*A post in partnership with Marks and Spencer
In just four short weeks, it’ll be time to walk Olly to school for his first day in Reception. It will no doubt be a nerve wracking time for me as I anticipate tears on his first day as the enormity of going to school hits him. He’s ready for it though and has had a year in the school’s (pre-school) nursery to prepare him for it.
Olly’s year in pre-school hasn’t been an easy one. We’ve had countless mornings of tears and upset as he didn’t want to go in and unfortunately his first day at pre-school didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. I clearly remember making sure all his uniform was clean, ironed and ready to wear. His school shoes were polished and ready for adventures and both Shilts and I had got up early to make sure we had remembered everything he needed and he was all set for his first day.
Olly had other ideas and refused to get dressed. He had decided that he liked staying with his Grandparents during the daytime and would stay with them instead. Cue me getting all stressed out as he wasn’t co-operating and time was ticking with breakfast still to make and eat. Shilts managed to get Olly dressed with encouragement and bribery but Olly didn’t want to eat any breakfast. He wasn’t hungry and he refused to eat but reluctantly drank some milk instead. Bad idea!
After more battles with Olly over putting school shoes on, wearing his coat and carrying his school bag, we made it out the front door and practically ran around the corner to his school. On the playground, I waited with him whilst looking around to see if any other parents were having as much trouble with their little ones and no, we were the only ones. I took my eye off Olly for the briefest of seconds and before I knew it, he had vomited all down himself and me on the playground. Of course, I didn’t have any wipes or tissues on me but thankfully another Mum took pity on me and handed me a packet of baby wipes to clean up with. Oh the shame!
Since then, we’ve had similar mornings where things haven’t gone to plan and we’ve had to run to school to make sure he made it in time. It has been a massive learning curve for all of us but we’re getting there.
We know going to school in September won’t be easy for him so we’ve been trying to build up his confidence throughout the summer so that he can go in and enjoy himself on his first day.
Ways to build up his confidence
- Talk to him about what will happen in September so it won’t be a shock. He will be staying in school over lunchtime and Nanny or Mummy will be picking him up as soon as the bell goes.
- Reminding him of the positives. He’s made some brilliant friends, he knows the layout of the classroom and nothing in school will be unfamiliar. He’s even got the same Early Years Teacher and the same Learning Support Assistant.
- Reminding him that he does enjoy school and always tells us “it’s been good” when we ask him how his day has been.
- Encouraging him to talk and to express his feelings. It’s okay to be upset and to talk to Mummy and Daddy about anything that is worrying him.
- Taking him on a special shopping trip for his new school shoes, his new school bag and a new coat. We will let him choose his own so he’s comfortable and will feel pride when wearing his new belongings.
We’re hoping that all the groundwork we’ve put in over the last year and will continue to do so throughout the school holidays will help him feel more confident in September. Going to school is such a big milestone and one that we’ll all remember. Fingers crossed we don’t get a repeat of what happened on his first day at pre-school but if we do, I’ll have baby wipes ready and a wardrobe full of clean uniform for him to change into!
Do you have any special memories about your child’s first day at school? Were you nervous about their first day? Marks and Spencer have just launched their Trust Me I’m a Teacher campaign and have snippets of stories from Teachers who have seen and heard it all inside their classrooms during those first few days. It’s good to read others have had such adventures and it all works out in the end.