It's a scene played out around the world - children wearing crisp new uniforms, full bags on their shoulders, their faces wrinkled up with the trepidation of their first day at school. While pupils in some schools, including the Singapore International School and Hong Kong International School, have already made this journey in the last fortnight, the majority of new students will do so in the days ahead, with the academic year beginning on Monday. Schools will have made great efforts to remove first-day jitters. Some, like Yew Chung International School and the Singapore school, have invited new pupils to visit beforehand. Many operate buddy systems, with older pupils guiding the younger ones in their first weeks. Parents evenings to be held in the coming weeks should allay parental concerns and prepare them to support their children in the months ahead. Shirley Mead, co-principal of Yew Chung's primary school, and clinical psychologist Michael Tsang, offer the following tips to parents to help ensure their children start their school careers without tears. The unfamiliarity of the school regime can be reduced by preparing children beforehand, such as teaching them how to dress in their uniforms and tie their laces, organising their school bags and buying stationery. Children can also be shown the school and the route there. On the first day, parents should introduce their child to their teacher, and reassure them that they will be back at the end of the school day. They should also talk with children about their feelings. Parents should not be surprised if their children exhibit uncharacteristic behaviour during the first weeks of term. Signs of anxiety could include bed-wetting or angry and irritable behaviour. Some who came from less secure environments may take longer to settle. 'The most important thing is to acknowledge that it's okay to have these feelings,' Dr Tsang said.