• Prep
  • Pre-Prep

Starting, or returning, to School in September can be a roller coaster of emotions for both parents and children. Miss Pearson, Head of Prep, has shared her top tips for returning to School like A BIG BOSS to help the big day run smoothly. 

We hope your child has a great first day at School!

Attention to Time

Notice the clocks and be aware of the time in your house. Telling the time and understanding the significance of it in your child's school life and beyond is relevant and will give them and you a feeling of order. For younger ones announcing the time and pointing to the clock at key times in the day will help with their understanding. "Eight o’clock, that means breakfast time".  If you have an older child asking them to work out cooking times or arrival times will help with calculations in their lessons.  

Before Bed Reading

Reading to your child and them listening to others read is important. Read to them each night before bed and invite them to read. Use expression in your reading, model how to interpret the punctuation in the book and talk through words that might be new to them. Discuss the story and the characters, the setting and the plot. That fifteen minutes before bed can greatly help to support their comprehension skills, better preparing them for School.


Imagine returning to School, actually doing it. With your child close your eyes and visualise and then express what happens and what a lovely first day it will be. Tell your child to imagine their facial expressions and what things they might ask their teachers and friends. Talk about what fun things they might tell you when they return home.

Get Chopping

Cutting up their own food is a good one to master before school. Talk about their lunches, cutting those delicious roast potatoes with a crispy outside and fluffy inside and how tricky that can be. You might try a trial run at dinner, if they manage to cut everything on their plate on their own there is a treat at the end of it.  

Brain, Buddy, Boss

Something teachers will often say to children in MSJ Prep when they have a problem is ‘Brain, Buddy, Boss’. Let’s take the example that a child has lost their socks. First of all, suggest they try to think for themselves using their brain, where did I last have them? When did I take them off? If that doesn’t work, ask a buddy. Can you remember seeing my socks? If both fail, then it’s time to call in the Boss (parent/teacher) and they will help. This is something that as a parent you could get into the habit of doing at home. It promotes independent thinking and problem-solving skills. As girls move into MSJ Seniors, we re-phrase this to ‘three before me’, asking the girls to do three things to try and fix the problem before resorting to a teacher for help. This would work well at home if you have older children.

Off and on

If you have a Pre-Prep child aged 4-7, work on dressing and undressing. Try doing it at speed, time your child and see if they can beat their top time. This will be a useful skill when it comes to swimming lessons and clubs.


Get one pencil case with everything you need in it. Lots of children bring in multiple pencil cases and this can often cause a lot of faffing in class to find that object you are looking for. One pencil case keeps things simple.


Get into a regular bedtime routine.  A full night's sleep is essential for learning and making the most of each day. Establishing this bedtime routine a few weeks before the start of term will help everyone. Going to bed at the same time on school days and waking up at the same time is the routine that needs to be established.