Grade 1, starting school, kids

Prepare your little one for Grade 1 with this guide. Image: Supplied.

Grade 1: Get your little one school ready with this guide

Starting Grade 1 can be daunting. Help your little one prepare with this easy guide. They’ll be all smiles on their big day.

Grade 1, starting school, kids

Prepare your little one for Grade 1 with this guide. Image: Supplied.

Grade 1 is a big deal – both for the kids and their parents.

But, it can also be scary.


In January thousands of young minds will make the giant leap from pre-school to a formal education.

Starting Grade 1 is a big moment for parents and children and being well prepared beforehand can pay significant dividends.

As Grade 1 teacher at St Martins Preparatory School in Johannesburg, Kaylee Randall, says: “It’s all in the preparation. And parents need to get their minds around the idea of ‘big school’ before stepping up to the task of preparing youngsters.”

school, grade 1, starting school
Get your child Grade 1 ready, Image: Pexels.

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Here’s a quick guide to preparing yourself and your little love for the ‘big school’:


“Have positive conversations about their new teacher, about learning new things. It’s really important to get a child excited about the first day, and their first experience of what a formal learning environment will be like,” explains Randall.


Encouragement plays a significant role, too. Randall said that children should look forward to their first day at school and veer away from separation anxiety, from both child and parent’s perspectives. She said: “It is a giant leap in letting go for parents, and a huge step for children toward independence.”


“A sense of independence is just as important as positive affirmations before the big day,.” Randall says adding that teaching pre-Grade 1’s to dress themselves, tying their own shoelaces and doing up buttons and zipping up things could go a long way to creating the level of independent confidence that a child would need as they move into a new learning environment.


Responsibilities like packing their own school bag, getting themselves ready before school and creating their own routine are small influences that are equally as relevant for children entering Grade R.


Homework will be a new addition to a young learner’s life. Randall said that it does not have to be a burden, but rather an opportunity for parents to be engaged with their children. In fact, she said, it is very important. She said: “By making learning fun at school and at home, especially at such a young age, it engenders a love and thirst for education that will stand children in good stead later in life. Reading, spelling and numbers can be fun, and it’s such a beautiful part of a child’s journey.”

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