During the year before they start school it is a good idea to build in some opportunities for them to develop the skills they need to be ready for school such as independence and self-care, social and emotional skills, language and communication and approach to learning.
School readiness actually starts from the day a child is born and most children will attend a nursery or have some pre-school experience so will be acquiring a lot of the skills that will help them when they start school. However, here are some of the main points that parents and carers should think about when preparing their child for school:
Getting on with others - Talk to your child about friendships and feelings. When reading stories, talk to them about the feelings of the characters. Have friends over to play or take them to groups with other children.
Looking after myself - Give them time to try and get dressed by themselves. Support them to be toilet trained by the start of school. Help them to learn how to use a knife and fork. Talk to them about healthy choices with food and drink and get them to try a range of different foods.
Being active - Make sure they get a chance to run, skip, dance and jump and be active every day. Try to provide opportunities for them to climb, throw a ball, use a scooter or tricycle.
Listening and attention - Read stories with your child daily.Give them simple instructions to follow. Play board games with them or Snap.
Speaking clearly - Switch off your TV/Radio/Phone/ Computer and have a conversation. Sing Nursery rhymes every day. Use interesting words with your child.
A love to learn - Find out what your child is interested in and show interest yourself. Go outside and explore their world - go at their pace - do not rush. Have fun and laugh.
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their development and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas.
If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner:
School admissions – You can find information regarding school admissions in Somerset. http://www.somerset.gov.uk/education-learning-and-schools/choosing-a-school/apply-to-start-school
Alfred the Mouse goes to school - This is a website that supports daunting transitions to primary schools in Taunton, Somerset. www.alfredthemouse.co.uk
EYFS parent leaflet – This gives information about the framework your Early Years provider will be following. http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2014/08/EYFS_Parents_Guide-amended.pdf