DD starting Reception in April - any advice?(24 Posts)
DD (5) has been HE so far for Reception. We have not done very much formal work (but she knows her numbers pretty well and can do some basic addition and subtraction, confident with alphabet and sounding letters out, has started Biff, Chip and Kipper books and can recognise a few words etc) as we have been mostly playing/ day trips etc. She has asked to try out school and we were offered a place at our local primary which is a good school, valued and trusted by local families.
My question is what should we do to prepare her for entering Reception at this time in the year? I am nervous that the girls (especially) won't be friendly towards her and that groups will already be formed. As we have been unstructured, I'm nervous that she won't really enjoy focussing for too long on a particular thing for any length of time unless she is interested in it!
Any helpful advice or tips? (For both of us! I'm definitely much more nervous than she is so far!)
Make sure you practice getting her coat on/shoes on, pulling tights up when shes been to the loo as there will be less 1 to 1 help than shes probably use to at home and that's the thing DD struggled most with in September.
DD had a new child come to her class today who will start properly in April and apparently everyone wanted to play with him/show him round etc today and it was the same with another child who started in January, he had the pick of groups as everyone wants to befriend the new kid.
For you, plan something to do on her first day so you aren't sat at home worrying about her.
Thanks Menolly… I will be at work, so hopefully distracted enough. Do you know if I would be allowed to start my DD is gently? Or will they expect her to go full day right from the beginning?
Lunchtimes may be hard. They soon become institutionalised to school dinners & queuing etc but it was a bit if a shock in Sept. Can school give her a lunch buddy? Playgrounds can be quite noisy dep on size of school.
As Menolly says, my experience - as a volunteer in a school - is that everyone is squabbling as to who can be the new girl's friend! I really don't think she will struggle to find children to play with.
Otherwise, make sure she can dress herself, in readiness for PE lessons, and feed herself/make sure she can open her packed lunch.
Thanks. Just a question re: uniform. Is it normal for girls to have to wear skirts or pinafores?! No trousers?!
At my dd2's school there are a large number of girls that wear trousers including dd2.
Trousers are much easier than tights and skirts during the winter IMO.
It depends on the school, have you had a look round, do the girls seem to be wearing one thing or the other?
Probably same thing around cardigans or jumper
I've been around the school a few times but didn't pay much attention to what uniform they were wearing! On the uniform guidelines it says skirts and pinafores for girls and trousers for boys?! I don't want to become that parents already, but seriously...
I would check out if your dd can be phased in, as it's quite common for children who start Reception (in September anyway), to start mid-week so it's not straight in for a full week. They may go in for half a day on their first day, then a full day, weekend, and then start 'properly' the following week. This was the case for my dd.
Re trousers - check with school and then it's up to your dd. The safe bet is skirts I would say - maybe start off with skirts for the first week or so until you see what the other kids are wearing. My dd's school allows trousers, but unfortunately the ones we bought her have barely seen the light of day as she prefers to wear skirts! Also, my eldest dd told me once that when she wore trousers to school at a similar age, other children teased her and said it was because she wanted to be a boy!
It sounds like she will be fine academically, nothing to worry about. The things that school will expect is a certain amount of self-care skills, and being able to sit and listen, not disrupt the class etc. Also being able to share and play with other children. General social skills, really.
I think I would say watch out for tiredness - being in a class of other children all day, even at playtimes may be a shock to the system, and mentally exhausting. Don't necessarily plan too much after school, and keep bedtime routines consistent. I was amazed how tired my dd was for the first week and I saw tantrumy behaviour I hadn't seen since she was a toddler re-emerge! She was fine after about a week though. Good luck! Hope your dd really enjoys herself.
Thanks Pass, appreciate the help and the encouragement too. It has been a long and painful few months deliberating, worrying, talking with DD about going to school or not. I really really hope that she enjoys it and makes lovely friends etc.
We are quite consistent with bedtimes, routines etc as it is… weird question though, what time is a 'normal' bed time for a 5 yo who is going to school?! We've been able to be more relaxed as not had to be anywhere for 9am! If DCs are tired then they can just have naps during the day. DD doesn't normally, but I'm aware that school and new routine will be a change on pace for her.
My DD (still 4 until August though) started Reception in January under comparable circumstances (had been part time in a very informal Independent school).
She has loved it from day one and managed the full time week immediately. It's a small class and she hasn't made any close friends yet, I don't think, but is reportedly happy (and says she is) playing with a range of different children and alone. She's a bit of an outsider but I think that's her, not the late entry - that's the reason we kept her out initially!
DD's school doesn't have uniform. The school I teach in allows trousers for girls but they ALL choose skirts/ pinafores.
Sorry, meant to say I hope it goes well for your DD. Mine plays 'schools' from morning till night, so it's obviously been a big hit so far!
Bedtime is 7pm (that's lights out), but DD is an early riser at 6am. If she would sleep later, I'd probably keep her up longer.
My kids' bedtimes are between 8.30-9pm (lights out). It's slightly later than I would like, I would prefer it 8ish, but we seem to have difficulty making that happen! They sleep until about 7.30am. If they seem really tired, or we have to wake them up in the morning then we try and get them to bed earlier the following night, but usually they wake by themselves.
Thanks everyone for the help. It feels like this whole other world thinking about school and school runs, uniforms, packed lunches etc, etc. Really hope my DD is going to be happy.
starting her gently will depend on the school, some will let you do half days but some won't, same with the uniform, DD's school don't allow girls to wear trousers.
DDs bedtime is 7, she's generally asleep by 7.30, but we have to leave by 8 to get to school on time so if you live closer to school she might not need to go to bed that early. Before DD started we did a week of making sure we were up, fed and dressed and going out at the time she'd need to leave for school to get her into the routine.
Also if you are doing packed lunches its a good idea to make them the night before so you don't have to rush in the morning.
Early bed times and be prepared for exhaustion. Help her be quite independent at putting shoes on etc
Thanks everyone. Really appreciate the advice. It feels like a whole new world that I need to try to get used to!
My dgs has a 7pm bedtime and he is usually very tired after a day at school [he was 5 in February]. None of the girls wear trousers though I can;t see the school objecting. You want her to fit in with the others at first so I second the idea of walking by the school. Do you know any of the girls who will be with her or could you arrange to meet up with a couple of them- maybe fix a playdate?
My DD struggled settling into school according to the teachers, and actually still won't talk to them very directly, BUT she has loved it from the day she started, and has had no problem with the other children (talking, making friends). This isn't meant to worry you, but it is just to say that to some degree, how they settle in is about how the child feels about school. Other issues worry parents and teachers (mostly parents in this case). So I'd say the biggest thing is for you to be super positive and encouraging, and tell her how excited you are about her starting, and how you are looking forward to hearing about her new friends and what she is doing.
If there are a few wobbles (which there often are), don't worry about them, just keep being positive and encouraging and it will help your daughter through them.
For bedtime, it depends on how long your DD sleeps. Mine sleep for about 11 1/2 or 12 hours a night, and so bedtime is normally about 7-7.30 pm. Your DD will find it exhausting to begin with - there is so much that is new, and so much to take in (probably the whole of her first term).
Hope it goes well
Definitely prepare for exhaustion and expect tantrums etc - would be easy to confuse this for not liking school etc! I would suggest a 7-8pm bedtime and quiet time after school initially. My DD wears trousers as do some of the girls - but our school is quite easy going on uniform; everyone wears it but all diff versions and all items are unisex! Some girls wear jumpers not cardis, some boys wear cardis. Some girls wear summer dresses in winter if that's what they want. Tights should be grey but are often blue or even pink! Some wear school fleeces and coats but they are optional ... I would ask the school
Office for a steer
My home educated DS is just about to start school, at the age of almost 7. he has not previously been to school. the school suggested that he have a part time start, building up to full time when he is ready.
When is your dd's birthday? School is not compulsory til the term after they trun 5, so you would be within yopur rights to send her part time until then?
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