IT can be a daunting time when your little one goes off to school for the first time but there are things parents and carers can do to make the transition a little easier.

Council bosses have released a guide that parents can use to help their child to become school ready.

The first step can be encouraging them to practice practical skills such as using a knife and fork, putting on their own coat and shoes, and going to the toilet independently.

Encouraging your child to become more independent can be a great place to start.

Teaching them to carry their own bag and hanging up their coat can make a difference in the classroom.

While children aren't expected to be able to read before they begin school – learning to recognise their name written down can help them to identify their school peg and labelled clothing which could help reduce mix-ups.

Practicing basic social skills can also help.

Finally, starting school can be a scary time for children (and adults too) so having a talk with your child about the fun they will have or the new friends they will make can reassure them and dispel their fears.

Coun Trevor Cave, cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, said: “Starting school for the first time can feel like a huge step for children and parents and often brings excitement and nerves in equal measures.

"Before you know it, they’ll be settled into school life enjoying wonderful learning experiences but it’s always a good idea to prepare them to help them feel more confident and comfortable when they start.

“Our #schoolready campaign shares lots of ideas about how to prepare your child physically, emotionally and socially which will go a long way in helping your child develop, grow and thrive.

“I’d like to wish all the excited, eager school starters lots of luck and happiness as they start their exciting school journey.”