Ripon knitters make teddies to help children joining first year of school
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Last updated Jul 14, 2023
Ripon knitting group with handmade teddies
Highfield Prep School Head Girl with the Ripon Community Poppy Project Knitting Group

A Ripon knitting group has given hand-made teddies to children entering reception this September.

The teddies were given to children joining Highfield Prep School to help ease the transition to primary school.

The teddies, which were knitted in the colours of the Harrogate school’s uniform, were made by a team from the Ripon Community Poppy Project in June.

For many children, major changes to their routines and environments, such as moving to primary school, can be very stressful. They are also particularly prone to separation anxiety at this stage.

Extra reassurance is often needed to help ease these distressing emotions, especially for socially anxious and neurodivergent children.

Head of Early Years & Foundation Stage at the school, Kathryn Wilson, came up with the idea to hand out teddies to comfort new pupils and said:

“We wanted to give the children something to take home over the Summer to encourage them to talk about joining Reception with their parents.

“They can also take the teddies on adventures over the Summer and then come and tell us all about them in September.

Hazel Barker, a friend of Ms Wilson and one of the knitting circle’s leaders, said the group was “delighted” to help out

She commented:

“We get involved with all sorts of community projects. Because I have known Kathryn such a long time, it felt like a special request we could accommodate.”

Ms Wilson added:

“We also hope that it will be a comfort for the children to bring their teddies in with them in September on their first day at ‘big school’.”


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