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Starting school

Firstly we hope you all got the school places you hoped for and that you and your children are excited to begin your new adventures in September.

 

What is 'school readiness' 

 

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage School readiness is vaguely described as “Children reaching a good level of development in the prime areas and literacy and mathematics” but we know as a school that school readiness stretches far beyond this. We know that in order to be successful learners children need strong foundations but also confidence, belief in themselves, independence, trust, secure relationships, curiosity, listening skills, creativity and social skills among others. This is why we believe it is important to highlight the characteristics of effective learning and view transition over a longer period and not just the physical move to school.

 

Starting school fun checklist

Starting School By Janet Ahlberg and Allan Ahlberg

Characteristics of effective learning from the Early Years Foundation Stag

What can I do to encourage my child to feel confident as they transition to school?

 

Below are lots of examples of ways to reassure your child and help them to face the challenges that school brings, many of these are easily achieved and some probably everyday activities in your home however it truly is sometimes the basics that make the biggest difference.

  • encourage them to get dressed themselves- this is a vital skill when getting ready for outdoor play or changing for PE
  • Praise them for effort opposed to achievement for example instead of 'Wow you made the puzzle', perhaps try 'I was really proud of how you concentrated and thought carefully when completing the puzzle', or 'I'm proud you haven't given up even though I can see it's tricky'.
  • Read often, reading with children supports both their listening and attention skills as well as vastly extending their vocabulary. Children learn 4,000 to 12,000 words a year by reading.
  • Model an interest in books by reading in front of your children. Did you know if you read for 20 minutes a day you'll read 1,800,000 words a year. Children are much more likely to become enthusiastic readers if they see you enjoy reading too.
  • One of the best ways to help children feel valued is to listen to them, explore different objects and places and join in conversations while thinking about what, why, who, where.
  • Play lots of games, this will help your child to learn turn taking, patience and social skills.
  • Maintain clear boundaries and consistent praise for good behaviour.
  • Develop motor control and balance for a range of physical activities by regularly joining in dances, garden obstacle courses, riding your bike or scooter, moving in different ways and being active.
  • Regularly explore number in everyday activities by counting groups, actions, objects, moving objects, multiple groups, taken object, anything can be counted!
  • Talk about what's going to happen so that children are expecting it and it's not a shock when September arrives. This will also help you to know if they are anxious and have any questions. Sometimes children worry about what they need to do and if there is somewhere Teddy will be safe. You can discuss these things before school so that they are looking forward to it.

The final, but perhaps most important thing you can do is play and have fun! Quality play experiences are your child's best way of learning and remember you are their world. Have fun as you enter this new chapter together, recognise yours and your child's strengths without comparing to others and explore their curiosities.

 

Helping your child be school ready

Getting ready for writing

It's important to recognise that the children's journey to becoming confident writers started long ago. When thinking about writing remember it's just as important to encourage the motivation to write as well as the physical skill itself. 

 

To support fine motor skills needed for writing regularly offer activities like:

  • throwing and catching games
  • colouring and drawing
  • cutting with scissors
  • clay and playdough
  • threading
  • crumpling a sheet of paper tightly into a ball with one hand
  • finger knitting

 

To support children's interest in writing:

  • regularly offer opportunities to write for purpose in daily routines e.g. writing your shopping list together
  • regularly offer opportunities to wright in play for example playing Drs and writing a prescription or making a ticket to go on the pretend bus
  • spot writing in different places
  • write and mark make using different materials e.g. in shaving foam, outside with chalk, stick paper under the table, paint, paint on a mirror and make funny faces, add funny hats and face paint to a photo of themselves

Getting ready for reading

 

As with writing it's important to recognise that this skill has already started long ago. Exposure to quality books will help your child build and develop their reading skill's from an early age. Reading again has many components but enjoying stories regularly can help to develop your child's love of books!

Other suggestions include:

Playing sound games e.g. I can spy a c a t, I spy something beginning with t. Remember to use the letter sounds opposed to the letter names.

Explore rhymes e.g. finding objects that rhyme or making up nonsense rhymes e.g. this teddy is called Silly Billy Tilly- he's a rhyming teddy!

Point out rhymes in stories and songs, or miss a word out, can the children fill in or change the blank

Sing often and enjoy music and instruments

Explore sounds using different objects

Play listening games- can you identify the hidden sound

Go on a sound walk

Make a sound story

 

 

 

School is only open for invited holiday club children from 8am until 3.30pm. We look forward to seeing everyone in September.
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