RECEPTION! If you've been there, bought the T-shirt. Please post your single toppest tip please!(174 Posts)
DD is PFB and will be starting our local state primary in September at the grand old age of 4 and 3 weeks
Please can you be kind enough post your single top tip to help me and DD negotiate this exciting and also vaguely scary time.
Anything from uniform (mind is boggling - how many fleeces, polo shirts, skirts does she need?)to whether or not to bother with school lunches (can I be bothered to make a packed lunch everyday? )
With packed lunch/dinners thing, be aware that the children who have packed lunches may eat at a different time to the children who have dinners so you may need to be sensitive to who your child's friends are and change accordingly.
Avoid branded uniform as much as possible. It is expensive and does not last any longer than the other stuff. Lots of polo shirts (1 a day for mine) as they get completely filthy. 2 Jumpers and 2 pairs of trousers. You can get more as you need it. Don't forget about PE stuff as well.
If you have any concerns, ask your child's teacher - they are on the whole very helpful. However, avoid being confrontational.
Be as nice as possible to other mothers at the school gates, they will be in large part responsible for your child's social life over the next few years.
Come and join us here, we are all experiencing it together
Single top tip: If in doubt, ask. Schools seem to expect you to be telepathic but are generally (contary to initial appearances) happy to answer questions.
Lots of threads around on uniform - essentially it depends on how often you are prepared to wash her uniform
Lunches - one of many "ask" ones - ask the school what the norm is - if the vast majority have school lunches, your DD will probably want to as well. And vice versa. If you do go with packed lunches, practice with her at home - unpacking your own lunch can be very daunting at 4-and-all-important-3-weeks!
make your husband in charge of packed lunches from the VERY FIRST DAY
forget the academic stuff and concentrate on getting her used to enjoying school
reception is great fun
get lots of polos less of the other stuff
School lunches - definitely, was a real faff doing packed ones for DS1 and then when he asked to switch, bliss...no more crumpled up bits of soggy food in his lunchbox or running around in the morning like a headless chicken. However he is a very good eater, not sure what I will do when DS2 goes next year.
Uniform - 2 school jumpers, 2 school polo shirts, 2 pairs of trousers and 2 pairs of shorts. He tends to wear same lothes 2 days running, I get him out of his uniform when he gets in.
Get a calender, and write down when it is library day/book bag day, anything that you may have to remember (I was stumped at first).
Hope she enjoys school. Be prepared for her to be very tired when she gets in at first. DS1 was like a zombie during his first half term.
There you got 2
Don't buy George polo shirts. I got these for DS1 thinking they were a bargain then ended up buying a whole new load from M&S two months later as they had shrunk and looked like old rags!
Don't buy shoes with rolled up bits on the toes, buy one with flat fronts IYSWIM. Had a hole in first style within 2 months of being at school mornings. Took them back and got different ones and shop assistant said it happened with that style all the time.
top tip: Try, hard as you may find it, not to compare your child to the other children in the class. Unless she is an exceptionally bright 4 year old, there will probably be other children in the class who are better readers or pick up writing more quickly or who are faster runners or... Well, you know what I mean. It really does not matter in the long term whether so-and-so is on level x in their reading while yours in on level y.
also, you might have heard that children are exhausted at the start of reception. some are, some aren't. if she's flagging, make sure you are standing there at the door each afternoon with a snack!
most children really enjoy reception and although it's a big step, they seem to manage it!
Get her dressing herself confidently, try to dress her in clothes that are easiest for her to deal with. So not pinafores and tights, in most cases!
Packed lunch saves us a fortune.
Uniform: 3 sets gets most people by, though I managed to get DS thru most of reception with just ONE pair of trousers [preen emoticon].
Brace yourself and smile at all the other mums and say hello. Invite someone back to coffee or something. Do some pre-school playdates with anyone you might be vaguely familiar with.
Getting into a clique is essential
Take it with a pinch of salt when they tell you they have noone to play with.
before she starts try to make sure your child knows their surname and recognise the first initial
dd1 and dd2 both had other children with the same name in the class of 30, infact there are three Isabel(elle)s in a class with only 12 girls in!
If anyone appraoches you and starts to volunteer how able their child is, or to ask you whether your child can read french yet DO NOT NOT NOT take any notice.
They are going to be the people you ignore all year and they are sad. Smile and feel sorry for them.
Try and teach your child to dress and eat as independently as possible - the teachers will LOVE you for it.
Agree with Katiestar. They will tell you they have no one to play with. Or that x child was mean to them. Or that they were the only child who didn't get to do some fantastic activity. They are fibbing.
Also if they tell you they are the bestest at running or gym or singing don't book your front row at sports day or concerts. They are probably fibbing here too.
Ooh, I love all this. You ladies are FAB!
Yes, packed lunches eat separately. Apparently 80% eat school dinners in reception...switches to the opposite in upper years for social reasons....
Just off to M&S to take advantage of 3 for 2 before I go on hols tomorrow.
DO NOT tell people how great your child is or ask anyone if their child can read french yet. People will smile oddly and avoid you all year.
yes to school lunches
huge snack and drink when they get home as they will be v v tired and may well be asleep by 5 30 most nights til Xmas
yy to dress/undress independently; be prepared for a few toileting issues at the start as School Loos can be scary places and the child may hold on all day rather than use 'em
aaaaawwwwww to all you september starters, don't cry until your child has gone in and can't see you x x x
Meet your child with a snack so she can get from playground to home in one piece! You'll be dragging her off the floor with tiredness, so make sure she's at least fed and watered to get home.
label everything but it will still get lost.
We don't have an asda in our town so get my mum to buy asda uniform rather than tesco and sainsburys. I find it easier to work out which is her jumper when there's a pile of "lost" property at the end of the day.
check lunchtime procedure - at our school reception have lunch in the classroom and must have packed lunch or a school provided brunch bag due to size of hall and that they may find bigger lunchtimes difficult and bewildering.
Oh Gosh yes, the "I have no friends and noone plays with me" card.
Do NOT believe it.
It was only after a few tearful nights and asking his teacher that I realised DS1 only ever pulled this one after I'd told him off for something.
Slaps forehead emoticon
Bum wiping. You would not believe the number of children who expect the teacher/TA to wipe their bums for them. Get it sorted beforehand.
Everyone tells you how much children grow over the summer holidays. Do not put off buying school shoes till the last week in August for this reason alone, they will all have gone by then.
And at least one item of summer uniform is very handy to have (dresses/ shorts), it can be hot in September.
If you write her name on the uniform using a pen, you'll need to do it again mid-year, or lose the uniform of course.
Let her do nothing when she gets home if she wants to. Mine watched lots of TV - they couldn't cope with anything else. They were both only just 4 too.
Though it's nice to have friends for tea, don't arrange too much the first term.
Don't ask too many questions about her day. Just tell her it's lovely to see her and get the carbs into her quickly.
School shoes: velcro fastenings!
I think the thing I learned very fast when my dd started school was that the care element that I'd come to expect at nursery school and at the childminder, was not forthcoming at school (understandably, given the change in ratios of adults to children) and my daughter was really ill quite early on because no-one was keeping an eye on her asthma, and she wasn't used to asking for her inhaler. It was a bit of a wake-up call!
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