The beginning of a school year can often feel like navigating uncharted waters, especially for our youngest learners. At Verita School we strive to offer our Early Years little learners a soft start of the school year by creating a friendly and welcoming environment as well as offering parents information about how to support their child in the first weeks of school.

As we all know a child’s life in a group is vastly different from their life at home. Everything from the layout of the classroom to the unfamiliar faces of the educators, the dynamics of peer interactions and and even the sometimes baffling limitations on certain activities that seemed effortless at home – it’s a period of adjustments. Hence, we often observe two types of reactions that the children have with a new environment:

  • The excited explorer – they burst into the classroom excited to discover the new toys, happy to play and follow the adults. However, they soon realize this is a place they have to visit each day and that the safe adults from their home environment are away for a long period of time each day. This is when feelings of sadness start creeping in and they might start refusing coming to school even though they seemed quite happy in the beginning.
  • The anxious apprentice – on the flip side, we have our cautious newcomers who enter school with trembling hearts. Tears flow, and cries echo through the corridors as they grapple with the overwhelming anxiety of this new environment. These children need a little more time to find their comfort zone and identify their safe haven within the school. With proper support and understanding, they, too, eventually settle into the rhythm of school life.

What do our Verita School Early Years teachers do to support children in these cases:

  • Emotional availability – our educators are emotionally available for all children, providing a safe and nurturing space for them to express their feelings.
  • Gentle communication – they talk softly and reassuringly, helping children navigate their emotions and challenges.
  • Personalised engagement – our teachers take the time to discover each child’s unique interests and relate classroom activities or conversations to those interests
  • Consistency for comfort – Maintaining daily routines becomes a cornerstone in creating a sense of safety and predictability for children.

Tips for parents

In these pivotal moments, we offer some valuable tips for parents to support their little ones:

  • Timely arrival – Bring your children to school on time so that they can have the time to adapt to the classroom energy and have time to emotionally adjust for the day;
  • Empathy over disapproval – Refrain from making children feel bad about their sudden feelings of sadness. After all, these emotions are a natural part of growing up.
  • Encourage expression – Allow children to express their feelings and validate them. Offer comforting hugs and kisses, reinforcing your love and support.
  • Trust the experts – Place your trust in our caring and knowledgeable teachers. They possess the expertise and understanding to guide your child through this exciting journey of learning and growth in the best way possible.

Also, remember that:

  1. Every week won’t be like the first week. The beginning is about survival. Don’t try to predict the whole year based on the first few weeks
  2. They are little children not little adults. They may not adjust quickly and they really aren’t designed to.
  3. They are coming to school to learn, to count, to read, to write, to sing, to play, but also to learn how to be part of a community ! They will learn to share, to be kind to others, to wait their turn, to clean and tidy up their toys, to build friendships.
  4. In order to connect with children we need to build confidence and independence. Therefore, try to point out everything: “You are playing so nice and friendly with your peers”, “what a wonderful gesture to help your friend tidy the toys“ etc. The best way to get children to do what we want is to point out what we want. The goal is to get children to WANT TO COME TO SCHOOL!
  5. They will come for more encouragement, for the fun and for the joy that comes from being together, learning together and sharing their experiences and feelings and stories! 🤍

Verita International School Bucharest is a fully accredited IBDP and COBIS International British school with over 1,000 students and 200 teachers located in both Romania and Greece. Following the National Curriculum of England & Wales, Verita enhances learning through progressive inquiry-based frameworks and a social-emotional curricula. The school’s extensive membership networks contribute to a global community of schools committed to providing quality education.