10 Aug 2020
Preparing your children for reception
BY MRS CLAIRE HOLLY, HEAD OF PRE-PREP
Every year we look forward to welcoming our Reception classes into school in September. For some it’s just a hop and a skip across the corridor from our Kindergarten classroom. For others it’s their first experience of Walhampton. For all of them it marks the magical moment as they start ‘proper school’ and embark on what we hope will be a lifelong love of learning.
Whether it’s your first child starting school or your fifth, we know this can be as big a moment for the parents as it can be for the children. This year, more than any other, those feelings are magnified. Having watched more children start school than I care to remember, the most important thing I can tell you is not to worry – we are in this together and together we will get it right for your child.
HOW SHOULD I BE PREPARING MY CHILD FOR RECEPTION?
What helps such a lot is if your child is ready for learning. Some of the most important things you can help your child to develop are the characteristics of effective learning that underpin the foundation stage curriculum: being able to play and explore, to be curious and creative thinkers and solution finders.
These skills will help your child as they start school and are, at this stage, much more important than whether they can write their name or count to 100. These characteristics will equip your child with skills for a lifelong learning journey.
ENCOURAGE A FOUR-YEAR-OLD TO BE MORE INDEPENDENT
Please encourage your child to be independent and do things for themselves. This may sometimes take longer but let them have a go. Please be patient, encourage confidence, and praise your child’s efforts at every opportunity.
All children are at different stages of their developmental journey and we will support each one from their starting point. They are all ready to learn but may be ready to learn different things. Please do not worry; we will work on this together.
We have prepared a booklet outlining some of the things that you can do during the next few weeks to help to prepare your child for this next exciting step of their journey. It includes:
• Activities to help them develop their fine motor skills
• How to support your child with independent toileting and other safe hygiene practices
• How to help your child develop the social skills they will need, like taking turns
• And other ways to encourage them to be more independent, such as taking off and hanging up their coat all by themselves
Please click here to read the booklet.
Will my child be OK at school?
We all know how daunting it can be for parents as they watch their children start school for the first time. We also know how we as teachers feel as we welcome your child into our care. The following poems sum up those feelings so beautifully.
A mum called Emma Robinson wrote a heartfelt poem with her words resonating so strongly, with so many parents, that it soon had over 12k shares on her Facebook page. It wasn’t long before a teacher, Leonie Roberts, responded with a lovely and reassuring poem of her own.
Please rest assured that we are ready for your little ones. We have got this. We know how precious they are. We will love them and look after them. We will work with you, and hope that you will work with us, to ensure each and every one of our children has a wonderful start to school life.