When Junior Infants start school it is an exciting time for children, parents and teachers alike. The first year at school is an important time for your child. During this time they will learn to become more independent and responsible. They will develop their social skills and make new friends. Above all, our goal is that they are happy in school and develop a lifelong love of learning.
If you have a little one starting school, do not worry about them knowing numbers, letters or shapes; it will all be covered in the curriculum. We do, however, have some tips for helping them prepare for school.
- Practice putting on and zipping up coats at home.
- Velcro shoes are ideal for little fingers before they can tie laces.
- Let your children carry their own school bags both to and from school. We encourage them to be as independent as possible.
- Practice opening and closing lunchboxes and drink bottles. Make sure they can open and close their own lunchbox and drinks. Think about yoghurts, frubes, juice boxes etc. Can they open these themselves?
- There is a healthy eating policy in the school. If your child has a food allergy, please inform the school as soon as possible.
- If your child has English as their second language, again, don’t worry about teaching them numbers, letters, shapes etc. If you wish to teach them anything, the most important thing they will need for the first few days of school is to ask to go to the toilet!
On the first day
- Talk about how much fun they are going to have and what a great place school is.
- Don’t be worried about leaving your child for the first time (and if you are, don’t let them see that you are worried!). The more confident, happy and relaxed you appear, then the more happy, confident and relaxed they will be.
- Tears do sometimes happen – this is normal and will be a distant memory in a few days!
- Encourage your son or daughter to hang up their own coat and put away their own bag. Don’t be tempted to do it for them, it’s best to start off the way you want them to carry on!
If you have any concerns about your child starting school, please let us know so that we can help ease the transition from home or crèche.
All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Junior Infants
Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, I learned in Junior Infants. Wisdom was not at the top of the university mountain but there in the sand tray in Junior Infants. These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that don’t belong to you.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat and after you go to the toilet.
Live a balanced life – learn a little, think a little, draw, paint, sing and dance a little, play a little and work a little every day.
Take a rest every afternoon.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody ever knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup all die. So do we.
And then, remember the book about Anne and Barry and the first word you ever learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
Think of what a better world it would be if all, the whole world, had milk and scones about half 12 every afternoon and then lay down for a rest. Or if we had a basic policy worldwide to always put things back where we found them and to clean up our own messes.
And if we could remember, no matter how old we may be, that when we go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
– Annie Murphy
(Adapted to the Irish context from an original by Robert Fulgham)