5 ways you can give your child a head-start in lessons

Ever wondered what a teacher thinks the most important things are for a child when starting school for the first time?

Read our 5 top tips from Evangeline Harrison, a reception teacher, to help you think about what you can do over summer with your child to help them prepare for the big day. Remember, this is a tough day for teachers too!


1. Definitely teach them to use the toilet properly before starting school. It can interrupt so much learning when children aren’t toilet-competent yet.


2. Try introducing simple phonics – phase 1 activities, simple rhythm and rhyme activities and sounds. Make it fun by making different sounds with instruments or even parts of the body!


3. Practise some basic motor skills. Practise holding a pencil, writing/mark-making from left to right, or even putting on a coat.


4. Social skills are very important. Some children who don’t have siblings spend very little time with other children before entering school. As a result, they can sometimes be egocentric and struggle to comprehend sharing toys or the teacher’s attention. Practise sharing and playing with other children beforehand by taking them to a playgroup or a friend’s house. Learning to lose is also vital, so play board or ball games together too.


5. Fundamentally, encouraging your child to be independent. Just little things like having a go before asking an adult can really make them confident when starting school.


See more Starting School

Starting School

See more Get ready for phonics

Get ready for phonics

See more New school skills

New school skills

Download image
Download image
Download image