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Books to help prepare your child for primary school

Aug 2023

As a parent you may feel just as anxious about your child's first day at school as they do! While starting school is a big step for a child, with some encouragement and preparation, most children will settle in just fine.

You will have taught them many skills to help smooth the transition, such as how to dress and tidy up after themselves, the importance of being polite and to wash their hands. Now, before beginning at primary school, you can help them by teaching them about the routine of school life.

By preparing them in advance, your child will know what to expect, and what is expected of them in return, making their first few days and weeks at primary school that much easier and more enjoyable.

With this in mind, we've considered some easy and fun books about starting school for you to read with your child which will both help encourage discussion and put their minds at ease.

Hugless Douglas Goes to Little School by David Melling
This is the sixth book in the Hugless Douglas series, about a lovable brown bear. The book follows an excited Douglas as he embarks on his first day at Little School. He meets his teacher Miss Moo-Hoo who is very impressed with Douglas' helpful attitude. Through being kind and sharing his favourite activity - bear hugs - we see Douglas making new friends and having a very productive first day at school.

Jungle School by Elizabeth Laird, Roz Davison and David Sim
Jani is very nervous about her first day at school. She has a disability and is worried the other monkeys will treat her differently and won't want to be her friend. Little does Jani know that her cheeky, fun personality will help her make plenty of friends.

I am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child
This picture book, part of the Charlie and Lola series, addresses many of the concerns a young child will have when first starting school. Lola feels she is too small and too busy at home to be starting school, however, the story uses humour and supportive big brother Charlie to help dispel Lola's fears, and the fears of the young reader too.

Starting School by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
This charming book is full of pictures and details to give your child an insight into some of the activities they will be doing on their first day at school, from meeting their teacher, finding their peg and drawer, to playtime and storytime. The book moves onto the preceding days, weeks and months, giving your child an idea of the fun and learning to come.

We hope that reading these stories together will help your child to feel encouraged, well-equipped, and, most importantly, excited about their own first day at school.