By Raising Children Network
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School-age girl wearing school uniform, hat and bag

Did you knowQuestion mark symbol

Hats are compulsory in most schools for at least the first and last term each year, and all year round in many schools.
Is your child going to school for the first time? Here are some practical tips to help you and your child ease into the day-to-day routine of school. There might be as many new things for you to learn as there are for your child!

School drop-offs and pick-ups

Getting kids ready for school in the morning isn’t meant to be an Olympic sport, but it does get easier with some discipline and practice!

It’s good to try getting to school well before the bell so you can see that your child is settled before you leave.

By the end of the day your child will be tired and looking forward to getting home as soon as possible or perhaps to a friend’s place to play. If you’re on time to pick your child up, he’ll feel more secure.

It’s worth checking that your child has everything she needs before you leave for school in the morning, and before you come home at night. This can save on upsets at home and at school when your child can’t find her special pencil box or favourite book.


Organising your children’s clothing the night before school can save a last-minute rush in the morning. You might also need to pack alternatives in case of weather changes.

Name labels mean your children won’t lose everything they own – only some things!

Spare underwear is also a good idea.

School lunches and snacks

A healthy lunch and snack will help your child stay alert and meet his energy needs during the day.

Water is the healthiest drink for children. A bottle of water is better for your child than fruit juice or cordial.

If your child needs medication at school, you’ll need to authorise her teacher to administer it under strict guidelines.

Problems at school

If your child encounters any problems at school it’s best to speak to the teacher as soon as possible, whether by phone or in person, to stop the issue getting worse.

School safety rules

Your child will need to know where he can play at school and which areas might be out of bounds. Most schools also have rules about wearing shoes, hats and sunscreen, as well as playground behaviour.

Special days

Schools often hold special events. These can be highlights of the school year for children. It’s a great idea to support these events by attending or helping your child prepare for them. It helps children do better at school if mums, dads and other carers support and attend these events.   

If your child has additional needs

Meet with the principal before school begins to discuss your child’s additional needs. The school will look for ways to accommodate these needs.

Here are some issues you could discuss:

  • Does the school have experience with children with additional needs?
  • What are the class sizes?
  • How can the curriculum be modified to suit your child?
  • What will your child do if she can’t participate in certain activities?
  • What times will your child need additional support?
  • What supervision and security can the school provide, especially outside?
  • How can the school support social interactions with other children?

Communication between school and parents

Your child’s education is a responsibility shared between you and your child’s school. Good communication between school and home will really improve your child’s experience.

There are lots of formal ways to make contact with the school, including:

But you can just as easily pop in for a quick chat with your child’s teacher before or after school. You might want to check that the teacher is free first.

Kids can get upset if they’re late for an excursion or event, so it’s a good idea to check their bag for notes each day.

Let your school know if your child needs special attention at any time – for example, if there have been problems at home, a death in the family or he has been sick. Likewise, if he has just won a competition or done well at karate, let the school know so they can encourage him.

  • Last updated or reviewed 08-08-2014