Your child has got the primary school place that you’ve been waiting for. You’ve bought their uniform, and stocked their pencil case, but how else can you help them to prepare for such a big change? Starting primary school is exciting, but can also be scary for children. With your help, your child can start school on their best foot and get the most out of it.
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Children in the reception class will be expected to know the basics of looking after themselves. Before you send them off for their first day, make sure they can get dressed by themselves. Dealing with buttons, zips, and taking your jacket on and off can be fiddly for little hands. They should also be able to eat with a knife and fork without help, and go to the toilet independently.
Help Them Learn About Making Friends
Making friends is very beneficial for kids. Children who have already been to pre-school or a nursery will already know how to socialise, so encourage them to talk to other kids, and invite their friends over for play dates. Encourage to talk to kids they meet elsewhere too, such as at the playground or on primary school trips.
Develop Speaking And Listening Skills
School children are expected to listen to what their teacher says without interrupting them and to answer when they are spoken to. Help your child to prepare for things like this by practising the classroom setting at home. Sit down with them, their siblings or just their soft toys or dolls to make a pretend classroom, or encourage discussions at the dinner table, taking turns to listen and speak.
Teach Them To Recognise Their Name
Some children might already be able to read and write a few simple words by the time they start in Reception. Others won’t have these skills yet and will be new learners. Both are fine. If your child isn’t reading yet, it is important to make sure that they can recognise their own name when it is written down. This will help them to find their own uniform or jacket if they take it off, pick up the correct exercise book, and find their drawer, peg, or cubby in the classroom. Spend some time with your child, showing them the letters in their name and helping them to try writing their name too.
Talk Enthusiastically About School
Children’s thoughts about schools can differ quite a lot. Some kids will be excited about school and hardly able to wait to get there, whereas others might find it stressful to be away from you for the day. You can help to feel more excited and look forward to school by talking about it enthusiastically. Visit the classroom together before they start, admire the work by other pupils that are being displayed, and talk about what your child will be doing at school and who they will meet. If you’re positive, they will feel better about it.