Annalise Stephens
WRITTEN BY
Annalise Stephens
School Counsellor
15 February, 2022

Fostering independence in our Primary-school students

As children grow, we help them to develop greater age-appropriate independence; they gradually learn important life skills such as decision-making, time-management and social skills. They learn how to live and work with others, and they learn how to make safe choices that help them to live happier and more successful lives. 
At school, we support students to practice these skills in many different settings: in the classroom, during specialist lessons such as PE, during breaks and lunchtimes, and during LEAP activities. Our staff guide the students to think about their choices, and how to learn and work safely and collaboratively
Annalise Stephens
School Counsellor
Research shows that children who are guided to become more independent experience wide-ranging and long-lasting benefits, such as:
  • self-reliance and perseverance to push through challenges,
  • greater confidence and self-esteem,
  • better social skills and healthier relationships.
At school, we support students to practice these skills in many different settings: in the classroom, during specialist lessons such as PE, during breaks and lunchtimes, and during LEAP activities. Our staff guide the students to think about their choices, and how to learn and work safely and collaboratively.  
 
At home, here are some ideas to help your children develop independence:
  • allow children to make age-appropriate choices for the family (e.g. meal planning and/or entertainment options),
  • ensure children have chores that enable them to contribute to the household (e.g. making their beds, sweeping the floors, washing dishes, feeding pets),
  • allow children to experience natural, healthy consequences for their actions (e.g. if they do not complete their chores, withhold part/all of their allowance),
  • praise children for taking greater responsibility and practicing new skills.
For more ideas about how to support your children’s growing independence, please chat with their teachers so that we can all be working together – at home and at school – towards the same goals. The joy of achievement and growth awaits!