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Preparing for school


For those of you who have children starting school in September, you may be concerned about how ready they will be for school following lockdown. First, do bear in mind that when your child joins Reception class, they don’t start learning from the National Curriculum. In that year, they are still learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage which forms the foundations of our work at N. Although the sense of challenge and the structure of the day may be increased, the principles of what they are learning remain. Additionally, due to the unique circumstances of the pandemic, schools will really focus on your child’s emotional wellbeing, which is the most important aspect of any transition.

Top tips for preparing your child for school

  • Support your child in developing independence skills, including being able to get dressed and undressed, learning to carry a tray (if your child’s school serves lunch on tray), being toilet trained and being able to last through a school day without a nap.
  • After your child’s first month back at nursery, we will assess their learning and development in all areas of the EYFS – if there are any concerns, we’ll work together on these.
  • We will support your child to learn to segment and blend sounds – this is a better starting point for learning to read than diving straight into learning the letters and allows for more rapid reading and writing development. If you’d like to understand a little more about phonics, this video is a great starting point and this video helps you to learn the phonetic pronunciation of the sounds.
  • Support the development of your child’s physical skills as a precursor to writing skills. A good focus is on forming shapes on a large scale, before putting pencil to paper and focusing on pre-writing shapes, including anti-clockwise circles, straight, wavy and zig-zag lines.
  • Give your child regular opportunities to solve problems, work with numbers, shapes and use other useful concepts such as measurement, capacity and size. Particularly helpful focuses include being able to correctly count small groups of objects, confident recognition of numerals 0-10, and an understanding of one more and one less, to form the basis of addition and subtraction which they will go on to learn at school.
  • The most important focus is emotional readiness, particularly with the current context. Explore feelings about the move to school and explore things such as what the uniform looks like together, look at photos of the school/teachers and try to walk past the school regularly if this is possible.
  • Read books about starting school such as – ‘Little Owl’s First Day’ by Debi Gliori & Alison Brown; ‘Starting School’ by Allan Ahlberg & Janet Ahlberg; ‘Charlie and Lola: I Am Too Absolutely Small For School’ by Lauren Child; ‘All You Need to Know Before You Start School’ by Felicity Brooks & Marina Aizen; ‘Usborne First Experiences: Going to School’.
  • Do not hesitate to chat with the nursery team about your child’s readiness for school and please do stay in touch.