Danielle, 11, and Chris Calder, 8, pick up some last minute school supplies at School Locker.
Danielle, 11, and Chris Calder, 8, pick up some last minute school supplies at School Locker. Brett Wortman

Students, parents preparing for return to school

BOOKS, pens and pencils, check.

Shoes and uniform, check.

Parents across the Coast were ticking the final items off their school shopping lists over the weekend, with thousands of children set to head back to the classroom tomorrow.

It is a familiar ritual for the Calder family.

With Chris, 8, and brother Joel, 9, at Buddina State School, sister Danielle, 11, will be among the 58,000 Queensland children going into Year 7 at high school.

Danielle will join older brother Blake, 13, at Mountain Creek State High School.

Year 7 moving from primary to high school this year is one of the largest changes to schooling in the state since the introduction of Prep in 2012.

School Locker store manager and Sunshine Coast business development manager Kerry O'Connell said they had experienced their biggest weekend since they opened six months ago.

"Before Christmas we saw a lot of families with students starting Prep coming in because they were so excited," she said.

"A lot of them wanted to wear their new school uniforms out of the store and we saw a couple of younger brothers and sisters crying because they wanted to go to school too.

"(Saturday) was an absolutely massive day with lots of people coming into for booklist items and shoes."

While the stress for parents should be over once the school drop-off is done tomorrow, Kids Helpline is urging families to be mindful of how the children are feeling.

Kids Helpline general manager Wendy Protheroe said while the first day of school could be exciting for some children, it would be scary and frustrating for others.

"This is the time that sets a bar in terms of how children develop coping strategies, problem-solving skills and ways of seeing and understanding the world outside of their family," Ms Protheroe said.

"They may be starting Prep, their first year of senior school or going into Year 12. Whatever the stage, it can sometimes be overwhelming with new challenges and uncertainties."

Ms Protheroe said if the stress and anxiety became overwhelming, kids could phone 1800 551 800 or visit http://www.kidshelpline.com.au.

 

Top Five Back to School tips

1. Be excited about the change. If you are enthusiastic and confident, your children are more likely to be as well.

2. Listen to your children. Let them know you're interested in what they're worrying about and what they're excited about.

3. Have uniforms and lunches ready the night before to avoid the early morning rush and any unnecessary stress.

4. If possible, visit the new school with your child before the first day to familiarise with the layout, including bathrooms, lunch areas and playgrounds.

5. Start and maintain daily routines that will add structure and make your child more at ease such as dropping your child off at school at the same time each morning.

Source: Kids Helpline



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