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How to get your Grade R child ready for a big school transition

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane

Published Dec 29, 2021

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Early Childhood Development represents the beginning of the 12-year journey of schooling and it can determine the direction of the lives of children. It is therefore very important that parents prepare their children.

The new Amendment Bill of Basic Education states that school attendance is compulsory from Grade R and no longer from Grade 1. It should be understood that this journey does not begin in Grade 1.

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Helping your child transition from daycare to grade R may be a process which takes time and planning to make the separation less difficult for your child.

How can a parent help their child to feel safe making the transition to Grade R?

Listen to your child

Take their worries seriously and talk to them about these. With younger children, you could try playing-acting what it will look like, or asking them to draw a picture of the steps involved, including one of you returning to collect them.

Help them prepare

Learn the new rules of returning to school and go over them with your little one. Ask how they feel about going back to school and make sure you inform their teacher if they have any significant concerns.

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Keep calm

Remember that children pick up on adults’ behavioural cues. To help your child stay relaxed and feel safe, modelling calm behaviour yourself is important.

Have a leaving plan

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  • To keep goodbyes from becoming difficult for older children, try the following:
  • Make goodbyes positive.
  • Announce that you’re leaving (never sneak away).
  • Make your explanation for leaving clear and short.
  • Remind your child that you will be back for them.
  • Do not hesitate when leaving.
  • Do not return until the planned time.
  • Follow the same routine every time you leave or drop off your child.

Introduce technology for learning

The pandemic has put pressure on everyone to have a better understanding of technology and it’s the right time to embrace it, particularly in a learning environment.

For schools to continue to operate and for learners to continue to learn despite the pandemic, parents need to help their children by providing access to technology such as tablets, laptops and other devices at home.

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For more tips visit www.Unicef.org

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