Being ‘school ready’

The start of a new school term is always exciting, but we understand that it can also feel a little daunting when your child is first starting ‘big school’.

There is much debate about what ‘school readiness’ actually means.  Here at the Blue Sky Federation we see the following as most important:

Social skills

  • Be able to communicate and vocalise their needs and listen to those of others
  • Interact with peers through play or by working together to solve a problem
  • Being aware of boundaries and expectations

You could support this at home by:

  • Being clear about what behaviours are ok or not ok at home. Talk about the reasons why and about whether some of these might be different at school
  • Arranging times to play with friends during the summer holidays

Emotional readiness

  • Be able to express their thoughts and feelings
  • Be able to separate from their main carer

You could support this at home by:

  • Asking for your child’s opinions and feelings about things you do as a family
  • Talking about experiences and feelings, e.g. at the end of the day

Independence

  • Be independent in their own personal care, such as going to the toilet and getting dressed for PE.
  • Have own ideas for play and exploration

You could support this at home by:

  • Encouraging your child to dress themselves. If they struggle, give them tips to help them rather than doing it for them
  • Providing materials that allow for lots of different uses (e.g. a pile of cloths and pegs) rather than a single use ‘toy’ (e.g. a remote controlled car)
  • Join in with your child’s play ideas by following their lead, asking if you can help and how

Curiosity to learn

  • Be able to observe, notice, discuss and ask questions about their environment and experiences
  • Engage with books in different ways e.g. talking about what’s happening. Use books as a tool to find out more, create and inspire
  • Focus on and show interest in the things they are learning about

You could support this at home by:

  • Pointing out features of the environment when you’re out and about – talk about what you see and ask your child their thoughts
  • Sharing books – read them together, talk about the pictures and the ideas. If your child is starting to read, take turns to read sections. Keep it fun. Try not to make it a test of their reading ability
  • Visit the library and explore a wide range of books (e.g. look in the art or nature non-fiction sections, not only the children’s section)

We focus on your child as an individual and base what we do on their needs. We aim to support them to visit their new school with at least one friend and to take photos and talk about their new environment. This term we will be sharing stories about what school is like and what to expect. We communicate with your child’s new school and inform them of their interests at pre-school and tracked progress. This is information is shared both verbally and in an end of year transitional report, which will also include your thoughts and those of your child.

Do remember that we are here to support you, as well as your child, throughout this process. So if you would like to discuss anything at all or wish to know more about your child’s move to ‘big school’ then do make an appointment with your child’s keyworker.

Useful links:

A parents’ guide to admissions to schools in Norfolk

Make a mark – top tips and ideas for encouraging early emerging writing skills

https://www.pacey.org.uk/Pacey/media/Website-files/school%20ready/Make-a-mark,-make-a-start.pdf

Happy to talk – top tips and ideas to encourage communication

https://www.pacey.org.uk/Pacey/media/Website-files/school%20ready/Happy-Talk.pdf

Listen and learn – Top tips and ideas to encourage and extend listening and comprehension

https://www.pacey.org.uk/Pacey/media/Website-files/school%20ready/Listen-and-Learn.pdf

Preparing for school

https://www.pacey.org.uk/Pacey/media/Website-files/school%20ready/PACEY_preparingforschool_guide.pdf

A list of school readiness blogs

https://www.pacey.org.uk/working-in-childcare/spotlight-on/being-school-ready/#blogs