As the new school year draws closer, your child will likely begin to feel a mix of excitement and nerves as they begin to look forward to this new chapter of their lives.

Starting school is a big step for both parents and children and so to help with that transition we have provided some tips, hints and fun activities to hopefully help with transition preparations.

In April and May the Junior Infant class teachers and Special Education teachers will be conducting visits to many of the local preschools to see your child in their preschool setting as part of the process of easing their transition to primary school and to help with the planning of supports needed for the new school year.  Please note it is not feasible to visit every preschool so in some cases we just make a phonecall to the preschool.

We shall be holding an Information Evening for parents of new Junior Infants on Wednesday 15th May at 7pm in the School Hall. Parents will have the opportunity to meet the Principal, Mrs Lawless, the current Junior Infant Class Teachers, Miss Treadwell and Miss Hennessy, and representatives from our Parents’ Association.

We shall also be holding an Open Session for the new Junior Infants in school on Friday 31st May from 2-3pm. This will be an opportunity for the children to play in the classroom setting, and for parents to join the other new parents, and representative from our PA for a cup of coffee and a chat, prior to the children starting school in August.

We intend to invite half the class in to school on the first day of term and the other half in on the second day then the whole class will be in from the third day of term. This will enable the class teachers to get to know your children and it will hopefully be less daunting for them to be in a smaller group on their first day. For the two weeks of term Junior infants will finish at 12 midday, after which they will finish at 1:40 pm.

The calendar for the new school year, and the start date of the new school term at the end of August is still to be finalised but we hope to have it soon and will post it on this page.

If you have not already done so, please consider joining our school Facebook page.

We look forward to getting to know you and your child and to working with you.

Transition to Primary School

Information from the NCCA on Helping Your Child in Junior Infants.

Downloadable School Documents for Junior Infant Parents:

  1. School Calendar
  2. Junior Infant Resource List 2024 (Available Soon)
  3. Parent Information Booklet (Available soon)
  4. School Uniform

It would help greatly if your child is able to:

  • Button and unbutton a coat and hang it up
  • Put on and take off their own jumpers
  • Manage hats, scarfs and gloves
  • Use the toilet without help and manage pants and buttons
  • Know how to flush the toilet and wash hands, without having to be told
  • Use a tissue when necessary.
  • Share toys and playthings with others and ‘take turns’
  • Tidy up and put away playthings
  • Remain contentedly for a few hours in the home of a relation, friend or neighbour. If children have had this experience, then separation from parents when they start school will not cause any great anxiety
  • Manage their own shoes. Velcro is the best option for this
  • Open and close his/her own lunchbox
  • Undress and change themselves in the unlikely event of a toileting accident

Please ensure that all items of school uniform, lunch boxes and bottles are labelled. The children will need a schoolbag big enough to fit an A4 folder, lunch box and drinks bottle. The children will be provided with pencils and crayons in school, they do not need a pencil case. Please practise using lunch boxes and bottles during the summer and please ensure bottles that are sent in are leak proof.

Social skills are very important. Our goal is to foster the development of good interpersonal and mixing skills. We place a high value on good manners and expect all children to be able to know when to use “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me,” “I’m sorry,” “Hello,” “Good morning,” “Goodbye” etc.

Velcro shoes must be worn unless able to tie their own laces.

Oral Language Development

It is important that a child’s ability to talk is as advanced as possible.  It is through speech that children communicate their thoughts and feelings, needs and desires, curiosity and wonder.

How You Can Help

  • Talk to your child naturally and casually about things of interest that you may be doing at home, in the shop, in the car, etc.  Remember that all the time children are absorbing the language they hear around them.  It takes them a while to make it their own and use it to express their needs.
  • Try to make time to listen when your child wants to tell you something that is important to him/her.
  • Introduce a child gently to Why?  How?  When?  Where?  If?  etc.  Asking questions demands more advanced language structures.


Ability to read is the foundation for all future learning.  However, learning to read is a gradual process and much preparatory work must be completed before a child is introduced to a first reader.  We very deliberately do not rush or push children into reading.  We get them ready for it over an extended period.  Reading is meant to be enjoyable.  It should never start as a chore for the small child.

How You Can Help

  • Have attractive, colourful books in the home.
  • Join Dundalk Library.  We are very lucky to have such an excellent library in our locality.
  • Read a variety of stories from time to time.  Children will begin to associate these wonderful tales with books and reading.
  • Children have their own particular favourite stories that they never tire of hearing.  Repeat them over and over again and gradually get your child to tell you the story.
  • You must gradually convey that books are precious things.  They should be minded, handled carefully and put away safely.
  • Look at the pictures and talk about what they say.
  • Read nursery rhymes.
  • Sing the alphabet song with your child, so that he/she has at least heard of the letters.  If he/she knows what each one looks like, all the better.
  • Focus on your child’s progress, not other children’s progress.  Don’t compare.
  • Above all, don’t push with early reading.  You may turn your child against it for evermore.

First, a Word of Warning:

Math for the small child has nothing to do with “sums,” figures, tables or adding and subtracting.  These will all come much later.  Math is really part of the language a child uses in understanding and talking about certain things in his/her daily experience e.g.

  • Colours – black, white, red, green, etc.
  • Prepositions (telling position), over/under, before/after, inside/outside etc.
  • Matching/Sorting–objects of the same size/colour/texture/shape etc.
  • Patterns
  • Odd One Out – difference in size/colour etc.

How You Can Help

  • In the course of your ordinary daily routine in the home, in the shop, in the neighbourhood you could try to use suitable opportunities to casually introduce the math vocabulary referred to above, e.g.  How many cakes?  The glass is full/empty.  We turn left at the lights, etc.
  • Children associate certain numbers with particular things – two hands, four wheels, five fingers etc.
  • Counting – one, two, three, four, etc.
  • Setting the table.
  • Drawing attention to shapes in the home and the environment.
  • The child’s understanding of math is best developed by handling, investigating and using real objects.  This has been his/her natural method of learning since babyhood.


Making letters on paper is not easy for small children.  They must learn to hold the pencil properly and make regular shapes.  Their hand and finger muscles are only gradually developing at this stage.  They must develop the ability to get hand and eye working together (hand-eye coordination).  This is very important.

How You Can Help

Encourage your child to manipulate toys like:

  • Jigsaws, Lego, beads to thread etc.
  • Plasticine (Marla) to make his/her own shapes.
  • A colouring book and thick crayons. (In school, we use chubby crayons for most of the first year).
  • Sheets of paper that he/she can cut up with a safe scissors.

When your child begins to use a pencil make sure that he/she holds it correctly from the beginning.  It is difficult to change bad habits. Special pencils are available for early users.  Pencils are provided in school for school use.  Children may be making block capital letters at home even before coming to school.  This is fine, but when they start making lower case letters at school, please try to encourage them to discontinue the use of capitals and practise the new system.  Children who begin to show left hand dominance should be allowed to hold the crayon/pencil in the left hand.

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How You Can Help

We would appreciate if you could support us in this by discussing good hand and respiratory hygiene with your child at home.

You might also want to play them the following video:

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Here are some links you might find helpful:

  1. Information from The Department of Education and Skills: – Ready For School.
  2. NCCA leaflet for parents:  Mo Scéal:  Moving from Preschool to Primary.
  3. Transitioning to Primary School:  Occupational Therapy Tips and Strategies
  4. NCSE:  Preparing Young Children For Primary School
  5. NCCA report:  Transitioning from Preschool to Primary School