The other day I went for my first meeting at the infant school where the girl’s will be starting in September, a very exciting time and an extremely important one too. I recently shared with you my thoughts on keeping twins together or not but whilst I sat listening to the Head Mistress discuss uniform requirements, the induction process and introduce us to our class teachers it hadn’t occurred to me about getting the girls ready for school.
There are so many things we, as parents, do that we take for granted as part of our daily life that I hadn’t stopped to think about the Headmistresses top tips all of which make perfect sense for an easier passage from preschool to Big School.
I am very lucky and honoured to host a guest post from our head Nicole Caulfield and I hope it will help many others out their get their little ones ready for the grand occasion
Top Tips for getting your child ready for Primary School
Most of our children attend a Nursery/ Pre-school, all of whom offer valuable social and learning opportunities.
However now that your child is starting school we expect a degree of independence from them, particularly with 120 children joining us in September.
Whilst there are a number of adults to help and support the children in school the ratio is far less than in Nursery schools. In schools there only has to legally be 2 adults: 30 children. Whilst here at Riverview we have additional adults in the Foundation Stage there are still things that you may want to work on before your child starts with us, particularly if your child currently finds things tricky:
Unfortunately we cannot wipe bottoms. Whilst staff are happy to encourage children to do it themselves it is preferable if they are independent as our toilets are separate to our classrooms. Sometimes even shouting ‘finished’ from the confines of the cubicle doesn’t immediately attract attention.
If your child has a special medical condition we need to arrange a ‘Care Plan’ to support their needs.
Dressing & undressing
Taking clothes off independently & putting them back on in the right order!! This can be particularly tricky for some children especially during the first PE sessions.
Children are generally really good at taking their clothes off but putting them tidy ready to put on again can take time.
The trickier time comes when dressing; which clothes go on in the right order? We have a number of children who put their socks and shoes on first and then try to get their trousers on. This generally leads to the hopping around the classroom scenario.
Sometimes we get the superman pants and generally everyone gets their clothes on back to front and inside out, or they forget to put them back on at all!
We try and make life easier with our uniform policy, (the buttons on polo shirts are easier for small fingers than shirts) and with shoes, Velcro is easier than laces.
If you think your child may have problems, have a practise over the holiday period.
Knives & forks
This is particularly relevant if your child is going to be having one of our fabulous cooked lunches. Lunchtime here is very busy and whilst our platoon of Mid-Day Supervisors help children cut up food, they are unable to sit with them or feed them and spaghetti bolognaise is very messy when eaten with fingers! If your child is just used to finger food then you may want to practise with a knife and fork, spoons are ok to start with.
At some point your child will get a cold (probably amongst other childhood illnesses) and the candles of snot will appear running from their nose, generally to be randomly licked away or wiped on the sleeve of a sweatshirt leaving that tell-tale snail trail. In our experience the knack is to practise actually blowing the contents of the nasal cavities into a tissue, rather than smacking their lips together.
This may appear old fashioned but for us a simple ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ goes a long way.
Some excellent tips I think you’ll agree, I’ve decided we’re going to be setting up a reward chart over the next few months with stars and prizes for each obstacle tackled to make it fun and hopefully master all of the challenges above ;)