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Settling into Nursery School | Montessori Hampstead | Nursery Hampstead


September is fast approaching and with it comes the beginning of a new school year and many children and parents will be looking forward to the first day with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. For children who have never been to nursery before and for parents who have never left their child in someone else’s care, the first day can understandably be a little nerve wracking.

At Casa Montessori we aim to make the transition as seamless as possible. Here are some tips for both parent and child to help make those first few days go well; many of these can be applied to primary school too!

  1. Familiarise your child with the school. Here at Casa Montessori we invite new children to come in with their parents for as many visits as we think the individual child needs. Familiarity with the environment will make the child so much more comfortable on those first few days. It will also give them a chance to meet some of the other children and the teachers.

  2. Familiarise the school with your child! Make sure to give the school as much information as you can about your child, their likes and dislikes, fears and loves, what comforts them, and what special words they may have. The more the staff know about your child, the easier it is for them to attend to their individual needs during the first few days. At Casa Montessori we do a home visit, so we get to see your child in their home setting. This really helps us understand how they can be best comforted and also what makes them tick.

  3. Do a few dry runs during the holidays. If you are lucky enough to be local to your school, walk over there when it’s closed. Peek in through the railings, talk about what your child may be doing once they start school - build up some excitement!

  4. On your way to school on the first few mornings, talk about what is going to happenin detailed steps. For example, “I will say good bye at the gate, we’ll give each other a kiss, then you will go in with your friends and take off your coat ….” Breaking the process down into smaller chunks can help make the whole thing less daunting. If your child is feeling nervous then don’t forget to finish with “and then I will pick you you up and we will go back home/go to the park.”

  5. Say goodbye firmly and mean it! It is very easy  to say good bye and then go back in for one more cuddle, especially if you spy a watery eye or a wobbly lip. But it is so much easier for the child if they learn that goodbye means just that. If they know that you will a little bit longer if they cry or protest - then they will get into the habit of doing it every day. Yes, they may cry but it lasts for such a short time. At Casa Montessori, we will always call you within 30 minutes of your child being dropped off to give you an update on how it is going.  

  6. Keep positive and smile! Let’s face it, sometimes we find it harder as parents to leave our precious bundles. Children can sense our mood and will feed off it. It we are tense and nervous, they will be more prone to get distressed. Keep it upbeat, say a firm goodbye as detailed above and then pop around the corner for a sob! Seriously though, don’t worry if you do cry, it’s natural and we’re used to it.

Good luck to all of you who are starting school this September. Whether nursery school, primary or secondary school, it is a momentous occasion and we wish you all the best with it.

If have any questions about your child's first day at school (whatever their age) and how to help them settle, please get in contact with