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What are children expected to know before nursery?

(29 Posts)
weeblueberry Thu 02-Jun-16 09:39:17

My DD1 is due to start nursery after the summer assuming she's got a place since the nursery haven't bothered to tell me and I'm not sure what she 'should' know in advance of this?

Most of my friends children have been in private nurseries for a while and so know most letters and numbers and one can write a few letters. DD knows 'important' letters to her like the ones that start her, her sisters and mine and my partners names. She counts to fifteen when she feels like it but often gets wrong. But considering she does it correctly most of the time I assume she's messing around or not interested the times she gets it wrong. She's also got a weird thing about the number 13 and virtually always misses it out...

I'm keen to play games that encourage knowledge of all this but don't want to push. But similarly I don't want her to go and for the rest of them to all know all their letters etc.

weeblueberry Thu 02-Jun-16 09:39:44

Sorry should say she's just turned 3 as have her friends.

Iwantawhippet Thu 02-Jun-16 10:01:27

How to use the lavatory independently, how to put her coat on, recognising her own name. Putting on shoes/wellies and jumper/cardigan.

These are the skills that help her to be independent and will help her confidence, and make life easier for the teachers.

weeblueberry Thu 02-Jun-16 10:03:53

Fab advice. Thank you. She can do most of those things - I assume when you say recognise her name you mean written? She does sometimes struggle with putting jumpers etc on but that's mainly because as soon as she finds it difficult she loses her temper...

PolterGoose Thu 02-Jun-16 10:05:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Believeitornot Thu 02-Jun-16 10:06:44

Is it preschool or nursery?

5minutestobed Thu 02-Jun-16 10:07:50

Watching with interest. My DS is the same age as can't do any of the things either of you have mentioned! Well, he can count to 20 but that's it, doesn't know any letters and not potty trained or interested in dressing himself at all. Looks like we have a fun summer ahead!

weeblueberry Thu 02-Jun-16 10:10:47

I think it's first year of nursery? She's just turned 3 in May and I think they have a first year of nursery then a year of preschool the year after?

weeblueberry Thu 02-Jun-16 10:11:27

Thanks Polter. It's a state nursery - not sure if that makes any difference although I appreciate it will very much depend on the nursery itself.

Surferjet Thu 02-Jun-16 10:14:11

They're not expected to know anything apart from being toilet trained. That was my experience anyway. ( & that was school nursery ds 3.5 years.

PolterGoose Thu 02-Jun-16 10:15:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PatriciaHolm Thu 02-Jun-16 10:17:03

Assuming you are in England, she'll have just one year of this and then into primary school reception - she'll start reception at 4 and 3 months, assuming a normal start at the regular age (and you aren't trying to defer). So you need to apply for a school place for her in Autumn!

And they won't have any expectations at this age, honestly.

weeblueberry Thu 02-Jun-16 10:17:13

Oh she's toilet trained - I should have mentioned that. She's quite happy to take herself off and go. In fact she's more likely to just not mention she's leaving and take herself off! grin

weeblueberry Thu 02-Jun-16 10:18:42

PatriciaHolm We're in Scotland but I understand there are two years of 'nursery' before school? Is reception before school or the first year of school?

PatriciaHolm Thu 02-Jun-16 10:23:38

Reception is the first year of school. However, since you are in Scotland, she will start school the August after she turns 5, so almost a year later than she would in England. So she will have 2 years of nursery/preschool, whatever you want to call it!

PurpleTraitor Thu 02-Jun-16 10:28:21

She should know that you won't be going with her but you will come back to get her and that you l ove her very much.

She should know that nursery will be great fun and have sand and water, drawing and painting, bricks and a playhouse. That she will be able to play outside with her friends.

She should know that the other children are not allowed to do things that hurt or upset her, how to stop them/walk away and how/who to tell.

She should know where the toilet is and how to use it herself without worrying, and how to excuse herself to use it.

She should know how to put her coat and shoes etc on and off, and where they are kept.

You should know that the people around you are going to be around you and your child for several years if you stay in the same school setting. You will have to see them day in day out, like it or not, and you will be highly involved in the lives of some of the other little people as well. So be nice at the start.

You should also be prepared for when your DD starts telling you things you didn't tell her and teaching you things you didn't know she knew. That's weird.

And you should also know that nursery and the early years of school require possibly more work from the parents than they do from the prepared....

weeblueberry Thu 02-Jun-16 10:39:21

I'm quite glad for that PatriciaHolm! I think I'd rather she was 5 instead of just turned 4. I was four the March before I started school and it was difficult for my mother at the time because she had to do loads more to support me at home than if I'd been a year later.

PurpleTraitor Thank you for this. It does put my worries in perspective a little more! She and my younger daughter are currently with a childminder at the moment and as she's fairly independent I think she'll be more excited than worried about leaving us for a while each day. Being with a childminder has also prepared me for her knowing things I didn't teach her and picking up the mannerisms and phrases of others - I agree that very odd initially. grin

MiaowTheCat Thu 02-Jun-16 11:53:10

DD2 is hitting nursery "age" in September (she's actually been going there on very limited hours all this year) - it's things like toileting that are the biggies - DD2 can do things like recognise her name, numbers, letters and the like but that's mainly a side effect of having a slightly older sister whose idea of fun is to get the phonics flashcards out and play "teachers" with a willing sibling victim!

She only potty trained fairly recently - was on the late end with getting started talking so didn't quite have the language to tell us she needed to go.

BackforGood Thu 02-Jun-16 12:04:40

Agree with everyone else. She doesn't need to know any of that you talk about in your op.
It will be very helpful if she is toilet trained (which you say she is) and if she can do other independence skills such a using a knife and fork / drinking from an open cup, etc. Also will help her considerably if she has been left places without you before - that she knows you will come back and isn't distraught at the idea. (again, which you say she is)

blueberryporridge Thu 02-Jun-16 20:14:44

Just to say, OP, if you are in Scotland, depending on our DD's birthday, you may have the option of deferring her starting Primary 1 if you feel that she is not ready. We are in Scotland and my DS was born in December. He will not be starting P1 till he is 5 years 9 months as we felt that starting at 4 years 9 months (last August) was too early for him.

In my experience, nursery won't be expecting your DD to do anything before she starts. If she is already toilet trained, that is great but not obligatory. The main thing is for you to tell her that she is going to have a great time doing new things and making new friends, and for you to reassure her that you (or someone else she knows) will be taking her there and collecting her each day!

Hope it goes well!

weeblueberry Fri 03-Jun-16 10:19:44

Thanks all!

blueberryporridge we would also prefer to defer I suspect. Obviously it's some time away but I think I'd like her to have the added time for social development. smile

2nds Fri 03-Jun-16 10:24:46

Nursery informed us our daughter had a place the week before she started. I'm guessing that's normal. And no its not expected that children be fully toilet trained at nursery age.

weeblueberry Fri 03-Jun-16 10:31:08

2nds did you have a back up plan? I was told we'd know by the end of May and will call them today to find out. Her sessions are afternoon and I only work mornings so childcare isn't a problem. I just really want her to get the social benefit of going to nursery and would rather this isn't pushed back to December (earliest...).

rainbowunicorn Fri 03-Jun-16 10:34:27

Things like hand washing, putting on coat, changing shoes etc are all much more important than any of the things you mention in the OP.
I also am in Scotland and it is two years of pre school whether you call it nursery or preschool is up to you it really is the same.
The children will be encouraged to develop at their own pace and if it is attached to a school there will be opportunities to work alongside the younger primaries on occasion with topics.
Really do not worry, I have seen children come in to nursery at this stage unable to even turn a tap to wash their hand. Within 6 months they are getting changed for gym and putting on coats and shoes themselves.

DivaDroid Fri 03-Jun-16 10:38:27

The school nursery mine went to (DD is off to primary in August, we're in Scotland too), preferred toilet trained, but at least toilet training started and that's it.
DS started 7weeks after his 3rd birthday (he's a Feb baby) & flourished.
We deferred him (only Jan/Feb birthdays can defer without other agencies recommendations) & it's the best thing we ever did!
I'm sure your LO will love it.

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