Health and wellbeing at primary school

You can help support your child’s health and wellbeing as they start Kindergarten and move through primary school.

Image: Primary school is an opportunity for your child to exercise their independence, make new friends and learn more themselves.

Talk with your child

  • Check in with your child before, and particularly after, school.

How was your day?

What did you learn?

What was the highlight?
  • Communicate with comfort and connection. Be relaxed in your facial expression and body. Get down to your child’s level and offer gentle touch or affection.

"I know Kindy is different from preschool. We have to go to school. Let’s sit together and figure out how to make this easier."

  • Validate and relate to your child’s feelings. Consider how they’re experiencing the situation from their point of view.

  • Discuss and set limits. Wishes and feelings are acceptable but some behaviours are not. It is important to remain calm, clear and assertive.

"I hear you want to play more. It is important that you get a good night’s sleep before school. It is bedtime."

"I can see you are frustrated but it is not OK to yell or hit."

  • Notice and address any physical, behavioural or emotional changes. Some reactions to stress include tiredness, struggling to fall asleep, boredom, feeling irritable or acting out, being withdrawn or avoiding school and homework, complaints of an upset stomach or headache, excessively asking questions, or seeking reassurance. Always share any concerns with your child’s teacher. They can get extra advice from the school counselling service, if needed.

Create routines at home

  • Make sure your child is getting a good night’s sleep and at least 30 minutes of daily exercise.

  • Cook nutritious meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner and make sure they’re eating regularly.

  • Encourage your child to stay hydrated, even in the colder months.

  • Read to your child as part of your daily routine.

    Kindergarten children can get very tired at night because they are doing so many new and exciting things. For this reason, it helps if you keep before and after school routines – like bath time, meals and reading – as regular as possible. It’s important to leave time for your child to play and get a good night’s sleep each night.

    For more information on wellbeing.

Connect with your child’s learning

  • Get to know their teachers, other school staff, other parents and your child’s friends.

  • Attend school events, for example parent and teacher nights, presentation nights, award ceremonies, performances or showcases.

  • If you can, provide your child with out-of-school opportunities to bond with their friends and the community such as volunteering, sports and supervised play dates.

Dealing with challenges

The past few years have brought a lot of change and disruption for everyone, including children. Whether your child has attended preschool or is starting primary school for the first time, they may experience difficulty settling into school routines.

Your child may be feeling:

  • excited or happy about starting school

  • nervous or anxious because of the new routines

  • frustrated and annoyed about all the changes.

How to support your child during the pandemic

  • Monitor the media your child is watching.

  • Talk to your child about their understanding of the situation and correct misunderstandings or confusion.

  • Include your child in making plans for the future.

  • Support your child to stay connected to friends.

  • Keep to your regular routines and activities as much as possible.

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