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School readiness

Getting your child ready for starting primary school can feel like a big step. You may be trying to help your child feel excited for the change but on the inside you may be feeling sad, worried or nervous about this new chapter in their life. Your child may be feeling a mix of emotions as well. On this page we have pulled together lots of resources that you may find useful.

You might be wondering what you need to do to prepare your child for school, such as getting dressed, eating with a knife and fork and going to the toilet on their own. We have created a handy starting school checklist on this for you below. To print this out, please open the image here (opens in new window). The Health For Under 5s website also covers the essential skills children need here (opens in new window).

 Starting primary school- Supporting your child from ChatHealth on VimeoVisit their website for more resources (opens in new window).

Healthy lunch ideas

If your child will be having a packed lunch, it might be challenging to know where to start. Base the main lunch around items like wholegrain bread, rice and pasta or potatoes to keep them fuller for longer. Always add veg! Add bitesize fruit - tinned counts too. Try and include a portion of dairy or dairy alternative and don't forget a portion of protein. Children do like variety so you could try giving them dipping foods or wraps with a pot of filling for them to make themselves.

The websites below might be helpful to give you some ideas.

Starting secondary school can be both an exiting and stressful time.

There are things you can do to help ease your child into the changes, like making sure you chat to them about how they are feeling and how it will be very different to what they are used to, reassure them that nerves are perfectly normal and keeping your own worries away from them. Young Minds have lots of information on how to help your young person transition to secondary school (opens in new window).

You might find our page on exam stress helpful.

Check out the films below for some more advice.

Starting secondary school from ChatHealth on Vimeo

Starting secondary school- Supporting your child from ChatHealth on Vimeo.


If you have a child with SEND, you might be wondering how you can prepare them for the transition into school. Things like getting used to wearing their school uniform, looking at photos of their classroom, and getting used to the new routine in the run up to school starting. We have created this visual below to help you to make a smooth transition. To print this out, please open the image here (opens in new window).

 SEND school transition