What Should Go Into Your P1 Child’s School Bag?


What Should Go Into Your P1 Child’s School Bag?

Essentials, life skills, and attitudes

By June Yong | 28 December 2021

Is your child starting primary one next year?

What are the essentials that you must pack into their school bag?

Here are some of the usual items your child needs for school:

  • A filled water bottle
  • A healthy snack for break time
  • Wallet (with at least $1.50-$2 for buying recess food)
  • Personal organiser or handbook
  • Pencil case with pencils, eraser, ruler and sharpener
  • A storybook (to help occupy them during periods of waiting)

Covid essentials:

  • An extra mask
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Wet wipes (for cleaning hands or their desk)
  • Tissues

But is that all there is to starting your child on the right note for their first day of school?

What about skills, values and attitudes that often go unnoticed, but will serve our children far beyond the first few weeks of their formal academic journey?

Here is a visual reminder of the skills and values to build in your child that you can download and print out.

Click on the images to view them in full size

Essential Life Skills for a Primary Schooler:

Starting their primary school journey can be daunting for preschoolers. How can we set them up with the skills and attitudes they need for success?

Here are a few key A-star skills to begin instilling in your young ones.

  1. Paying attention in class

    Most preschoolers are used to having a teacher to guide them in class, but classes will now be bigger than what they are used to, with possibly more distractions as well.

    It can be challenging for their energetic bodies to sit still and to keep their eyes on their teacher. As they may not be able to grasp what it means to “pay attention”, you can break down into behaviours, such as making eye contact with the teacher or looking at the whiteboard, and not talking when the teacher is teaching.

    This builds the skill of self-control!

  2. Packing their own bag

    Get your child involved in packing their bags and checking that they have the stationery or books they need for school. Put them in charge of sharpening their pencils and clearing out their unnecessary stuff from their bags, or rinsing their snack boxes and refilling them. If it seems overwhelming, you can focus on one new task a week.

    This builds the skill of independence!

  3. Making a new friend

    This isn’t just about saying "hello" or "what cartoons or books do you like", but also paying attention to what your friend likes, what they may prefer to do (during recess), and being flexible to give and take.

    This builds the vital skill of human connection!

  4. Noting down homework

    Most schools provide students with a personal organiser or notebook for this purpose. Teach your child to note down instructions, especially those relating to what to bring tomorrow/homework.

    This builds their organisational skills!

  5. Managing money

    Your child will be making his own food and money decisions during recess in school so they will need to differentiate between the various coin denominations and be familiar with counting money.

    You can practise by setting up a simple mock-up canteen at home and letting them buy and pay for his chosen snack!

    This builds their money management skills!

  6. Asking for help

    When your child is stuck with a situation (whether it’s losing a wallet or water bottle), and needs help, do they know who to ask?

    It is good to run through such common scenarios with your child so they have an idea of what to do.

    This builds the skill of resourcefulness!

© 2021 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.


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