School readiness - Better Lives Healthy Futures

School readiness

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Starting school is a big milestone for you and your child. You can help them prepare.

Your child may be really looking forward to starting school, or they may be nervous about leaving you. Talking enthusiastically about school will help.

Visiting the school and showing your child the other pupils’ projects and pictures will also be useful. Talk to them about the sorts of things they will be doing when they start school and who they will meet.

Being ‘school ready’ means that your child has a curiosity about the world and a desire to learn. They will be expected to have developed some speaking, listening and social skills and be able to cope emotionally with being separated from you.

What your child should be able to do before they start school

Get dressed – encourage your child to dress on their own – including fastening buttons, zipping zips and taking off and putting on a jacket/coat.

Eat independently – your child should know how to eat using a knife, fork and spoon.

Go to the toilet without help.

Talk to other children – having friends is hugely beneficial for children. Encourage your child to talk and play with other children, sharing books, toys or games.

Listen to what the teacher says – your child should be able to listen without interrupting and to answer when spoken to. You could practice this at home – encouraging family discussions, taking turns to listen and to speak.

Recognise their name – some children will already be able to read and write simple words by the time they start reception class but others will be new learners. Explore what the letters in your child’s name look like and help them try to write their name. It’s important that your child can recognise their name so they can find their own things in the classroom.

Take a look at the related information below to explore other areas pages which may be useful to you and your child before they start school.

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