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.

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