Supporting your child to transition to school
Please know that we have no specific expectations for your child as they start school, every child is unique and we celebrate this!
Below are simply some activities you could try over the Summer to support your child as they make a smooth transition from their pre-school setting to school.
Talk about school
Below (in the attachments section) you will find a booklet all about school. Please read through this with your child and discuss what they are looking forward to as well as what they might be feeling nervous about.
Sing as many nursery rhymes as you can together. The more the merrier! Nursery Rhymes not only form part of Phase 1 Phonics but develop lots of other areas of the curriculum.
- Story Sequencing
- Numeracy skills
- Listening skills
- Physical Development
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Sharing books together
“Children are made readers in the laps of their parents" - Emilie Buchwald
Share books at every opportunity. Reading books together not only means that you model how to hold and take care of them, turn the pages and read from left to right but you also prompt speaking and listening skills, concentration, develop vocabulary and, most importantly, a love of books!
Below are some ideas for things you could do whilst reading books with your child, but the most important thing is to simply enjoy the books;
- Discuss the Author and Illustrator and what you like about the pictures.
- Find rhyming words.
- Can they spot some of the letters in their name?
- Can they retell the story in their own words?
- What happened at the beginning? End?
- Where did the story take place? What did you like about this place?
- You could also practise oral segmenting and blending of some of the words within the book. You say the sounds of a simple CVC word and your child blends the sounds to say the whole word. "In the light of the m-oo-n" - "moon"
Have a chat with your child about speaking to adults if they feel things are not going well. Tell them it is okay to ask for help and tell someone if they need the toilet. Look at the photos of the EYFS staff on our website so that your child recognises our faces.
Encourage sharing of toys, turn-taking and following instructions. Playing simple board games like 'Snakes and Ladders' is perfect for this and will develop patience too.
Make sure that they don't always win the game! This means they are exposed to the feelings of not winning and will learn how to deal with these emotions and develop resilience.
Talk through the journey of getting to School and the routine they will need to follow. Discuss some social situations that they might come across, such as a child saying they can't join a game and talk about how they would react and what they could do.
Lunch - practise with knives, forks and spoons, opening lunchboxes and packaging, drinking from a open cup and peeling fruit.
Toileting - try and encourage your child to use the toilet independently, wipe themselves and wash their hands afterwards. Not every child will be able to do this so speak to your child's class teacher. You won't be the only one and they will be grateful that you told them of any concerns.
Using Resources - discuss with your child about how they can take care of their toys and resources and encourage them to help tidy things away after they have finished playing. We use the motto “You choose it, you use it, you put it away!”
Give chances for your child to practise dressing and undressing themselves independently. Practise with buttons, poppers and zips.
Practise putting shoes on by themselves. Try writing their name on a piece of masking tape, cutting it in half and then sticking each half into each of their shoes. That way they will know which is the left and right and another chance to recognise their name and reinforce it starts with a capital.
Practise putting on their coats, trousers, skirts and tops. Talk about how the label needs to go at the back and show them where their name is on their clothing so they know where to look if they lose it.
Only put your child in shoes with laces if they can tie them up themselves. This way they can be independent especially when changing into their wellies for outdoor play and forest school.
Ensuring your child knows where they name is written in their clothes will help them to only bring home their clothes. You’ll be surprised how often children manage to swap jumpers during the day.
Fine Motor Skills
Provide opportunities for your child to develop the muscles in their fingers, hands and wrist and practise making marks. By taking part in pre-writing activities, that support fine motor skills, means they are developing their finger and hand muscles to eventually hold a pencil and form letters.
Any activities which involve your child making small movements with their fingers are brilliant. They could include:
- Making models with Lego
- Clipping pegs onto a washing line
- Placing poms poms into a ice cube tray
- Using cotton buds to paint
- Posting coins into a money box
- Using keys to unlock padlocks
- Using scoops, tongs and large tweezers
- Unscrewing and screwing lids onto bottles.
- Threading pasta onto string
Give your child as much exposure to their name as possible so that they begin to recognise it. This will help them recognise their name, amongst the others, on their peg, drawer and clothes and they will be able to independently look after and put away their belongings. Being able to spell and write their name when they start is not an expectation but if they are able to practise this it is useful for them to begin to label their own work.
Read and write names using lowercase letters except for the first letter with a capital. E.g. Sophie not SOPHIE or sophie
Make sure to label everything that will be coming into School so they can be identified and returned.
Oral Blending and Segmenting
A vital skill in early Phonics and will give your child a solid foundation for future learning. Encourage your child to break up and merge the sounds they hear in words.
Segmenting - You say a word and then they tell you the sounds they hear.
"cat" - "c-a-t"
Blending - You say the sounds within a word and they merge those sounds to form the whole word.
"ch-air" - "chair"
Model this as much as possible and play games like 'I spy' or 'Simon Says' where you say the sounds and they blend them to make the word.
There is no expectation that children know any of the letters and their sounds when they start School. Children will be introduced to these within our phonics lessons.