PFB starting school in September . Please can someone answer my questions ?

(19 Posts)
MagnificentMalificent Tue 19-Aug-14 20:01:14

I'm so nervous I feel sick blush

I have a list of questions if someone wouldn't mind helping me out ?

1) What exactly do they do in reception? Play? Learn to read and write ?

2) What level of reading and maths will my dd be expected to be at at the start and at the end of the year?

3) How can I support her at home with reading and writing etc

4) What do I send on her first day? Should I send a break time snack ?

5) What if she gets picked on by the older kids? Dd is tiny ! I'm so worried about this .

6) Will my worrying stop?

BigArea Tue 19-Aug-14 20:09:40

Oh bless you. DD starts 2 weeks tomorrow so no real advice but our school office is open during the hols - you could ring or pop in to ask those questions

hairymonkey Tue 19-Aug-14 20:14:13

She'll be fine, reception pretty relaxed and a lot like nursery. Just do any bits of reading/writing put in her book bag, maybe in the morning as they can be knackered after school.

Don't worry about what the school expects of your daughter, focus on what she achieves as a person.

The school will probably give them fruit, but take a snack for pick up. Loads of reception kids are tiddlers, let her know she can speak to a teacher if she's worried.

As mentioned, the main problem is the first half term where they're great at school but dog tired at home, but they soon adapt.

Relax, she'll be fine.

Showy Tue 19-Aug-14 20:15:21

They play and play and play. And along the way they learn too.

There is no expectation of levels and you can support learning by reading to your child, asking about their day and playing and talking and enjoying them just as you always have. No prep necessary where academics are concerned. Stuff like making sure they can dress themselves, zip up coat, queue, share, take turns, do toilet type routines, open lunch etc all far more important.

Schools provide a snack at break.

Have you been to the school and had the opportunity to ask questions?

hazeyjane Tue 19-Aug-14 20:23:43

1) What exactly do they do in reception? Play? Learn to read and write ?
play, get used to school routine, do the basics of phonics, learn through play, make friends

2) What level of reading and maths will my dd be expected to be at at the start and at the end of the year?
the level that she can achieve-this is different for each child

3) How can I support her at home with reading and writing etc
read her reading books with her, read stories to her as you normally would

4) What do I send on her first day? Should I send a break time snack ?
book bag/school bag, lunch (if packed), bottle of water, they give fruit at most schools at break time

5) What if she gets picked on by the older kids? Dd is tiny ! I'm so worried about this .
Let her know that she can talk to a teacher or grown up if she is worried about anything, I gave dd2 a 'worry book' and he would write down stuff she worries about. IME the older kids in school are either very sweet with the younger ones, schools often have a 'buddy' scheme, where an older child will befriend a younger one to show them where things are etc.

6) Will my worrying stop?
yes and no!

I don't know if your dd likes cbeebies, but there is a good episode of Wooly and Tig about starting school (it may be on iplayer).

RiversideMum Tue 19-Aug-14 20:25:33

1. All of those. Lots of play based learning. Phonics should start quite quickly. Lots of stories and songs. Some focused tasks with adults.
2. The end of year expectation is knowing and using numbers to 20 - tend not to do place value in reception. Will do adding and subtracting. 1 more, 1 less. Measuring with non standard measures. 2d and 3d shapes. I wouldn't worry about where she is now, there will be a variety of levels of achievement and teachers are used to this.
3. Your school should provide info about how you can help at home.
4. Don't usually need a snack as infants have free fruit and reception have free milk til they are 5.
5. Children don't generally pick on others at this age. They are very accepting.
6. You are a parent and your job is to worry. But you are on a path now where your PFB is learning to be independent from you. If she walks off to university in a few years time without a worry in the world you will have done her proud!
I'm a reception teacher and the vast majority of children settle very quickly. Even if there are tears, honestly, they only go on for a couple of minutes. My headteacher always says that my job is to make the children love coming to school, and I think the majority of reception classes are great fun places to be. I'm sure you DD will have a lovely time. And she will find you lots of new friends too!
You could get some starting school books from the library to share with her if you want to encourage her to talk about starting school.

GoldiandtheBears Tue 19-Aug-14 20:25:57

I think it depends on the school what they will expect tbh.

My DDs nursery preschool has taught most of the kids writing their names, some were adding and subtracting and a few kids were reading by the time they left. This is a nursery not a reception class.

I am absolutely not convinced that EY is about learning through play. I just get the impression it's about hitting targets right from the start. Not sure how I feel about that. Maybe it is just too pushy around here though!

MaxsMummy2012 Tue 19-Aug-14 20:27:22

First off, dont panic, teacher here so I'll try to help (actuslly teaching reception come September)
1)yes they spend a large proportion of the day 'playing' but it's all about learning through play so some activities will be based on things done in directed learning (teaching input) others will be based on children's interests and others will be free flow i.e they pick and choose. They also have teaching input's every day (20 mins X 3 a day in our school) 1 will be phonics, 1 maths and 1 literacy we also do PE once a week and RE (as we're a church school).
2) I'm expecting children to know how to count to 10 forwards and back and recognise their letters (although I know some will know far more and some far less). By the end of reception I'd expect all to be secure and have a good foundation in maths / english / phonics in preparation for more formal learning in year 1. They will be assessed throughout the year so any probs can be addressed.
3) at home, read regularly, practise the phonic sounds she's been learning, count, do basic adding / subtracting using objects, encourage mark making / letter formation. Speak to school for more ideas as school progresses.
4) on first day send her book bag and pe kit in, send a snack if it makes you feel happy to know she has something but all reception KS1 children get free fruit and veg snack (it's a government initiative), also send water.
5) in our school reception dont have a morning playtime on the playground as they go to lunch at 11:30 but dont worry the other kids the dinner ladies / teachers will be keeping a very close eye and in all my years I've never seen a reception child being picked on (not sure why but possibly coz they are so little and adorable).
6) I dont know if your worrying will stop (my littly isnt at school yet) but it will definitely diminish - think about whem she started nursery and how you felt then. I'm sure by the end of the first 2 weeks you'll be into a great routine and be settled.

She'll have a great time.

MagnificentMalificent Tue 19-Aug-14 20:41:14

Thank you so much for all the reassuring advice . I will take on board all the tips and advice.

I really appreciate all the time put in to your responses.

I have decided though that I am going to flee the country with my PFB so she doesn't have to go to school grin

starlight1234 Tue 19-Aug-14 20:52:40

Our school and many in the area have a meeting after they start to talk about literacy and maths.

As for prepatation- what is generally ready for school is learning to sit still for story time, take turns in games

They don't need to be able to write but do things like colouring, play doh, these things can help with fine motor skills.

Learning is through play.

Our school and most as far as I know do fruit break in the morning.

As for been picked on...Don't assume because she is tiny she will

I agree snack for when you pick up and while 99% of the children I have ever heard of were shattered when they started school My DS was so excited he was buzzing and hardly slept and bounced off the ceiling for weeks.

wingcommandergallic Tue 19-Aug-14 20:59:34

Does your daughter go to nursery? I'm expecting it to be the same with some teaching of basics.

Do schools have open days to address some of these concerns? We start applications this autumn so hoping to visit some potential schools.

RiverTam Tue 19-Aug-14 21:02:10

Oooh, OP, I am right there with you, so thanks for asking these questions (and for the answers).

I have one of my own if I may - I'm all in a panic about food - DD is veggie, fussy and has a small appetite - at her (very gentle, Montessori-ish) nursery they never had to finish and a good meal could be one where she'd eaten all her pasta but left all the veg. Will she be made to sit down until she's finished? How does lunchtime work for little ones (she'll be having school lunches as she's hopeless with sandwiches)?

RaisinBoys Tue 19-Aug-14 21:16:51

No they aren't forced to finish all their lunch. Mine were encouraged to try stuff if resistant (but they were "starving" by lunch time so no worries there!)

Mine were very tired and hungry after school so I walked with a snack and they didn't do after school stuff initially. But all children are different.

Send in with water bottle - schools always seem to be boiling now.

Read, read, read.

Hope they love it!

RaisinBoys Tue 19-Aug-14 21:21:33

River little ones very supported at lunch at our school by TA's and they go in first so no barging by big ones.

Get your little one to practice carrying a tray.

DeWee Tue 19-Aug-14 21:23:46

1) What exactly do they do in reception? Play? Learn to read and write ?
Yes. Learn by play. They will do some reading/writing/maths but won't realise how much they're doing. Mostly it's get used to the routine of school, dress them selves for PE, learn to sit still and put hand up

2) What level of reading and maths will my dd be expected to be at at the start and at the end of the year?
Beginning: anything from not knowing 1,2,3, or any letters onward.
End: Probably some phonic sounds, reading some words, writing some words, simple sums. If she starts higher she may end up higher.

3) How can I support her at home with reading and writing etc
Sit with her during homework. Don't criticize the teacher/school in front of her (very quickly they will probably know better than you according to her anyway) and do a little bit of phonics/reading every day even if it's you reading to them.

4) What do I send on her first day? Should I send a break time snack ?
PE kit, book bag if you buy them, sun hat if it's sunny. They should provide a break time snack for infants in form of fruit

5) What if she gets picked on by the older kids? Dd is tiny ! I'm so worried about this.
Most don't. Cross this bridge if you come to it, and don't go rushing in at the slight hint that their might have possibly been a problem assuming someone else is wrong. If you've gone in 20 times complaining about other children, and each time has been over something very small that your dc isn't bothered about, then they'll take you less seriously if there is an issue or your dc is bothered. Conversly, if your dc is bothered about something that seems tiny to you, don't minimise it. Go and talk to the teacher. if they don't know they can't help.

6) Will my worrying stop?
No! As the lady said "Finally I can stop worrying about my children... the last has just been settled in a lovely old people's home. He'll celebrate his 70th birthday next month!"

louisejxxx Tue 19-Aug-14 22:19:33

I too have a question: should my ds be using a knife competently and cutting his own food? He can do it....but it may take all lunch time :/ I have probably failed him massively here!

blibblibs Tue 19-Aug-14 22:27:28

I sometimes help out as a midday assistant, and we go round all YR children and cut up their food for them into bite size peices.

(My DS who is about to go into Y2 still isn't great with a knife smile)

Shedding Tue 19-Aug-14 22:30:47

Mine certainly couldn't, they knew the theory but I have yet to meet a 3 year old who can put enough welly into the action to actually cut. I assume they just had easy food or used their fingers, never thought about it, will ask tomorrow as I am intrigued. At DDs' school nursery children eat in the nursery and don't have a choice of meals, it is brought over on a trolley for them. They were definitely encouraged to eat most of it, and veg before pudding.

louisejxxx Wed 20-Aug-14 07:37:03

Ah thank goodness...I thought I may have done him a massive disservice for a second there by not making him practice enough. That said though at his parents info meeting they said every Friday morning all the kids take part in snack club where they learn practical things like buttering their own toast etc so maybe they'll get more time cutting food up then.

Sorry OP for momentarily hijacking your thread!

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