Reception - what does my child need to be able to do?(23 Posts)
My DC starts school in September and I'm looking for some pointers about what my child needs to be able to do, and how to encourage this things over the summer
He loves numbers, dinosaurs, play doh and Lego but I struggle to get him to dress himself - not because he can't but because he gets distracted or refuses to stop what he's doing - so we end up doing it to get him out of the house on time!
Also any good books to read to him to help with the transition to 'big' school as he calls it!
Ask his nursery/preschool. They should be able to give you a good indication of whether he will struggle.
If he's not in one, I suggest you use this last term and get him in there pronto!!!
Personally being able to go to the loo by himself, dress himself (which he will probably have to do after PE) and put his shoes on by himself will make the teacher extremely grateful. She will teach him the rest.
My child's nursery school did a "skills for school" session and the mains points were:
Self care- toilet, hand wash, dressing, shoes, putting things away carefully (on pegs not just abandoned etc)
Personal-social- coping (or having ways to cope) with new children and adults, introducing self, asking about others, sharing, listening, turn taking.
Their main point was that the emotional well-being of the child was the most important thing, so a child that feels secure in their life overall will do better, so working on self confidence and security is much more valuable than drilling numbers or phonics.
Being able to read their name for the coat peg. Being able to leave you without crying. You should be enthusiastic about school and not transmit any concerns. Go to the library and get a book about starting school. They usually have them.
Also work on concentration and make sure he has a good pen grip. Don't let him get loads of toys out. Try and do one activity at a time and move on to another one. This is what the children will do at school. It is easier for the teacher if children can concentrate on one activity whether it is play, reading, writing or numbers. Often children get the hang of getting dressed. We had timed getting dressed to practice at home. The children respond differently to their teacher and in the end they cannot just do what they want when they want to do it otherwise school is chaotic!
Able to dress himself
Able and confident enough to ask to go to the toilet
Able to go to the toilet without help
Able to wash his hands
Able to carry his own bag, coat, water bottle (children who carry their own things rather than their parents don't lose them as much!)
Able to hang his coat and other stuff up
Able to put his coat on and do the zip up
Able to recognise his own name
Able to dress himself
Be excited/confident enough to walk in himself
If he can do that, the Reception teacher will love him and you - the teacher can do the rest!
Work on these skills and given him plenty of praise for achieving them and being a 'big' boy! With encouragement he'll be able to do them all!
Thanks everyone. I'll work on the getting himself dressed - just to need leave more time for it!
I'll try the library for a book!
To add to the other excellent suggestions, DD's playgroup did changing for PE practice, and carrying your lunch on a tray practice! Being able to sit still and listen to a story was also on school's list, I think most other things have been covered.
Our favourite book was Charlie and Lola I'm too small for school.
Get eyes tested before starting
Use timer for getting dressed, gets a sticker if dressed before the timer pings etc
There is lots of focus on "super sitting"
Putting hand up to speak not shouting out
Taking it in turns
Toilet and washing hands
Opening everything in packed lunch
Not flinging clothes anywhere when take them off
Hanging up coat etc
Kids need to be able to use the toilet themselves, most schools want them to be able to get dressed for gym class. As for the reading/writing. The older kids, ones with nursery experience or advanced ones will be able to do phonics, read, write etc. My DD was in nursery, so she entered reception being able to do phonics, and learned to read within the first couple weeks of reception, count to 50, write. But some kids who started with no nursery learning instruction, had to learn phonics from scratch. All kids eventually catch up I think. It makes a big difference what age your child is...if they are oldest in class, they are obviously able to do more. My DD is bright, and age wise, middle of the class. However, my son is starting reception one year early, dye to french system, so he will be 14 months younger then the oldest kids in the class! He will start reception age 3 years 10 months, and will not know phonics because he is in a different nursery then my DD was in and its jus play play play. He would have learned all this stuff in nursery this coming september, but because he is switching to bilingual school, he is skipping nursery and going straight to reception...so won't be able to read or write probably until the end of the year or begging of year 1. Do not worry so much what other kids are doing. Just make sure your child is able to do things for his age, encourage him etc.
DD is just finishing Reception.
We were asked to make sure they could
Use the loo - wipe, flush and wash hands properly
Do up their coat
Put on their shoes
Sit still for a few minutes when asked
Able to recognise own name
Schools are used to children not knowing phonics, being unable to write etc. They are set up to teach those things. It's lack of life skills for want of a better term, that will stress children out and cause them difficulties.
Definitely being able to get changed for gym - so taking off all clothes, put them back in his bag or on his chair or whatever, putting on his gym kit and shoes and getting dressed again.
Practise carrying things carefully on a tray and using cutlery to eat his lunch. If yes having a packed lunch make sure he can open packets, yoghurts and straw wrappers on his own. It's so stressful doing dinner duty with little ones and having to open everyone's yoghurt, cut everyone's baked potato and put everyone's straws in their milk all at once!
I'd also agree with making sure he can recognise his name on his peg and maybe do some school role play with him involving hands up, super sitting, hands in a basket etc.
Games with turn taking. Losing gracefully.
Look at which clothes he finds easier to build confidence then work on the tricker things. For example buttons are far harder than Zips for some kids, pull on polo shirts easier than button up shirts. We had a tie on elastic to start with as my object was to get my DD to dress herself first, then we worked on a proper tie and doing up all the buttons.
Asda had some great jersey material (non-iron) elastic waisted trousers which were far easier than zip n button trousers.
My Ds can only do a couple of those things [panics]. He can sit still for a few minutes as he does this at preschool and he can count to 12. He can put his shoes on but not on the right feet.
You need the Mn trick of cutting a sticker in half and putting half in each shoe
They have se adult size cutlery at school, so practice that. Pouring a drink from a jug. Carrying their plate on a tray.
Being able to undress, put clothes in a pike and remember where they left them.
Blow their noses.
Things like toileting, getting own coats on (at least to the level of being on - may need a quick adult zipper upper if it's a bugger of a zip), hanging stuff up in the right place (not aiming your coat vaguely at a peg and then letting it fall to the ground DD2 style), recognising their name to find bags/pegs etc (even though lots of schools will have pictures with name labels - DD1's never has had).
DD2 is under treatment from the GP for constipation/withholding so the toileting can be a nightmare at times (we've already met with the school to discuss this); can't sit still to save her life; and the hanging your coat on the peg rather than letting it drop past the peg onto the floor thing has already been mentioned... I'm not doing very well on any of this this time around really! Thankfully school are prepared - having had extensive experience of the DD2 experience this year with her sibling in the class at the moment! (She's a little bugger who can do most of this - except possibly the toileting thing which is medical - when the mood takes her though)
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