestions:

  • Talk, talk,talk…

I cannot emphasise enough the value of continuous communication and sharing experiences through conversation. This is how children learn to express themselves and then progress to build friendships when they are in school and other social situations.

  • Share story books

A great way to involve in conversation together is through sharing a favourite story. You may already have found that your child loves to listen to the same story over and over again! This is invaluable for helping your child to practise how language works…and they often love the anticipation of knowing “what happens next”.

  • Spend time with friends

I know this has been difficult throughout the past year, although thankfully many nursery provisions have remained open more recently. Socialising with children of a similar age is a perfect way for your daughter to learn early skills in communication, sharing and co-operation. Children learn so much by imitation; they copy and experiment as they develop their own personalities in different situations.

  • Try to keep to a few routines

Life to us, may seem a little ‘too routine’ at the moment but many children love it actually! They often feel secure in knowing what is happening next. Try to keep to a couple of routines, especially on getting-up in the morning and bedtimes. This will really help once life gets even busier in September. The children will get incredibly tired at first too, so a regular bedtime routine now, is great preparation.

Meal-time routines are also important. Once in school, the children will have the opportunity to try out new meals with the wide variety we have on our weekly menus. Trying out new flavours is a good idea at home too, as well as learning to use a knife and fork.

  • Encourage your child to manage their toileting and dress themselves, teaching little ‘tricks’ to work out those zips and buttons.

The children will have lots of support in school as they learn to get ready for Physical Education (PE) and swimming lessons, however it is a real confidence boost for your child if they can already manage some of these skills independently.

  • Have fun outdoors!

Let’s hope that the weather this Spring and Summer is as amazing as last year. Saying that, at school we learn outdoors whatever the weather! Building resilience is fantastic and through our Nature Days and Beach School we certainly do that!

School-life can be one of the greatest adventures a child can have and at The Queen’s School, whenever you join us, we ensure that each individual has the best opportunities, creating a fantastic foundation on which to build their future journey through life!

Footsteps in sand

Welcome to the Queen's family!

Alison Doheny
Head of Infants