Copenhagen International School leaderboard

Starting School For The First Time

Published by Beachborough School on Monday 9th of October 2023

I remember my first day at school so vividly, it only seems like yesterday!

I escaped, (maybe that’s not quite the right word!), what I did was ask my teacher if I could go to the bathroom and rather than going to the loo, I bolted down the corridor to the staffroom where I found the lovely Deputy Head Teacher and enjoyed a lovely cuddle with her! I missed my mum and my little sister who I knew were at home and I didn’t want to be at big school….I wanted a hug and I wanted to go home!

Well, it didn’t take long for me to make new friends and settle into the new routines. I have many happy memories of Primary School.

Starting Reception can be daunting for parents and children, but it does mark the start of a new and exciting chapter. Like me, before you know it, your child will be making new friends, learning new skills and becoming increasingly independent.

There really is a lot to think about, and naturally as parents, we worry when our children start school. Will they make friends? Do they need to be able to read and write already? What will the other parents be like?

At Beachborough, we endeavour to make this key milestone a positive and happy experience for all involved. We invite children into school to meet teachers and become familiar with their learning environments prior to starting school. Some children come in once or twice, whilst others may need a few more visits and that is absolutely fine.

We also offer home visits to all children joining our EYFS department and we find that these have a profound impact in terms of easing the transition and helping children to settle. When children see mummy and daddy interacting positively with their teachers this helps build trust which leads to positive relationships and attachments. Sitting in a child’s lounge, completing a jigsaw puzzle, playing a game or reading a book together, creates lasting and happy memories that the children will remember on their first day at school.

Here at Beachborough, we share our five top tips for school readiness:

  1. Talk positively to your child about school and all the exciting things they are going to do. Look at the school website, look at the photographs together, talk about the school uniform and perhaps read some books together about starting school.

  2. Support your child’s independence and resist the temptation to do everything for them. As parents, we are all guilty of this, especially when time is limited, and we need to get out of the house quickly. Encourage your child to get dressed independently. Encourage using a knife and fork when eating, this will pay dividends at school mealtimes.

  3. Help your child to learn and develop social skills. Conversation and play teach vital speaking and listening skills. Turn taking through games and conversing, asking questions and encouraging your child to ask questions develops curiosity and collaboration, alongside language and communication skills.

  4. Make a start on early literacy and numeracy skills. Recognising their name and being able to write their name helps keep track of belongings and work produced. Reading regularly together will improve your child’s vocabulary and listening skills, whilst helping to develop a love of reading. Spotting numerals in the local area, singing counting songs, enjoying nursery rhymes together, using scissors and threading beads are all things you can do to promote learning readiness.

  5. Help your child learn to concentrate by building Lego kits together or completing a puzzle together. Activities such as these develop resilience and a real sense of satisfaction, especially if they finish the activity in one sitting. Being able to concentrate for 10-15 minute bursts will really help your child when they start school.

So when that moment arrives, the day your child joins their Reception class, wearing their smart new uniform and shiny new school shoes, whilst there may be a mixture of emotions, which is perfectly normal, like me, hopefully it won’t take long for your child to settle into their new routines and make new friends. Feeling happy, safe and secure in their learning environment leads to academic progress and lasting happy memories being made.

Miss Carolyn Sharps, Head of Boardman

Starting School For The First Time - Photo 1Starting School For The First Time - Photo 2Starting School For The First Time - Photo 3
Grace Education
Hazelwood School