Preparing Your Child for School
For some of you this may be your first child who is starting school, and for others it might be your second, third or even fourth child starting school, but there is no doubt that for every parent it is a bit scary letting your child start ‘big’ school, and especially during the current climate we find ourselves in. Please try not to worry, there are lots of ways you can help prepare your child for school and we as a school will do everything we can to help the transition into school be as smooth as possible.
The first thing you can do is to talk to your child about starting school and try to be as positive as you can about it. You may be worrying about it but try not to let your child see this. Visit the school website together to show them all the exciting things they will be doing when they come to school. Show them the photographs on the website of the different areas in the school, especially the Year R classroom and playground. When it is possible walk past the school and explain to them that this is where they will be going in September and that they will have lots of fun.
The key is to talk to them positively about the school and all the fun they will have when they start!
There are also some practical things you can do at home to help prepare your child for school:
- Encourage them to go to the toilet by themselves and to clean themselves
- Practise using a knife, fork and spoon ready for school dinners and encourage your child to feed themselves
- Let them put their coat on themselves and encourage them to do it up themselves
- Practise choosing food by giving them a choice at dinner or for a snack. e.g. do you want an apple or a banana? Do you want peas or sweetcorn?
- Gradually take away any sleeps they have during the day ready for them being in school for a full day
- Get your child into a routine, especially for bedtime. Children should be having between 9 to 12 hours sleep a day, so they will need to be in bed early enough to be up and ready to be in school by 9.05 am every morning
- Read with your child, share a book with them every day, there are some books shared by teachers from our school on our website that you could share with your child
- Talk with your child as you do everyday things, this is really important to help your child understand new words
- Count with your child - you could count the number of cars you see or the number of steps as you go up and down the stairs. Point out numbers and shapes in the environment and your home
- Sing simple songs and rhymes with your child. If you don’t like singing yourself you can always get nursery rhymes and number songs on the internet for your child to join in with
- Encourage your child to tidy away their toys once they have played with them, this will help prepare them for when they have to do it at school
- Try and teach them phrases like, ‘Can I play?’ and ‘Can I play with that after you?’ so they can use them when in school. Try playing turn-taking games to get them used to sharing and taking turns with others
- Provide daily physical activity for your child to develop co-ordination skills and strong muscles. Finger exercises such as rolling, squeezing and playing with dough are also useful to help develop the muscles needed for writing
We know it is easier and quicker to do many of these things for your child, but remember you won’t be at school to do it for them and if they are confident doing these things themselves then they will be less fretful of leaving you!
Below are some websites that you may find useful to help you and your child prepare for school.