Primary One: Transitioning your child to the next level

Primary One: Transitioning your child to the next level

Primary one can be all sorts of scary for a young child that has enjoyed their time in kindergarten. Find out how to help your child transition!

primary one

Help your child to overcome anxiety of starting primary one


Each year, many young children progress to primary one. Advancing from kindergarten to primary school can actually be quite daunting. Both parents and their primary one child will have to cope with many changes along the way, so it is perfectly normal to feel anxious about the incoming transition. Fret not; here are some valuable tips which will prepare both you and your child for primary one.

Changes your child should expect

There are several key changes that your child will experience as they move on to primary school from kindergarten. These changes can seem especially daunting for a seven-year old and thus, it is no surprise why many kids are anxious about starting primary one.

Firstly, the biggest change would have to be adjusting to a completely new environment. Your child will need to learn to adapt to the new school environment. Furthermore, there will be new classmates and teachers that your child has to get used to.

RELATED: Preparing your child for primary school science

Secondly, there is also generally a larger emphasis on academics in primary school compared to kindergarten. There is usually more time devoted to play-time in kindergarten as compared to primary school.

Finally, your child will have to be more independent in primary school. This includes becoming a more independent learner. Furthermore, your child will also need to learn to buy his own food from the canteen.

primary one

The idea is to get your child excited about primary one

How to prepare your child

While the changes that primary school brings might seem daunting now, here are several tips to help your children adapt to primary school:

  • Parents don’t have to worry much about the academic pre-requisites for primary one. During a question and answer session at a MOE seminar, several principals agreed that “Just as long as the child knows simple writing, reading and arithmetic, then that should be sufficient.”
  • Attend orientation with your child. This will help your child to familiarise himself with the new environment.
  • Share your own positive primary school experiences with your child, such as making new friends. This will excite your child and help to dispel their worries about primary one.
  • Teach your child that teachers are humans as well, so they will not become excessively scared of them. 
  • Go through the routine with your child. This includes teaching them to get up early and being independent in dressing up for school.
  • Parents should also be actively involved with their children’s school work. By taking an initiative in your child’s learning, you are encouraging them to continue learning.

What the parents say

This is what some parents had to say about their experience with helping their child to transition to primary one:

Syed Muhammad Abu Bakar : “Just tell your child it is fun, and remind them that it is a fun place to study. Maybe you should bring your child to school and get them to mix with other children their own age.”

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Roshni Mahtani : “Go through the routines with your child – waking up in morning, wearing uniform, eating brekkie. Try to change the anxiousness to excitement.”

Mona Osh Sam “Often, kids get the vibes from parents. If the parents are anxious, the child will be too. Be excited and soon your child will be more excited than you!”

As you can tell, it’s all about excitement and changing your child’s attitude towards this next step in their life. Have you gone through this phase with your child? Tell us about it! For more on preparing your child for school, watch this video:

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Written by

Sean Foo

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