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Joining Us

Preparing For School:

Many parents like to help their children at home so that when they arrive at school they feel confident and relaxed. You may find the following points a useful guide:

Please clearly mark all clothes so that they can easily be recognised.  It would also be a great help if your child could dress and undress and put on shoes. Slip on plimsolls are the easiest to manage.

Encourage your child to use the toilet independently.

If your child is going to have school meals please help them to use a knife and fork properly.

To develop speaking and listening skills, encourage your child to talk about imaginative play, for example dressing up and pretending to be a monster or telling a make believe story.

To help develop reading, you could help your child to understand that print, in books and elsewhere in their surroundings, has meaning.

Encourage recognition of their own name and an understanding that the words in the book provide the story.

Any time spent looking at books with an adult and talking about the pictures, television programmes, family outings etc. is extremely useful.

The children learn letters as phonic sounds, so it is best to teach, “a” for astronaut, “b” for basket, “c” for cat rather than the letter names. Games such as ‘I Spy’ are helpful in teaching these sounds.

As a beginning to writing children should be trying to communicate meaning by drawing pictures and forming isolated letters, or even words and phrases.

If you want to help your child to write their name please use a capital letter for the first letter only and not for the whole name.

You can help your child in Mathematics by providing opportunities to develop skills in number (counting, adding and subtracting); sorting, sequencing and ordering everyday objects; making predictions whenever an opportunity arises and recognising shapes in the world around.

You do not need special equipment to help in this way, it can all be done with things in the home and in the environment outside. For example, a conversation with your child whilst waiting for a bus might include comparisons of short and tall people.

Mathematics is best learnt in a real situation, rather than sitting your child down and expecting them to work in a formal learning session. Grasping number skills is always easiest when there is an element of fun in the activity. Bearing these points in mind, encourage as many of the following skills as possible:

  • compare objects to see which is longest, tallest, thickest
  • talk about a set of things, for example, “Which is the longest pencil?”
  • predict which of two objects will be the heavier
  • count, read, write and order numbers up to at least 10
  • know that counting from 1 - 10 means there are 10 things.

Encourage your child to hold a pencil or crayon in the correct way rather than as a “fist”.  This makes writing and drawing easier in later life.  They will be expected to use scissors in some activities, so it would be most helpful if they knew how to use them when they came to school.

Whilst preparing your child for school don’t forget that play, affection, independence, friendship and time to do whatever they choose, even when that is nothing at all, are also important parts of every child’s personal development.