How can you support your child to be ready for school?
Prepare your child as much as you can in advance
Whether it’s reading a book about starting school, wearing their new uniform around the house or shopping for new equipment – take time to talk about starting school and get your child excited.
Familiarise and socialise
Do what you can to familiarise your child with the school as much as possible before they start. Play dates with soon-to-be class mates is a great way of getting them ready for September.
Make sure you allow your child lots of time to practice getting changed by themselves ready for when they begin their PE sessions in school. It is also important for children to be confident going to the toilet and washing their hands. This includes wiping after going to the toilet.
However you choose to label the uniform, make sure you include a label in everything. Also stock up on some spare uniform – reception class can be a messy time! The children are required to keep a spare change of clothes on their peg in case of any accidents.
Be positive and calm
Children pick up on anxiety, so if you seem worried they will sense it and begin to worry too. Often if parents are a bit anxious dropping them off in the morning then the children will begin to feel anxious and may get upset. The best thing you can do in this situation is to smile and not drag out the goodbyes for too long. If your child is upset when you leave school we promise to ring you as soon as we have settled them so you are not worrying about them throughout the day.
How can you support your child to be ready to learn at school?
Share lots of stories together. Get your child excited to begin learning to read by talking about stories, acting them out, doing funny voices to make them laugh. You can talk about things like rhyming words, sounds that make up words, and how words put together make sentences.
Start recognising numbers when you see them out and about, your door number, the number on the bus, numbers on the TV remote. Begin counting objects in the home for example “We are 4 people in our house, can you count 4 cups out for everybody?” Encourage slow and steady counting by touching or moving each object when you count. This will help them to become accurate in their counting.
Draw lots of pictures and get your child used to using a pencil. It’s important to build up their muscles for writing by going to the park, playing with playdough, and playing ‘fiddly’ games which gets their muscles working. Your child might even be interested to write their name – but please encourage them to write it in lowercase letters rather than capitals as this can be harder to correct.