It’s easy to think that getting your child ready for school is all about ABC’s and 123’s but actually there are some far more important skills that your child should be learning to be ready for school.
Please use this checklist to encourage your child to be ready for Reception in September:
Going to the toilet independently, being able to undo and do up trousers/tights on their own.
Know ways to share toys, e.g. getting a sand timer to resolve conflicts.
Show that they can take turns independently. Able to zip up their coat and put on own scarf, hat and gloves.
Washing hands with soap.
Refill own water bottle independently.
Know at least 3 traditional tales.
Mark making with pens.
Recognising name and attempting to write it.
Identifying environmental sounds.
Beginning to use tripod grip when holding a pencil.
Counting to 10.
Recognising repeated patterns.
Identify some shapes.
Further detail .....
Skill 1 To be able to use the toilet independently. Occasional accidents will still happen because it can take a while before they can get used to the toilet at school and they will be busy doing other things so may forget to go. (They will first also have to tell an adult before they head off, they might need to collect a toilet pass and often the toilets are a short walk from the class room). Your child must also be able to wash and dry their hands every time to help stop the spread of tummy bugs. (A school nursery can often manage children who aren’t quite toilet trained yet but changing facilities may be minimal so hopefully they are nearly ready to use the toilet on their own. There are some specific medical issues which might affect toilet training, if this is the case seek advice from your health visitor, GP or other specialist and let the school know before your child starts).
Skill 2 To be able to take off and put on their own coats and shoes. To be able to change for PE, that means changing into a T shirt and shorts and getting dressed again afterwards.
Skill 3 To be able to wipe/blow their own nose. Learning not to cough on others is important as well, coughing into the crook of your arm (inside of the elbow) is much better than covering your mouth with a hand as if you cough on your hand you then transfer any germs on to the next thing you touch.
Skill 4 To be able to manage lunch by themselves- open a lunch box, open any packets or boxes, feed themselves, put straws in drinks and then pack away. If the school has hot lunches then your child needs to be able to use a knife and fork to eat. Lunch time supervisors can’t feed your child or cut up their food, imagine how long that would take when you have a room of 60 or so!
Skill 5 To listen and follow instructions
Skill 6 To sit nicely for group times
Skill 7 To be able to recognise their own belongings- if this is tricky add a label/tag to help items stand out.
Skill 8 To be able to use scissors and draw confidently with a pencil and copy shapes when asked to do so.
Skill 9 To be happy to leave your side, confident to explore, able to speak up and ask for help and to have a curious and questioning outlook.
Skill 10 To be able to take turns (and wait for their turn) and understand that resources need to be shared. To be able to ask nicely if I need something.