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Preparing for year 1

(15 Posts)
Ginmummy1 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:07:33

My DD has started saying she’s worried about moving to Year 1. She’s been asking some children about it at breakfast club and in the playground, and heard various tales about how they have to write a story every day. One child even told her that they had to write 100 pages per day!

The one thing about school she professes not to love is writing: her writing is not yet particularly neat (it's not bad though), and she’s not too keen on drawing/colouring. However, her reading is excellent and her sentence construction, spelling and focus are good, as is her maths.

I think the problem is that, last September, DD spent a week doing phonics in the year 1 class as her reading was already well established by the time she started school. However, she struggled with the writing element of the sessions, so she went back to reception after a week. She still remembers it being ‘hard’, and doesn’t quite believe my reassurances that she’ll be with her own class and has learned so much during the past year etc.

I’ve heard some people say that it can be quite a jump at some schools. Does anyone have any tips for preparing their child for year 1?

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Mon 27-Jun-16 10:10:33

I don't but I'm in the same boat, my ds also hates colouring and although his letter formation is great, he'll only write a couple of sentences max. I think each school will be different in their approach to it, so we will have to wait and see!

irvineoneohone Mon 27-Jun-16 10:34:30

How about encouraging her to write a diary during summer holiday to build up confidence?
My ds is a reluctant writer, but enjoyed writing diary during summer.(mostly drawingssmile)
We bought him a nice diary with special pen. I think he will do it again this year.(yr3)

Ginmummy1 Mon 27-Jun-16 11:01:28

Irvine, I was actually wondering what to do in the summer to keep things ticking along, and that sounds like a lovely idea! I guess she could also stick in postcards/flyers if she’s visited places during the holidays.

BertPuttocks Mon 27-Jun-16 11:20:32

It might be worth speaking to her Reception teacher about it. I doubt she'll be the only child who's feeling unsure and he/she will be able to reassure the whole class.

The school will probably also organise a transition visit to the new class at some point before the end of term. At our school they spend a few hours in their new classroom with their Year 1 teacher so that they can get a sense of what it will be like.

My DD is in Reception and the teacher has already been introducing them gradually to the new expectations of Year 1. It tends to be little things like "No calling out the answer. You're nearly in Year 1 now and should be able to put your hands up and wait".

At our school they tend to ease them into things for at least the first few weeks. The biggest differences I've seen between Reception and Year 1 tend to be about gaining independence and taking more responsibility for themselves. So things like:

- Trying to remember to use the toilets during break times rather than in lesson time (although they are still allowed to go in class time).

- Trying to get their work done without the need to have an adult guiding them all the time.

- Following instructions along the lines of "When you've finished this piece of work, you need to put it on my desk and then go and finish your maths", instead of being told what to do at every step of the way.

There will still be a whole range of abilities in Year 1. Some children will be writing a paragraph or two. Some will still be learning how to put a sentence together. The rest will be somewhere in between.

sirfredfredgeorge Mon 27-Jun-16 12:21:56

BertPuttocks All those sound like things our reception has been doing since the start. Calling out has certainly been a thing since the very beginning, and self directed is the norm for most activities, the teachers assisting, even with tasks that are very extension based.

DD's transition has also already started with time in new class, she's so far mostly just upset that they don't have desks...

Ginmummy1 Mon 27-Jun-16 13:17:22

Thanks, PertButtocks. I know they're having an afternoon with the year 1 teacher at some point, and it's just one class per year so they all know all the teachers etc.

DD is pretty good with the independence stuff and remembering a sequence of instructions, so I'm not concerned about any of that. It's really about addressing her concerns about the academic stuff: she is convinced the work is going to be hard next year, even though she's achieving/exceeding in everything at the moment and need not be concerned.

She does tend to 'catastrophise' ("I'll never be able to write well") and worry about the small stuff. For example, if she ever got into trouble she'd go to pieces! Her teacher in Reception quickly spotted this and has worked on her perseverance and confidence, but DD still worries.

I guess it's just a case of continuing with the gentle reassurance throughout the summer...

TheWanderingUterus Mon 27-Jun-16 14:21:14

When she brings home all her work at the end of term she will be able to see how much she has progressed since she started school. DD and DS love going through their piles of schoolwork and choosing what to keep. The difference between the September work and July work is always startling for them.

Second the diary idea. My mum made me do a scrapbook diary for every summer holiday from 5yo to 12 yo (the full 6 weeks!). I have kept them all and they are lovely to look back on - at the beginning it was a drawing and a couple of lines of writing, sticking in tickets etc when I visited things etc.

The library Reading Challenge is worth signing up for too, she'll get her little medal at the end.

idontlikealdi Mon 27-Jun-16 14:28:56

My twins are in reception. One of them hasn't met the early learning goal for writing or whatever it's called as she keeps adding random capitals and doesnt write in a straight line (which is a whole different thread...).

I aske the eacher what to do to help her over the summer and they said to practice, but needs to be somehting with a purpose eg write a postcard or help with a shopping list etc. DIary sounds like a great idea, I think we will try that too.

ihearttc Mon 27-Jun-16 17:19:55

DS2 is going to Y1 in september as well and he is also worrying about it. His reading is quite good and his writing isn't too bad when he can be bothered but his numeracy isn't great. He can order numbers and do 1 more and 1 less and do addition and subtraction on a number line but most of the other children in the class are doing number bonds in their head which he hasn't got a clue how to do.

irvineoneohone Mon 27-Jun-16 17:35:15

ihearttc, have you tried khan academy?
Going over from start of early maths may strengthen your dc's knowledge of maths, and progress further.

Ginmummy1 Tue 28-Jun-16 08:29:44

TheWanderingUterus I didn't realise we'd get loads of work home at the end of the year to keep (rolls eyes at gathering more clutter on top of all the nursery drawings). We do have a 'learning showcase' in late July which I assume to be the opportunity to go in and look at their books etc.

She did the library reading challenge last year and loved it. The challenge this year will be to get her enthused in something other than Rainbow Magic / Secret Kingdom and Zoe's Rescue Zoo, which are starting to drive me mad! Does anyone else remember library reading schemes from childhood, where there was a limited selection of books to choose from? I wish they did it like this nowadays!!

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a DC worrying about it, and will be interested to hear how you all get on through the summer, with reassuring/preparing them and also with doing holiday books or other 'work' to keep them going until September.

irvineoneohone Tue 28-Jun-16 08:37:41

ihearttc, there are lots of number bond games on this website.

TheWanderingUterus Tue 28-Jun-16 12:17:41

Oh yes, they send everything home (weep). My advice is be brutal, I only keep the very best work and have another cull a year later. DD is year 6 and the pile gets bigger every year. DS is Year 1 and I have already been through his Reception work and ditched stuff that I couldn't bring myself to last year!

With the library challenge could you tell her that now she is at school, the new challenge is to read different/more difficult stuff?

I sympathise on the Rainbow Magic, we have had that and Beast Quest. I refuse to read those as bedtime stories, I only read aloud books that I find interesting or well-written. Both of my DC know if they bring those home then they are on their own!

HidingBehindThisUsername Tue 28-Jun-16 15:49:41

My DS was like this - reluctant writer. Over the summer I got him to write everything I could in a non-work way so:

Shopping lists
To do lists (Go the shops, walk the dog, go the swimming pool).
A list of things he wanted to do (go to the park, go to the beach)
He loves cooking - so I asked him to write lists of ingredients/methods out
He wanted to do some model making - so we drew/wrote a plan of what he would need.
A list of the books he got from the library.

Etc etc - nothing strenuous. Nothing creative. But I think/hope it helped him keep his hand in over the break.

And try not to worry - Yr1 teachers are very aware of the change/jump YR find it - they will be looking out for and looking after your DC.

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