Twin sisters Anouk and Boë Huckstep have everything ready to start school next week. The pair have their big school bags, lunchboxes and school shoes and have even been practising their letters and numbers with the reading eggs app. Their mum Hester Gascoigne has been packing their lunches at home in preparation for their first day of kindergarten. "They're really excited about us packing their bags and they've been carrying them around the house everywhere," Ms Gascoigne said. Stepping into Ainslie School for the first time will be made a little easier by having their twin sister by their side, although it may take some time for teachers and classmates to tell them apart. "The fact that they have each other is a great benefit. They're each other's best friends so they've got an inbuilt kind of support system right there that other kids don't have." Across Australia around 320,000 students will be going to school for the first time. As the first week of school approaches, early childhood education experts say its it very important for families to talk to their children about what to expect so the transition to school is as smooth as possible. Australian Catholic University deputy head of school for Canberra and regional NSW Dr Kate Highfield said these conversations build what is called a social story. "A social story is where you help a child understand the context that they're going to, or what is going to happen and what is expected," Dr Highfield said. "Anything you can do that speaks positively about school in preparation is going to be beneficial for your child as they make that transition into school." Parents can write a story about how the day will be structured, including how they will get to school, what activities they might do there and how they will get home. Dr Highfield, who was a kindergarten teacher, said children often have things that worry them about starting school. She once had a student who was terrified he wouldn't be able to open his drink bottle. Another girl was worried she wouldn't be able to manage her school dress when she had to go to the bathroom because she was used to wearing shorts. Even if these things seem trivial to adults, it's important to address these concerns so that they can concentrate on their learning. READ MORE: Dr Highfield said it was important for children to be able to maintain their energy throughout the day without needing a nap in the afternoon. Families should start getting back into a good sleep routine in the week before school returns to avoid sleepy children on the first day. "The other big thing is to go and do some practice visits. So go walk past the school. Go to the gate, look and see what you can spot," she said. Preschools and early education and care centres will likely have prepared children with visits to the school and role-playing what will happen during the school day. Dr Highfield suggests continuing this role-playing at home and to encourage your child to practice introducing themselves to new friends. Playdates with their future classmates can help them make friends before starting school. "There is no panic if your child doesn't know anyone. Then you might like to practice things like how you do an introduction, so set up the toys and practice introducing the toys." State and territory governments have plenty of resources to help parents and carers prepare for their child's first day of school. Dr Highfield recommends families read We're Excited by Shona Chapman and My first day at big school by Carly Grange, both available on the ACT Education Directorate website. It's also a big transition for parents. Ms Gascoigne was sad to see the end of the precious preschool days, but is also ready to start a new phase of life. "I'll probably shed a few tears on the day but I'm excited to get a bit of my life back actually after being a stay at home mum for five years. It'll be nice to be back to my PhD."