Category

Starting School

Wise Before Five
by Libby Walden & Ekaterina Trukhan

Today is the big day! Ivy had her very first day at school. She went through the gate full of smiles ready for her big adventure so I have all my fingers and toes crossed that the transition is a smooth one.

One of the books we’ve been reading over the weekend to prepare her is this gorgeous hardback called ‘Wise Before Five’ which I spotted over on Instagram and simply had to buy. It has helped reassure her that she actually knows lots of things and is more than ready for school.

Featuring a diverse cast of children (including a child in a wheelchair and a child with a hearing aid), this essential guide to being almost five covers a wide range of topics whilst quietly celebrating the joy of being unique.

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Bunny Braves The Day
by Suzanne Bloom

It’s the morning of Bunny’s first day at school and he has a long list of reasons why he definitely shouldn’t go. He’s too tired. He can’t find his underpants. His socks are too short. He thinks he might be coming down with a cold and it feels like there’s a giant frog jumping up and down in his tummy.

Fortunately his older sister is on hand to calm his nerves. As he rattles off excuses she talks about her own experience of starting school and assuages his fears. It’s fine that he doesn’t know how to tie his shoes because he can wear ones without laces. It’s ok that he doesn’t know how to read because the teacher will be there to help him learn. Although meeting lots of new children might sound scary he will soon make friends just like she did.

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My School Unicorn
by Willow Evans & Tom Knight

Evie is a little apprehensive about starting school. Every time she thinks about it she gets a wobbly feeling in her tummy and feels a tiny bit sick. When her Dad takes her shopping for her new school uniform she drags her feet, but the expedition turns out to be a little bit more magical than she expected!

Madam Lexi’s Uniform Emporium is packed full of blazers, ties, sports kit and everything else a child might need for their first term, but if you look closely at the owner you’ll spot that she is a little bit special. A ittle cloud of twinkling stars seem to follow her wherever she goes…

Evie nervously tries on her uniform and her dad is pleased to see that everything fits, but when he’s not looking Madam Lexi leans forward and whispers in to her ear. Evie blinks with confusion. The lady mentioned her ‘School Unicorn’ but surely she meant ‘School Uniform’? But then the pocket of Evie’s cardigan starts to wiggle!

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Super Milly and the Super School Day by Stephanie Clarkson & Gwen Millward

Milly is very excited about going to school because it’s Superhero Day. She has fashioned a costume out of tin foil and a tea towel but she’s a little bit sad that she doesn’t  have any REAL super powers. Or does she?

In the classroom Super Milly spots that William is sad because his dad forgot it was a dress up day. She hands him her superhero badge and tells him he can be Wonder William. She cheers up Fantastic Flora with some jokes. She settles a dispute between Amazing Archie and Spider Sid and she comes to Incredible Iqbal’s aid when his pet spider escapes during Show and Tell.

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Our Favourite Picture Books about Starting School

Ivy starts reception in September so in recent months we have amassed a lot of books to help prepare her for this exciting (and potentially nerve-wracking!) experience.

There are hundreds of books out there about this topic so I have put together a collection of our 24 favourites to help you choose the ones which are best suited to your own child.

Along with books which are specifically about the school experience, I have included titles which focus on other helpful topics like making friends, showing kindness and helping to ease any worries they may have.

We’d love to hear about your favourites too. What would you add to this list?

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I Have to Start at School Today by Simon Philip & Ged Adamson

The little girl in this story is very nervous of starting school. She has no idea what to expect so her imagination is going wild!

What if she arrives at the school gates to find an angry rhino who demands a password before she’s allowed in? What if there’s a selfish bear in her chair who refuses to move and then eats all the food in the canteen? What if there’s a babboon who drives her crazy playing his bassoon all day? Her mum reassures her that none of these things are going to happen but her cheeky older brother really isn’t helping.

Feeling sad and confused she turns to her grandmother who listens carefully to her fears and reassures her with a warm hug and some wise words. What if, just maybe, she goes to school and everything goes just right?

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King of the Classroom
by Derrick Barnes & Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Lots of books about starting school focus on the specific worries which your child might have about their big day. This fabulous book reframes those fears and the result is a story which fizzes with positivity and fun.

On a bright sunny morning a little boy awakens and prepares to start the day. Today is the first day of school and Mummy says he’s going to be the King of the Classroom. He brushes his royal teeth, dresses in his special school garments and settles down for a truly majestic breakfast. The school bus will be his carriage and the school itself will be his brand new kingdom.

He introduces himself to the children around him and asks them about their summer. He’s brave making new friends in the playground. He’s kind to those around him at lunchtime. He listens carefully to his teacher and approaches every new task like the King that he is. He has a truly wonderful day.

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Take Me to School by Mary Richards

We are big fans of Agnes & Aubrey so we were really excited to receive this gorgeous school journal in the post recently.

Split in to five ‘adventures’ the book gives you and your child the opportunity to record their very special school journey. Each adventure breaks down different aspects of the school day and is filled with fun facts and questions for childen to consider.

What does their school day look like? What do they wear? What books are they reading? What do they eat at lunchtime? Who are their friends? Can they remember the names of everyone in their class? Who is their teacher? What does their classroom look like? There are spaces to fill in the answers to all of these questions and more, along with spaces to draw or stick in pictures.

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The Kissing Hand
by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper & Nancy M. Leak

Chester the raccoon doesn’t want to go to school. He wants to stay safe at home with his mummy and his toys and books. Mrs. Raccoon draws him close to her and explains gently that sometimes we have to do things which seem a little big and scary. Although school might seem strange at first she is confident that he will grow to love it. He will make new friends, play with new toys, read new books and learn exciting new things.

Chester is unconvinced so she lets him in on a little secret – The Kissing Hand. She takes his hand, spreads out his fingers and plants a big kiss on his palm. He feels the warmth run right up his arm and straight to his heart. His mum tells him that every time he feels scared or lonely he just has to press that special spot on his hand and he will immediately be able to feel her love all around him.

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Never Take A Bear To School by Mark Sperring & Britta Teckentrup

If your child is wary of leaving you behind on their first day of school or nursery then this funny story might help calm their nerves.

There is one big rule when it comes to school – Do Not Take Your Bear. Why? Because bears just aren’t designed for the classroom! They cause panic in the playground, they’re far too big for the chairs and they gobble up all the food at lunchtime.

And you really wouldn’t want that level of mayhem on your first day of school because then you’d miss out on all the fun. A bear would distract you from making new friends, painting colourful pictures, doing your sums and listening to your teacher tell you a beautiful story.

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