Ready, Steady, Go!
Ready, Steady, Go!
How to ensure your child hops, skips and jumps into the first day of Reception. A five-point guide by Ms Anne Musgrove, Head of Prep, Sutton High School GDST
Starting school is a challenge for the parent as much (if not more so) than for the child. Parents tend to be particularly anxious about what their child should already know.
How will they manage the longer days? Should they be able to read and write, should they have taught their child to count? Will they manage the bathroom unaccompanied?
All these questions are common concerns as the September deadline approaches and while there are no hard and fast rules as to what your child should be able to do, here is a brief guide, peppered with some advice, to build parent and child’s confidence for the first day.
It will be very helpful for them to be able to do the following:
1. Recognise their own name
While it isn’t imperative that Reception age children should be able read and write it is generally accepted that by Reception age, they can recognise their own name. Practice with them, write it on paper bags, Post Its etc. Spot their name amongst others in the months leading up to starting school.
2. Make it familiar not new
Recognise their school bag, water bottle and snack box and learn how to use them! A good idea is to go shopping together to buy a new snack box and water bottle in the weeks before starting school, encourage them to choose their own.
Also, make sure they can independently open their box. (Plus – add a smiley note inside the box on the first day.)
3. Practise walking to school
Take regular walks to the outside of the school, so it is a familiar place and not ‘new’. If you know any other children attending the same school, have play dates. The school will have lots of practical information, ask for their Parent Guide.
4. Independence – Get dressed by themselves and going to the toilet
In the months before school start, gradually show them how to take off and put on their coats and shoes. Try on and wear the uniform before the first day and get them to wear their new school shoes at least a week before starting school so that they are comfy. Explain to them they need to ask an adult at school for permission to go to the toilet. Once they have been, they should always flush the toilet and wash their hands thoroughly after. Remind them help is there, they just need to ask. (If you can put a change of undies in a plastic bag in case of any accidents).
5. Remember the mantra – Everything is going to be okay
It really will be, both for you and your child. How you approach this day, with a positive attitude and smile is important – ‘you have got this’ attitude will really help your child to be brave. Remember they are in safe hands and as soon as you walk away they will stop crying! Already they will be having so many new and exciting experiences to tell you about at the end of the day.
The Night Before
- Put out clothes and shoes the night before so that you are ready in plenty of time
- Make sure all belongings are labelled
- Let your daughter/son pack their own book bag (with your help)
- Make sure their labelled snack box and water bottle is ready
- Have a spare pair of undies in a plastic bag just in case
- Read them a fun bedtime story about starting school
- Be relaxed for them and encourage them to look forward to a fun day
- Remember your phone – you will want a photo for sure!
*Sutton High’s Nursery and Reception are underpinned by the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy of child-centred, collaborative learning proven to benefit academic, cognitive, and social-emotional development in children.
To arrange a personal tour of our nursery and reception please email firstname.lastname@example.org today.