Top Tips for starting ‘Big School’

Starting ‘Big school’ for the first time can be an exciting yet daunting and sometimes emotional experience for both children and parents. With the new school year fast approaching Mrs Chalmers, Head of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Meoncross School has put together some ‘top tips’ to help parents prepare for this important milestone- The Reception Year. 

  • Be positive and try not to let your child pick up on any emotions or anxiety you may have. 
  • Even if your child has attended Nursery children find the daily routines at school very tiring, particularly in the first few months whilst adjusting to full time schooling.  
  • Children progress at different rates and can sometimes be almost a year apart in age, so try not to compare them with other children or siblings. 
  • Like us, children have different strengths and things they find more difficult. The teachers at school will support your child on these areas. 
  • Encourage your child to be independent. Support them to learn to dress and undress, do zips and buttons and put their own shoes and socks on. Using a knife and fork for eating, cutting food and practising going to the toilet independently are also important.  
  • Create excitement by choosing new school shoes together and trying on their new uniform and buying a book bag! 
  • Name everything! This is not just for the benefit of the teacher but, so your child can identify their belongings when they all look the same.  

Parents often ask what they can do to support formal learning before their child starts school……. 

  • Share lots of books and stories together. Starting school books and stories are a great idea in the weeks before school begins. 
  • Find opportunities for counting and recognising numbers; counting stairs and cars in the street and recognising numbers on doors etc 
  • Sing songs and rhymes. 
  • Encourage your child to take an interest in the world around them and have lots of first-hand experiences and days out – farm, library, beach, woods etc 
  • Listen to your child’s responses and encourage further discussion. Ask questions and answer theirs!  
  • Play games together. Children love role-play games taking on a character role (shop keeper, doctor etc) 
  • Practice developing their fine motor skills – drawing, chalking, tracing, threading etc 
  • Practice recognising their own name. 
  • Talk about sounds and the sounds letters make. Mmmm for mummy.  
  • If your child is ready, practise writing their name (not in capitals).  
  • One last top tip – Talk to your child about their day but not straight away, and to avoid the classic ‘nothing’ or ‘I don’t know’ response, perhaps ask them what their favourite part of the day was, or what they enjoyed the most.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory curriculum for the Reception year. You will be able to see what your child is doing at school through their online learning journal Tapestry, meeting with your child’s form teacher and supporting them with any homework.  

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