Getting ready for the first day of school – Early Years

The Early Years programme at SISD is designed to encourage inquiry-based learning for children. We follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme and provide children with the opportunity to learn in a multilingual and multicultural environment, providing a wide range of academic, cultural, social, and physical opportunities. Early learning is a holistic experience that promotes play, discovery and exploration within a dynamic environment.

No matter where you’re sending your child, it’s important that the transition from home to school is as easy as possible for both parents and children. In this blog, we’ll talk about six ways you can get your child ready for their first day of school, and what the Early Years Programme will teach your child.

“Practice” going to school

Start getting your child ready for Early Years by talking about going to school, meeting friends, teachers, and other positive aspects of school. You can read books about starting school with them, and rehearse the routine of waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and finally going out the door.


Parents can build excitement for the first day of school by going with their child to get supplies. Let your child pick their lunch box or bag, backpack, and new clothes to give them a sense of ownership and build anticipation for going to school.

Visit the school

Many schools have an orientation before the first day of school where you and your child can visit. If yours doesn’t, take a trip to the school to see the building and show your child the playground to get them familiar with what will be a new environment.

Have bedtime and breakfast routines

Establishing good bedtime and morning routines are crucial to your child’s physical and mental performance at school. In Early Years, they will be developing concentration and creativity skills, and starting the day tired reduces their ability to learn and use these skills.

Start the bedtime routine by turning off lights, changing clothes, and brushing teeth. Reading stories in bed not only helps children relax and fall asleep easier, but it can also improve their reading over time and gets parents ready for bed too!

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we agree! A good meal before school helps with your child’s physical and mental health and skill development. Creating a habit of sitting down as a family to enjoy breakfast helps everyone start their days on a positive note, and the food will keep your child’s brain sharp in the mornings.

Say goodbye—quickly!

Your child may be afraid and cry on their first day of school, but it’s important for parents to be strong and allow their children to integrate. When dropping off your child, say goodbye quickly. Even if they cry, leaving right away shifts their focus to what’s happening at school.

Speak with your child’s teacher

It’s normal for both children and parents to take time to get to know a new teacher. Be sure to meet your child’s teacher and when possible, learn about their preferred teaching methods. If you have a good relationship with your child’s teacher, it will be easier to communicate when you’re wondering how your child is doing at school, both in class and among classmates. Teachers may provide valuable information parents can use to support their child’s development at home that will help them become better students.

Understanding what the Early Years programme teaches

Here is a checklist of competencies your child will be developing in Early Years:

  • Academic skills: Reciting the alphabet and identifying most, if not all of the letters, sketching letters and reading them out, and counting up to 20.
  • Independence skills: Coping without parents, going to the bathroom by themselves and washing their hands, and dressing themselves.
  • Language skills: Expressing feelings and emotions, listening to and understanding instructions, and speaking in full sentences.
  • Physical skills: Bouncing and catching a ball, using a pencil or crayon with control, and cutting paper with scissors.
  • Social skills: Acknowledging the authority of the teacher, making friends with children, and respecting other children, and their emotions and belongings.

In SISD’s Early Years Programme, children learn to explore their environment through play and relationships with family, teachers and community members. Learning is hands-on and students are given the freedom (guided by the teacher) to enquire into and learn about the world around them. This encourages social interaction and teamwork. As every student learns differently, each child’s learning style and attainment level is taken into account by teachers. Children participate in free flow activities that allow them to progress at their own pace, develop independence and have the freedom to move between indoor and outdoor areas.

For more information about our Early Years programme, contact our Admissions team at

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