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Children across the UK return to school

With the summer holidays coming to an end this week for school children across the UK, many will be entering the class room for the first time.

This can be a daunting and exciting time for both children and parents. Whether it’s a young person’s first experience of reception or primary school, or an older pupil going into secondary, the first day is life-changing for many.

As anxious parents wait outside the school gates, some children will take it in their stride while others might need more time to adjust.

Teaching and psychology experts at the University of Sunderland say that the key for those who find their first day nerves are getting the better of them is reassurance and supports from other adults, whether that be carers or teachers.

Dr Amy Anderson, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Sunderland, said: “School transitions can be an anxious time for both children and parents. Dealing with changes in environment, fitting in and making new friends can be really stressful.

“Research shows that having good support from family, friends and teachers can help children to feel more comfortable with the transitions to a new school or class, as well as having time to engage in fun activities.”

Mikeala Morgans, principal lecturer for initial teacher training at University of Sunderland, added: ““Starting school for the first time can cause excitement and uncertainty. It is seen by parents and children as big step up from nursery.

“In my experience, some children feel absolutely ready and excited for the change and others can feel overwhelmed and in need of more support to make the move.

“However, what I do know is that however excited and confident or nervous and unsure children are, reception teachers are experts in their craft and know exactly how to nurture children and support parents in these early stages in their primary school careers.”