How to support bilingual DC, starting Reception after Easter?

(7 Posts)
PodClock Thu 28-Jan-16 20:25:03

My DC will start in Year R after Easter - she turns 5 in July, so she is one of the younger ones, and hasn't been in a school setting before. We have been overseas, and she has been in a pre-school type setting there.

I was wondering if there are specific things I should be doing to prepare her. She can read and write a bit, but she's a mixture of self-taught and haphazard teaching by me, so I think there are probably some gaps, and she maybe hasn't progressed in a particularly systematic way. (She's also bilingual, which maybe clouds the issue a little - different spelling and pronunciation rules. She will often read English words how they would be pronounced in her second language, but I'm hoping that won't prove to be a big issue).

Should I be actively trying to fill gaps before she starts, or should I assume that the teacher will just take her as she comes and sort everything out?

I want to make the transition easy for her, and I think she would be discouraged if she thought she couldn't do things that the other children could.

What should she be able to do reading and writing and maths-wise by next term?

KohINoorPencil Thu 28-Jan-16 20:36:18

If you don't know how to teach the methods the new school will use, don't attempt to plug the gaps yourself.

The teacher will be should be perfectly happy with her as she is and will work with you and her to fill the gaps.

It is far more important that she is confident socially. How structured is her pre-school? Does she need to ask now to go to the toilet etc? Does she know how to ask children to play?

PodClock Thu 28-Jan-16 20:57:01

Pre-school is pretty unstructured. I don't think they have to ask to go to the toilet - actually that could be an issue, I think she'd be worried to ask. I will maybe try and get the teacher to talk about that with her specifically, thank you.

I assume she knows how to ask other children to play, she is usually playing with someone when I pick her up.

She is very shy though. I'm not sure what I can really do to help with that.

KohINoorPencil Thu 28-Jan-16 21:04:12

Obviously you can't change ger personality, but you can help.

If you play at schools or read a story about someone starting school, you can prompt her through the situation and give her some lines (e.g. 'I like your pencil case, peppa is my favourite too'). Make sure you are very positive about school and how all of the adults are there to help etc.

She'll be fine though, honestly.

PodClock Thu 28-Jan-16 21:52:08

Thanks, that is good advice. I have been very positive, and she is excited about it all.

She has been telling me all about what she is going to say to the other children - but she does sometimes lose her nerve when it comes down to actually talking to someone, even people she knows well.

Ferguson Fri 29-Jan-16 19:43:44

I assume she has access to suitable books in English, and that you read to/with her.

Cbeebies has some good educational material:

Doing Duplo or other construction toys, drawing or colouring in, and jigsaw puzzles are good for concentration and 'hand - eye' coordination.

Yes: be positive about school, but don't OVERSELL it just in case it doesn't match her expectations.

PodClock Sat 30-Jan-16 09:23:36

Yes, she has loads of books, and enjoys being read to.

She likes construction toys and drawing and colouring in (jigsaws not so much).

She actually has great hand-eye coordination and concentration. If she was starting at the same time as everyone else, I'd have no worries at all. It's just because she has to start part-way through.

She took a while to settle at her preschool, but she did have to learn a new language, so it's maybe to be expected. She absolutely hated not being able to speak the language fluently, when everyone else could.

I will have a look at Cbeebies.

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