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Fulwood and Cadley Primary School

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Preparing your child for school

As your child will now be part of a larger class, they will need to become more independent.  It will make starting school much easier and happier if they are able to do as many things as possible for themselves.   


What should he/she be able to do? Can he/she…


  • Dress and undress themselves? Very important for P.E.
  • Put on and fasten their own coat?
  • Use the toilet independently, including cleaning themselves, and ask to go there?
  • Tidy up after himself/herself?
  • Recognise their own name?  Please tell your child’s teacher if their name is abbreviated in any way.
  • Feed himself/herself using a knife, fork and spoon?
  • Share toys and equipment?
  • Hold a pencil correctly?
  • Sing some nursery rhymes?
  • Practise counting?
  • Listen well and follow simple instructions? 


How can I help my child prepare for school?    


  • Encourage your child to be as independent as possible, even if it takes far longer for them to get ready. They need to get used to dressing and undressing themselves.
  • They need to practise putting their clothes the right way round if they are inside out.
  • They need to practise putting their coat on and taking it off and trying to zip up their coat and fastening any buttons. They also need to practise righting sleeves that have turned inside out!  We do understand that these things are difficult for young children to do but we actively encourage them to try first before we will intervene.
  • It is essential that sensible bedtime routines are established which support your child in getting ready for sleep, eg sharing a bedtime story and stopping screen in plenty of time before bedtime.  It is also essential that your child is getting enough sleep for their age.  
  • Establishing a good morning routine which allows time for a calm start to the day and ensuring that your child is in school in plenty of time will support your child in being ready for learning.
  • Be positive about their school experience and please do not threaten them with school. We do not want your child to be scared about coming to school. 


What things can I do with my child before they start school?  


  • Give your child as many varied experiences as possible: drawing, painting, cooking, singing, making models, playing games, jigsaws, etc.
  • Explore making marks and colouring using a variety of things including pencils, crayons, felt pens, chalks, paints etc..
  • Use malleable materials such as play dough and kinetic sand,
  • Practise using scissors – eg cut out pictures from magazines or cut shapes out of paper.  
  • Read to them regularly and share stories, books and rhymes. Talk about the characters in the stories and the things that they can see in the pictures.
  • Sing songs, action songs and nursery rhymes.
  • Count everything and share things out. Look for everyday counting opportunities such as setting the table ‘How many plates do we need so that there is one for each person?’ Pair up socks,  
  • Talk to them all the time – name familiar things and discuss what they see around them.  By providing a ‘running commentary’ for their experiences for example ‘look at the beautiful, shimmering butterfly’,  discussing seasonal changes and helping them to label their feelings etc., you will support their language development and the building blocks on which they learn.