Tips for getting your child/bub ready for big school.

Getting your child ready for school can be exciting and scary at the same time, especially if you are sending your child to school for the first time.

This transition is a crucial period for your child, in which you can begin building a solid foundation for your child’s schooling life and education outcomes. 

Here are useful tips to help you, as a parent, overcome the first few challenges when preparing for this next stage of your bub’s life.

Common materials for school children

  • A comfortable schoolbag
  • A strong lunch box
  • Writing tools: a pencil case, pens, a greylead pencil, coloured pencils, a sharpener, a rubber, a ruler and textas

Get to know school routines

Routines will take time for your child to ease in to.

To better prepare your child for the transition begin to talk to them about the many different elements that are at school compared to their kindergarten or early-years learning centre (ELC):  

  • wearing a uniform;
  • attending and participating in assemblies;
  • lining up and walking together;
  • putting up hands to speak;
  • bells to mark the periods of the day;
  • meal times;
  • hygiene and hand-washing; and
  • sitting still for long periods of time.

Connect with your child’s school before they start

If you are looking for a school to enrol your child, involving your early-years learning centre can be very beneficial in the transition. This builds a relationship between your child’s early childhood educators and future teachers – providing an opportunity for important information on your child’s individual strengths and learning needs to be discussed, benefiting your child’s future education pathway going into school.

Find out the plans your child’s early years learning centre has, if any, to assist with connecting to schools in your local area.

Take a visit to the school with your child and family

Visiting the school before your child starts can ease any anxiety that comes with sending your child to school. Schools can be a scary place to walk into. Talk to your child about the different buildings and environments that a school can have:

  • classrooms;
  • toilets; and
  • playgrounds.

When you’re there, meeting a school principal, school staff and teachers can encourage your child and family to get to know the familiar faces that are about to become part of your child’s day-to-day schooling life.


Transition Books

Whether it’s at your child’s early years learning centre or at home, providing your child with transition books or kits can be an extra aid to school preparation, and are often used by many early years services. The kits can include:

  • puzzles;
  • activities;
  • books; and
  • games.

When the big day arrives…

In the weeks prior to your child’s first day of school, here are a few extra things to think about:

  • Does my child have the correct school uniform?
  • What will be in his/her lunch box for the week?
  • How will I get my child to and from school everyday?
  • Have I asked the school everything I need to know before my child starts?

These are only a handful of tips you can refer to in your preparation for school. There are a number of resources available to help your child with their transition to school.

Online resources:


What Works. The Work Program helps schools plan and take action to improve educational outcomes for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The website provides materials to support school-community relationships through a three-step process: building awareness, forming partnership, and working systemically.


Dare to Lead is a national project committed to supporting schools to improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. It provides a network of support, advice, leadership and professional development opportunities at the local and regional level, delivered through networks of committed school leaders across Australia.


Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s transition to primary school

A resource that investigates the practical implications and applications of transition programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

SUPPORTING TRANSITION to School for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children: What it means and what works?

A publication that explores current knowledge of how schools, communities, families and early childhood services can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to begin, and thrive at, primary school.