New Entrants 2023
As the new school year draws closer, your child will likely begin to feel a mix of excitement and nerves as they look forward to this new chapter of their lives. Starting school is a big step for parents and children and so to help with that transition we have provided some tips, hints and fun activities to hopefully help with transition preparations.
Before your child starts school it would help greatly if you child is able to;
- Button and unbutton a coat and hang it up.
- Use the toilet without help and manage pants and buttons.
- Know how to flush toilet and wash hands, without having to be told.
- Use a tissue when necessary.
- Share toys and playthings with others ‘take turns’.
- Tidy up and put away playthings.
- Remain contentedly for a few hours in the home of a relation, friend or neighbour. If children have had this experience, then separation from parents when they start school will not cause any great anxiety.
- Manage their own shoes. Velcro is the best option for this.
- Open and close their own lunchbox.
- Undress and change themselves in the unlikely event of a toileting accident.
Please ensure that all items of school uniform, lunch boxes & bottles are labelled. The children will need a school bag large enough to fit an A4 folder, lunch box & drink bottle. The children will be provided with pencils and crayons in school, they do not need a pencil case.
Getting ready for learning
Oral Language Development
It is important that a child’s ability to talk is as advanced as possible.
It is through speech that children communicate their thoughts and feelings, needs and desires, curiosity and wonder.
How you can help:
• Talk to your child naturally and casually about things of interest that you may be doing at home, in the shop, in the car, etc. Remember that all the time children are absorbing the language they hear around them. It takes them a while to make it their own and use it to express their needs.
• Try to make time to listen when your child wants to tell you something important to them.
• Introduce a child gently to Why? How? When? Where? If? etc. Asking questions demands more advanced language structures.
First Steps in Reading
Ability to read is the foundation for all future learning. However, learning to read is a gradual process and much preparatory work must be completed before a child is introduced to a first reader. We very deliberately do not rush or push children into reading. We get them ready for it over an extended period. Reading is meant to be enjoyable. It should never start as a chore for the child.
How you can help
• Have attractive colourful books available to them.
• Join the local library.
• Read a variety of stories from time to time. Children will begin to associate these wonderful tales with books and reading.
• Children have their own particular favourite stories that they never tire of hearning. Repeat them over and over again and gradually get your child to tell you the story.
• You must gradually convey that books are precious things. They should be minded, handled carefully and put away safely.
• Look at the pictures and talk about what they say.
• Read nursery rhymes.
• Sing the alphabet song with your child.
• Above all, don’t push with early reading.
Maths for young children has nothing to do with sums, figures, tables or adding & subtracting. These will all come much later. Maths is really part of the language a child uses in understanding and talking about things in their daily experiences e.g.
• Colours – black, white, red, green. Etc.
• Prepositions (telling positions); over/under, before/after, inside/ourside etc.
• Matching/Sorting – Objects of the same size/colour/texture/shape etc.
• Odd one out – difference in size/colour/shape etc
How you can help
• In the course of your ordinary daily routine in the home, shop, playground and in the neighbourhood you could try to use suitable opportunities to casually introduce the maths vocabulary referred to above, e.g. How many cakes? The glass is full/empty. We turn left at the lights, we go down the slide etc.
• Children associate certain numbers with particular things – two hands, four wheels, five fingers etc.
• Counting – one, two, three, four etc.
• Setting the table.
• Drawing attention to shapes in the home and the environment.
• The child’s understanding of Maths is best developed by handling, investigating and using real objects. This has been their natural method of learning since infancy.
Getting Ready for Writing
Making letters on paper is not easy for small children. They must learn to hold the pencil properly and make regular shapes. Their hand and finger muscles are only gradually developing at this stage. They must develop the ability to get hand and eye working together (hand-eye coordination). This is very important.
How you can help
Please refer to the pictures with some ideas that you can try at home. These ideas are from ‘Go with the Flow’ cursive handwriting programme that we use in school.
Encourage your child to use the correct pencil grip as shown in the picture below from when they start using a pencil as it is often difficult to change bad habits. Special pencils are available for early users. Pencils are provided in school for school use.
We will continue to add helpful information to this page, so if you have any suggestions of what we should add, please let us know.