Settling back into school

It's been a couple of weeks since term started, here are some tips to make sure your child is settled

Meet the teacher: If the school has a meet the teacher evening, make sure you attend. Getting to know your child's teacher and other key members of staff is a great way to stay connected with your tamariki's school life. If you aren't a confident english speaker, take someone with you who is, or let the school know in advance. Try and get the teacher's email address so you can easily connect over any concerns. If your school doesn't have a meet the teacher evening, or you can't attend, phone the school and make an appointment to see the teacher on another day.

Comfortable travel: If your child walks to school, then walk with them to make sure they're safe and are arriving at school on time. If you have older children, perhaps walk behind them so they can engage with their friends, or walk with them half way. Why not contact the parents of your chi'd friends to see if you can all take it in turns to walk with their group? If there is a walking school bus, take advantage of this - it's a great way for your child to meet new people and feel independent. If your child catches a school bus, speak to the teacher about arranging a bus buddy so they've always got someone to sit with.

Visit the class: Around week four or five of term, make arrangements to pop into your child's classroom after school. As them to show you their work, and take an interest in things like where they hang their bag, and their favourite activity. If your child is uneasy when you drop off in the morning, you can do this as a way to help them feel more comfortable. 

Understanding tears: If your child is upset after school, don't think it's because there is a problem. Your child will be tired, hungry and emotional from a busy day. Give them a snack, let them relax, and remind them about the fun things they do at school. If the upset carry's on, then speak to their teacher.

How to ask about the school day

If you're fed up of being told, "I don't know!" or "I can't remember!" to traditional questions about the school day, here are five alternative conversations starters to try:

Tell me the names of the four kids who sat closest to you

What was the best thing you did at school?

What was the most interesting thing your teacher said today?

Was there anything you wish you had at school that you didn’t have today?

What was the funniest thing someone said at lunch?

These questions are specific, positive and fun. They should get your child talking and give you the chance to find out more about their school day.