September…The Starting Point

Samantha Dholakia
January 16, 2024

Whether your child is new to school life, new to the year group or new to the class, September is a starting point for all. It can be challenging in many ways for parents, staff and children as they try to navigate new routines, expectations and roles.

So, what emotions can we expect to experience around this time?

Having had a full 6 weeks off (or longer!) it can be tough getting reconnected to school life, as huge changes can be both exciting and overwhelming. Emotions may not crop up one at a time – in fact they very rarely do! On the run up to the start of school as we think about the transition ahead, it is absolutely natural to feel scared, anxious, excited, worried, nervous, fearful, unsure, happy and even sad and this is not just the children!. Us parents can be feeling all of the above with the bonus of guilt and loss as our ‘babies’ head off into a world that is beyond the safety of our home.

As part of any new experience, our minds offer us a range of questions, problems and solutions to contemplate ahead of time – and this is the same for big humans and small!

  • What will I wear?
  • Will I make friends?
  • Will I know what I am doing?

The best news is that we can control what we think, once we are aware of them. Unfortunately,  very few of us are aware of this, least of all our children. Children are not taught, and nor are adults, that we can change an emotion and an action through thinking with purpose and practicing thought work.

So, how can we support this transition emotionally?

  • Spend some quality time together on the run up to the transition. This gives them love and support so they feel emotionally strong. Letting them know that this is what they will be coming home to after a full day at school.
  • Talk about your feelings (the positive and negative) so that your child learns how to share their emotions and explore them with you. This allows them to build an emotional understanding and give useful language to how they feel.
  • Allow your child time to work things out without your help. Providing opportunities for them to struggle, before helping them, can build their resilience and give them self-belief and self-esteem as they start to realise they can achieve things independently.
  • Praising effort and successful steps within failure or disappointment can support children in building their emotional resilience and confidence, which is an integral part of starting school. This gives them an understanding of how we make progress and a sense of achievement.
  • Practice acknowledging and sharing your mistakes so your child goes to school knowing that mistakes are natural and a part of lifelong learning and growth. Children can find this a real struggle, so take some time to really show them how you can overcome challenges.
  • Use gentle questions to prompt your child when they are struggling to find a solution, this gets them thinking in a different way, supporting their curiosity.
  • Ensure your child gets plenty of sleep, balanced food and movement. These not only support their academic abilities to achieve but also allow them to balance their emotions too.

We hope you have enjoyed reading today’s blog feature and that it has been useful. For more parental strategies and implementation support please do get in touch with us at spdtuitionandcoaching@gmail.com or to sign up to our ‘Skipping into September, Primary Prepared’ sessions  Click Here,  where you will find a whole host of impactful and enjoyable ways to support your child as they start school.

The SEN Expert offers a range of services for young people, families and schools. We offer support for parents to help navigate the complex world of Special Educational Needs. We will work with you closely to ensure the best for your child.

The SEN Expert was set up by Claire in 2021 following a successful career spanning 12 years in school improvement, special educational needs, safeguarding and the arts.

Claire has worked as a Deputy Headteacher, Assistant Headteacher, Consultant and SENCO in both state and private schools in inner city London, the Southwest, the Midlands and the USA.

Throughout her career, Claire has ensured solid outcomes for the young people she has worked with. Be that a set of good exam grades, a placement in specialist setting or getting a part time job.

Claire is a working mother, and understands the challenges parents face trying to ensure their children are happy and successful. We aim to provide young people with a creative route to the personal and professional adult life they deserve.

Claire sits outside a café with a laptop

SEN consultancy
with a difference.

We offer support for families, children, and schools to navigate the complex world of SEN.

Check out our full list of services at our website www.thesenexpert.co.uk or follow us on Instagram @senexpert for daily advice on special educational needs.

The SEN Expert is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13523478.