Handing your child over on the first day of primary school can be tough, so here are some ideas to help them get ready for their big day (and score you some brownie points with the teacher!)
My name is…
Of course they know their name, but do they recognise it written down? Can they spot it above a coat peg to know where to put their bag in the new classroom? What about learning to spell or write it? You can practice finger-writing it in flour or in play sand to begin with. Plus, as class sizes seem to be growing, prepare for there being another child in the class with the same first name and help them learn their surname too.
Zips and shoelaces
Children starting Reception class should be able to put on their coat as well as sorting their hats and scarves. The same goes for getting themselves undressed and dressed for PE and Forest School with minimal help. Teaching staff don’t mind helping those who really need it but when faced with the quick turnaround of a class of children, it’s best if they can take responsibility for themselves. And don’t get us started on how much time we spend on our knees doing up shoelaces. Let’s just say ‘velcro’ and leave it at that.
Can I go to the toilet?
With everyone at home so much over the past year or so, going to the toilet is more likely to be something parents have continued to give, shall we say, ‘hands-on’ assistance with. At school, aside from “can you manage?” called from outside the toilet, they need to fend for themselves. We can’t stress how important it is for hygiene reasons but also for self-confidence. We don’t want anyone holding it in because they don’t know what to do if it comes out…because, as we all know, it inevitably does. If you know your child doesn’t always make it on time, please remember to pack extra clothes. Everyone loves parents who pack extras.
Knife, Fork, Spoon, Face
Amongst all the other ‘grown-up’ elements of starting school is eating lunch in the dinner hall, including queuing up, choosing what to eat and carrying your own tray. There are a lot of distractions in the dinner hall, the main one being how quickly you can eat so that you can go play outside. When faced with this dilemma, the younger children tend to miss their mouths, resulting in a lot of custard dried onto jumpers and staff pursuing them with wet paper towels.
Sharing is caring
Being able to play well with others is going to set your child in good stead for meeting their new class and exploring learning resources together. When you spot the bright red shiny tricycle across the playground, it’s a bit of a shock to first realise that lots of other children have also set their sights on it! Understanding that they will have to share, wait their turn and come up with suitable ways of agreeing who uses what with their classmates are all going to be valuable skills to bring to school.
Visit our school website to find out more about life at Primley Wood Primary School.