First Day Tips
The first day at school is one of those ‘never to be forgotten days’ in the life of the child. It is also, however, a big day for parents and teachers. Taking the Tips for Parents outlined below on board will be of great support to the teachers and it will contribute positively to your child’s daily experience at Swords Educate Together N.S.
How can you help prepare your child for his/her first day at school?
- Talk to your child about your own school days. Emphasize the opportunities for making friends and for getting involved in new activities.
- There is no school uniform. We recommend comfortable, versatile clothing. Tracksuits are ideal. Footwear, appropriate for PE, must be worn at all times.
- Please label all your child’s clothes and belongings clearly. Many children do not recognize their own clothing. WE CANNOT EMPHASISE THIS ENOUGH.
- Teach your child how to put on and take off his/her coat and how to open and close zips, buttons, buckles and laces. Zips/velcro are preferable to buttons and elasticated clothing is best of all.
- Show your child how to use and flush the toilet properly and how to wash their hands after using the toilet.
- Encourage your child to share his/her toys and to tidy up after playing.
- Choose a school bag that can be carried on their backs and is big enough to carry all his/her belongings (including lunch box and drink).
- Chose a lunch box and flask that are secure and that can be easily opened.
Your Child’s Lunch
The school has a Healthy Eating Policy. The purpose of this policy is to encourage healthy eating habits. A young child will need small amounts of healthy, high-energy food and plenty of water, milk or juice. You may find the following suggestions helpful:
- Include a healthy lunch (sandwiches, fruit, set yogurts, juices, soup).
- One treat per day is allowed.
- Sweets, crisps, popcorn, glass bottles, cans, fizzy drinks are not allowed.
- Peel and segment fruit.
- Carton juice drinks are safe.
- Always include a small spoon for yogurt. Set yogurts help to avoid spills.
Important: Peanuts and all foods containing peanuts are never allowed
Experience has taught us that:
- It is very important that children arrive in school on time every day. The school day begins at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Children should be assembled on the school playground at 8:30 a.m., where their class teacher collects them. Children are not allowed into the school building before this time. Important: Children should not be left unsupervised by Parents/Guardians in the school grounds or on the schoolyard before the school opens at 8: 30 a.m.
- 8:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. is structured activity time. This is an integral and important part of the school day. Children arriving late for the 8:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. activity do miss out. Also, children arriving late find it hard to settle and this upsets the other children and the teacher’s morning routine.
- Day 1 can be an emotional time for child and parent. Trust us!!! Your child’s safety and happiness are our priority. If you are feeling upset, don’t show it. Leave your child with the teacher and tell him/her that you will be back at the appropriate time to collect him/her. If your child is upset, again trust the teacher! Sometimes, a small soft toy from home can be a comfort.
- Get your child to talk about his/her day at school. If you ask, “What did you learn today?” you will be most likely told “nothing.” Most of the work at Infant level is activity based and children are not conscious of learning, as adults understand it. Instead of questions like “What happened?” ask “What did you do?”, “Did you sing?”, “Did you colour?” With questions like these you will have more success. Work with your child when they start to take small assignments home.