Being School Ready
Starting school is an exciting time but can also be an anxious time for children and parents, especially in the current Covid 19 situation where many of your children will not currently be attending pre-school.
You may be worried that your child won't be school ready or will be behind their peers, but please do not worry! Within any year group starting school we always have children with varying interests, previous experiences and areas that they still need develop. All children progress at their own level and at their own pace.
To support you in getting your child ready for September we have provided a list of things that it would be helpful for your child to be able to do when they start school;
· To express their needs appropriately e.g. say if they need the toilet, if they are hurt or unwell
· Use the toilet independently (although we do understand some children will need some support in certain circumstances)
· Wash and dry hands
· Recognise and put on their own coat
· Put their own shoes on (helping your child to identify the correct feet also helps)
· Eat their lunch properly using a knife and fork
· Have a try at dressing themselves (we appreciate that some parts of clothing may be a little tricky and still need some support)
· 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 done now to build a strong foundation for supporting your child for when they do start doing 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 to just chat about things you see in your garden or on your daily exercise, 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 and Andy’s Wild Workouts of CCBC are great for this). Further activities to develop gross motor skills could be games involving throwing and catching, large chalk drawing, homemade 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.
Click on the links below to other documents that have been created by Hampshire County Council and PACEY with more tips and ideas on ways that you can help prepare your child for starting school in September.