Getting Ready to Start School
Being School Ready
To support you in getting your child ready for the start of school in September, we have provided a list of things that would be helpful for your child to be able to do before they start.
- To express their needs appropriately e.g. say if they need the toilet, if they are hurt or unwell.
- Use the toilet independently (this does include wiping their own bottom)
- Wash and dry hands
- Recognise and put on their own coat.
- Sit up at a table.
- Put their shoes on the correct feet.
- Eat their lunch properly using a knife and fork (we will support the children with cutting up their school dinner but we do expect them to eat with a fork and not their fingers).
- Have a try at dressing themselves (we appreciate that socks are tricky)
- Sit sensibly to listen to a story or a piece of music (for up to ten minutes)
- Being able to take turns when talking – not talk over someone else.
- Share and take turns.
- Tidy up things they have used.
- Lose at a game (this might seem a little strange, but many children come to school never having lost at a game due to very kind family members letting them win. It can then come as quite a shock when they get to school and another child wins and some children don’t know how to cope with this first experience of losing).
- Recognise and read their name (this does not mean they have to be able to write it).
You will notice that this list does not include anything about writing or counting. Obviously if your child is interested in these things then it is great to encourage them, but we do not expect all children to come into school already reading and writing. However there are many early skills that can be practiced now to build a strong foundation for supporting your child when they do start reading, writing and maths.
Early skills to support future learning-
- Developing language skills – so much of the Early Years Curriculum is language based, it is really important that every child is able to communicate and develop a good vocabulary. Great ways to help with this are; just chat about things you see in your garden or on your daily trips out, sing songs and rhymes, share books together or introduce a new word each day.
- Develop gross motor skills (big body movements) and a strong core – lots of large outdoor play and climbing opportunities will strengthen gross motor skills. Doing yoga activities will support a strong core (cosmic kids yoga on youtube is great for this). Further activities to develop gross motor skills could be games involving throwing and catching, large chalk drawing, home made obstacle courses.
- Jigsaw puzzles – good for pattern spotting and supporting hand eye coordination. Jigsaws are great for developing pre reading skills.
- Singing nursery rhymes – we know children respond really well to music and they love joining in with pop songs. However traditional nursery rhymes are great for helping children understand the rhythm of language and begin to hear the difference between sounds. This will really support them when they start to learn letter sounds at school.
- Develop fine motor skills (small body movements) through activities such as playdough, baking, threading, doing up buttons, using scissors.