School plays a huge part in most children’s lives.  The idea of going to ‘big’ school for the first time, or of changing schools, can be a major cause of anxiety.  Sharing a book about other children’s experiences at school can help to make the experience much less worrying and get them excited about this new adventure.

Starting School
by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

A whole term of ‘big’ school, right from day one to the end of term Christmas play and party.
Age: 4+

Billy and the Big New School
by Catherine and Laurence Anholt

Billy’s fear of starting school proves to be groundless as he settles into his first day quite happily.
Age: 4+

Image result for Dinosaur starts school / Pamela Duncan Edwards ; illustrated by Deborah Allwright.

Dinosaur Starts School
by Pamela Duncan Edwards and Deborah Allwright

Dinosaur is worried that school will be too big and too noisy, but all his worries about this first day at school are answered by his small friend.  A very reassuring story.
Age: 3+

My new school
by Tom Easton

Tyrone is upset he will not be able to continue at his old school when he moves. Dad reassures him that he will make new friends. There are notes for parents and teachers at the end.
Age 5+

Image result for My stinky new school

My Stinky New School
by Rebecca Elliott

Tony isn’t looking forward to starting his new school.  It stinks and he’s worried he won’t make any friends.  A funny and reassuring story about finding your way at a new school.
Age: 4+

Silly School
by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

Beth doesn’t want to go to ‘silly school’ whatever her family says until she realises all her friends will be there.
Age: 4+

Chu’s First Day At School
by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex

Chu is nervous about his first day at school.  Will the other boys and girls be nice to him?
Age: 4+

Image result for Whiffy Wilson, the wolf who wouldn't go to school / Caryl Hart, Leonie Lord.

Whiffy Wilson, The Wolf Who Wouldn’t Go to School
by Caryl Hart and Leonie Lord

Whiffy is certain that school won’t be as much fun as watching TV all day.  His best friend takes him by the paw and shows him just how wrong he is.
Age: 4+

Image result for Little Hedgehog's big day / Daniel and Heidi Howarth.

Little Hedgehog’s Big Day
by Daniel and Heidi Howarth

Little Hedgehog is about to start big school, but the idea gives him butterflies in his tummy.  Is he big enough?
Age: 3+

Proudest Blue
by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Asiya’s hijab is like the ocean and the sky, no line between them, saying hello with a loud wave. It’s Faizah’s first day of school, and her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab – made of a beautiful blue fabric. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful. In the face of hurtful, confusing words, will Faizah find new ways to be strong?
Age: 4+

How to get your teacher ready for school
by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish

Celebrate the school year with the author-illustrator team behind the bestselling ‘How to Babysit a Grandad.’ Follow a class of adorable students as they make sure their teacher is ready all year round. Written in a tongue-in-cheek instructional style, this book is a playful and heartwarming celebration of teachers and school, and an empowering book to help calm back-to-school nerves!
Age: 3+

Just Jack
by Kate Scott

It’s not easy fitting in at a new school. It’s even harder to be yourself. A warm and funny story about making new friends and being yourself. Perfect for young fans of WONDER and Frank Cottrell-Boyce. Jack knows LOTS about starting a new school. Since Dad left, he and his mum have moved house five times. He also knows all about fitting in. The trick is to act exactly like everyone else and make sure no one ever notices him. But it’s hard work trying to be something he isn’t and Jack doesn’t have any good friends. That is, until Tyler comes along. Tyler is funny and different and might be the key to getting Jack to realise that although he is brilliant at pretending to be other people, the very best thing he can be is JUST JACK.
Age: 8+

My First Day
by Leilani Sparrow and Dan Taylor

A very simple, clearly illustrated book about a first day at school.  Could be used for a younger child starting nursery as there are very few words used.  A good starting point for discussions.
Age: 3+

Useful Organisation

Education and Learning in Hampshire
Links to all the information you need about finding a school in Hampshire and the school admissions process.

A helpful app and website to teach mindfulness, meditation and de-stressing methods to young children.

A charity organisation helping young people coping with mental health.

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