From playgroup to primary school: how can I help my child with this transition?

voor het eerst naar de basisschool

The transition from the playgroup to primary school can be an exciting experience for many children, but with the right support from you as a parent that will be a lot less. In this blog you can read how you as a parent can prepare your child for primary school and how you can make the transition as easy as possible.

When do children in the Netherlands have to go to primary school?

In the Netherlands, children usually go to primary school at the age of 4 years. That means that most children start in group 1 of primary school in the month in which they turn 4. This can of course differ per school and per region, but in general children start at the age of 4. Before that time, many children already go to the playgroup or childcare.

The transition from playgroup to primary school: that's how it feels for your child

The transition from the playgroup to primary school is a big step for little ones. That is also often the reason why the first day of school in the primary school for children (and secretly also for parents) is so exciting. Especially saying goodbye during such a first day of school is often emotional. But of course it does not mean that every child is bothered by this. Emotionally, saying goodbye to parents can be difficult for some children, while others are very enthusiastic about making new friends. So don't worry, ultimately this differs per child, per family.

The various challenges for children when they go to primary school

When children first go to primary school, there are numerous challenges they have to get used to. A new environment, new routines and new adults and children around them. This way you have to learn how to deal with other children, how they can play together and when disagreement arises, how they solve it together.

In addition to the emotional change and development that your little one will experience in primary school, children also learn new academic skills. That starts with learning the alphabet, numbers and new colors and shapes in a playful way. This can also be a challenge for some children, but luckily the first classes of the primary school are "designed" to learn these skills in a fun and playful way.

As a parent you make the transition to primary school easier for your child

As a parent you want to support your child as well as possible. That is why we have a few tips and ways that facilitate the transition from the playgroup to primary school:

  1. Talk to your child about what will happen: Tell your little one what they can expect when they go to primary school. For example, discuss the new, daily schedule, the activities they will do at school and with what kind of people and children they will come into contact.
  2. Visit the school once: If possible, visit the school before the first day of school arrives. This helps to reduce any fear and let your child get used to the new environment.
  3. Make it a positive experience: Who said that going to school should be an annoying experience? Make it a positive one! Tell how much pleasure you used to have at school and how many new boyfriends and girlfriends can make you. It also helps to get your child courage and let new things try.
  4. Help with the preparation: A good start is half the battle. Therefore, prepare the lunch box together and put some extra tasty things in the first day of school.
  5. Stay involved: Even when the first day of school is over, it is important to stay involved in your child's school experience as a parent. Ask how things are going at school and talk to the teacher. If something is not going completely well then you have the space to intervene on time.
      For everything there is a first time, so also for school. How exciting such a first day of school may be, together you will always come out. And say for yourself, secretly find saying goodbye to your little one just as difficult, right? With these tips it will certainly work, we promise!


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