Help with getting ready for school
- DO talk to them about the idea of school – tell them about your own positive school experiences and find out any specific concerns they have about not having mum or dad around.
- DO attend settling-in days to help them to feel more relaxed – they’ll be able to meet the teacher and experience the classroom environment. Point out things they will be able to enjoy next time they come to school, such as the playground.
- DO help them find a familiar face if your child isn’t starting school with friends from their existing nursery or preschool.
- DO arrange a meet up - ask among local friends to see who has a child starting the same school and arrange meet ups if you can, like a picnic or a visit to the local playground.
- DO teach them ‘self care’ – like undressing and dressing themselves for PE – practice this over the summer with clothing that has zips and buttons.
- DO teach them how to eat independently with cutlery, get them chopping and slicing their food as much as possible.
- DO toilet train them (again!) so they know how and when they can ask to use the toilet, how to wipe up and wash their hands properly.
- DO practice counting up to 10 in your daily activities, as this forms the core of maths learning in the first year of school and start looking at basic sums, using practical items around the house.
- DO introduce books and stories so your little one can see how letters correspond to sounds and words to sentences. Sharing stories and pointing out specific sounds is a gentle way to introduce this.
- DO teach them to recognise their name so they can find their coat peg or spot the name label on their jumper in a pile of others.
- DO see using apps as a positive to help – we all worry about too much screen time but good quality, well designed apps can be an engaging way to learn.
- DO encourage basic etiquette, namely taking turns and listening when others speak.
- DO practice sitting still! Practice for half an hour at first and introduce sedentary activities, for example, completing a jigsaw puzzle, to help with this.
- DO role play to help your child to feel comfortable approaching and talking to their teachers and to not be intimidated.
- DO take time to reassure them of any anxieties, even if you’re feeling worried yourself!
How Parents in Touch can help
Your child should be happy and relaxed about starting at school. On Parents in Touch there are pages which will help you and your child achieve this. It is a good idea to start preparing your child by meeting other children who will be in the same class. Remember it may be a worrying time for you so make sure you have the support of ‘Mums’ in the same situation. At this link you will find suggestions and ideas for both you and your child.
All the papers below have loads more ideas. Try them and see how much fun you can have with your child!
Four years old at last
Getting ready to read
Finger rhymes play and enjoy
Our worksheet on 'Help with getting your child ready for school' has activities you can do with your child, as well as the entire text of this article.
Use these papers as ideas to enjoy with your child.
Animal pictures to read and colour
Numbers 1 to 4
Numbers and counting
Introduction to numbers
Children love stories and will enjoy books such as Spot, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Handa's Surprise.
Here are some ideas to help with phonics. Books to help with phonics.
Draw and colour
Animal sounds used to teach phonics
Phonic picture cards a-e
Phonic actions for g,o,u,l,f and b
Children should be encouraged to enjoy playing with one another. They have to learn to share, to be sympathetic and wait to take their turn. School is much more enjoyable when children have lots of friends, are invited to tea, parties and sleepovers.
We hope your child has a successful and happy time at school.
If you have a little one starting school, this is the perfect book for you to share together to alleviate any worries and give the opportunity to talk through what will happen. Lily and Blue Kangaroo have a very special friendship - they do everything together. And when Lily starts school, in the eighth title in this hugely popular series, the inseparable duo starting at a new school with surprising results. When Lily starts at a new school she asks Blue Kangaroo to come too. Lily thinks Blue Kangaroo is worried about going but, secretly, he can’t wait to explore and try new things – which is just as well, because the fun lasts even longer than he expected…