Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Let's Go Back to School with a Smile

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Let's Go Back to School with a Smile

Article excerpt

Byline: By Michelle Hedger Evening Gazette

Primary school classroom looks like THE place to be for any fun loving four-year-old.

Bright colours on the walls, a home corner, sand pit, rows of fun books and loads of other children to play with.

So why do so many parents feel such acute anxiety when taking their children to reception class for the first time?

This month, hundreds of Teesside families will go through the same experience.

Tears at the school gates, not wanting to let go... but is that just the parents?

"It's very, very common for mums and dads to shed a few tears on the first day," explains Kay McDonough, reception teacher and lower school leader at Linthorpe Community Primary school in Middlesbrough.

"It's a difficult time, they are not alone in feeling like that and certainly shouldn't be embarrassed.

"They see their children for the first time in these crisp new uniforms and it suddenly brings it home that this is a huge step, a huge moment in the child's life."

A survey sponsored by the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations and nappy maker Huggies, spoke to more than 1,200 parents with school-age children to find out the big fears.

Although 75pc of children starting school for the first time are excited by the prospect, the event can also lead to stress-related problems for both parents and children.

And although parents look forward to regaining their independence, with mothers of sons expressing more enthusiasm for their new found release than those with daughters, there are far more serious consequences.

Some parents report the experience is as stressful as breaking-up with their partner.

Some parents lie awake fretting for weeks, even worrying that their child may not be able to open the lunchbox.

So what can teachers do to help?

"The first day in reception class is always exciting," explains Kay. …

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