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Starting Reception Year? Here’s what you need to know

Published by Isbi Schools on Friday 3rd of September 2021 12:30:11 PM

When your child begins Reception Year at school, preparation is about so much more than just buying and labelling uniform. Here are some tips to help you get your child’s school career off to a good start:

Social preparation is more important than educational preparation.

Teachers are fully expecting children to begin Reception class unable to write their own names or recite the alphabet; this is what they learn in school. Instead of focusing on letters and numbers, it’s more helpful to all concerned (including yourself) to focus on social and self care skills. Things like going to the toilet without help, cutting up and eating a school dinner on their own or putting their coat on and taking it off unaided will all help your child’s teacher to focus more time on learning in the classroom.

Ensure pens and pencils are readily available at home.

As your child begins to learn letters at school, provide them with plenty of opportunities to practice. Often if they’re just left to their own devices with a pencil and a piece of paper children will naturally want to try out whatever they’ve been learning in school lately.

Read lots together.

Children will often come home with a reading book very quickly, and so begins the journey of sounding out letters and words together. If your child is already used to sitting down next to you with a book, this will make the process easier for both of you.

Practice getting dressed and undressed.

Children can find buttons and zippers tricky, not to mention shoes and socks. If they need to get changed for PE lessons at school, they may find the getting changed at either side of the lesson takes longer than the actual PE! It’s also useful to practice buttons and things when it comes to going to the toilet.

Work on independence at mealtimes.

Whether it’s cutting up and eating their school dinner or simply opening their lunchbox or water bottle without help, these are important skills when it comes to school. If your child is able to cope on their own with these things at lunchtime, they’ll have more time to play once they’ve finished eating - and you may find that less of their lunch ends up on that brand new school uniform!

Socialise with other parents.

Parents will  often set up a WhatsApp group or other means of communication, which can be really useful for things like reminders of dress-up days or other school events. As well as this, it allows you to contact other children’s parents to organise play dates after school or during the school holidays. 

Prepare for tiredness!

Even if your child has been going to preschool or nursery, Reception year can be a big leap in terms of activity and learning. For their first few weeks they are likely to be quite tired and it may be worth putting a hold on other activities while they settle into this new, more demanding routine. 

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