Helping Grade R scholars adjust to new schooling environment

Are you worried about your child starting Grade R and unsure how they will cope in a new school environment? This article shares tips on how teachers and parents can help their Grade R scholars adjust to primary school. 

Starting primary school is a big step for many children. The transition from nursery school to primary school can be daunting; however, children learn to adjust to a new environment over time. We chatted with our school’s team about how parents can best prepare and support their children for Grade R. 

Many children are excited about their first day of school. However, this excitement soon fades when they learn that they have to do more than just play with their peers. 


The adjustment from nursery school can become overwhelming for some children to the point where they struggle to cope with the school environment. 

“Grade R scholars are very young, and most have not been in a school setting,” says SPARK Midrand Assistant Principal Agnes Dlengezele. Additionally, teachers have to have the utmost patience with Grade R scholars. 

“Some scholars adjust quicker than others. However, those who take a  little longer need more encouragement,” Dlengezele says. 

Starting a new routine is a significant change for anyone, and while children are resilient, others aren’t. Therefore, the school environment should consider that Grade R scholars might take time to get used to a new environment — and should find ways to help them adjust to the new environment. 

Easing scholars into Grade R 

Children work better when they have a routine. Having a pattern helps them to anticipate what their day will look like and is a great way to calm them down. Teachers should develop habits for Grade 1 scholars from the first day of school. Dlengezele advises teachers to establish   consistent procedures and routines. If the routines are done daily, this becomes easier for scholars to remember and do. 

Make Learning Fun 

Creating a fun learning environment for younger scholars helps them engage with the content. Therefore, teachers need to find a way to make the content they are teaching fun and interesting for scholars. Teachers can do this by using visuals, colour and images to make the  content easier to understand. 

“It is essential to take it slow with Gr Rs. It is easier to do alphabet songs than it is to teach alphabets in an abstract way,” Dlengezele advises. 

She adds that creating a fun learning environment ensures that children enjoy school and helps them enjoy core subjects such as literacy and maths, which kids might find difficult. 

How parents can help their Grade R scholars transition to Grade R 

Before a child starts Grade R, parents should prepare them for the new environment. “The parents can create a daily routine that would include healthy eating and good sleeping habits  before they start the academic year,” says Dlengezele.

She advises parents to talk to their child’s new teacher at the school about some of the activities they will be participating in when they start school.

“For example, a parent can start teaching the scholar SPARK Core Values or Daily Creed. They can also start to teach them numbers, or even learn their personal information, name, surname, age, parents’ names etc.,” Dlengezele explains. 

Furthermore, parents can take their scholar to a school visit or an open day. This would help the scholar familiarise themselves with the environment. This would also help them meet their peers and make friends before starting school. 


Starting school is scary for many kids. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting— by implementing these tips, parents and teachers can make Grade R easy and fun for scholars. 

Please click here if you want to enrol your child for Grade R. 

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