What can I do to get my child ready for starting school?

Here are 8 things you can do to help get them ready for school life.

Getting your child ready for school can improve their experience
of the important first days and weeks of school.

Here are the things that will help you, your child, and
the teacher in the crucial starting phase at school.

  1. Recognise the letters in their name
  2. Help your child to be able to recognise the letters that make up their name.

    Some schools do self-registration as the children enter the class in the morning
    for example - picking up their name tag and putting it on a board
    or recognising where their coat peg or hook is to hang their belongings.

    Children making names from letter tiles
    Letter or scrabble tiles can be used to make names.

  3. Begin to write their name
  4. Encourage mark marking.
    Even if the name isn't exact - see the examples below,
    any attempts to make the shapes of the letter is a great start!

    Child's attempt to paint his name
    You can see the letters in Benjamin across the page.
    Child's attempt to write his name
    This name is written right to left and some letters are backwards.
    This is common in left handed children.

  5. Buttons, velcro and zips
  6. To encourage the children to start to be independent in dressing themselves;
    for example, being able to put a coat on for outside play.

    Child attempting to button shirt
    Learning to fasten buttons.
    a zip on a school bag
    Zip up your school bag.

  7. Put on shoes - Correct shoes on each foot
  8. Being able to recognise that each shoe is different.
    Awareness there is a left shoe and a right shoe and which feet they go on.
    Being able to fasten the shoes if they have velcro.

    children's shoes in a line
    Left and right shoes.

  9. Count to 10
  10. Counting the numbers up to ten
    Make it fun! Sing it, shout it, say it with closed eyes.
    Practice in the car, on a walk, out and about.
    Count every day items you see like birds, crayons or items of food.
    Here is an article about having fun with numbers at mealtimes

    Girl holding 3 coloured pens
    Counting everyday objects like pens.

  11. Recognise the numbers up to 5
  12. Some children are able to count by rote - they just know it.
    Help them to recognise the written numbers 1,2,3,4 and 5.
    Write the numbers out together on a piece of paper or insand.
    Use magnetic numbers on tables, trace round them, use them as characters
    or play hide and seek with them.

    Girl holding 3 coloured pens
    Magnetic numbers, not just for refrigerators.

  13. Read stories to your child
  14. This is to help them get used to the format of a story, a beginning and end.
    It also helps to get them used to concentrate on the sounds of a story being read,
    the voice, breaks in speaking, breathing, eye contact and intonation.

    Stories are fun to share and create a wonderful time together.

    A teacher reads a book
    Everyone loves a story... even the toys.

  15. Sing nursery rhymes and songs
  16. Five little ducks, five currant buns, 10 fat sausages - they bring in the experience of simple maths.
    It helps give children the experience of rhyme and repetition

Want to know the names of the years of children's schooling?

How do you know what first grade is?
What class year is "Reception"?
What are the years names?
Here is a chart that shows it all

The School Years: What Are the Year Names and What Age Groups Are in Them?

We have lots of free worksheets and resources online
to help your child get a great start to their school life.

Visit our downloads page

Here are some examples of our worksheets

thumbnail image of letter a worksheet

Letter a worksheet 1
The letter a

thumbnail image of an letter a worksheet 2

More letter practice
Letter a Worksheet 2

thumbnail image of an alphabet trail

Alphabet trail
An alphabet trail

thumbnail image of a raisin box challenge worksheet

Raisin box challenge
Fill your raisin box

You could buy..

This is useful
and practical

Wipe clean pockets

Or this, which we think is the best bag we have seen for a while

The coolest ever most golden unicorn school backpack ever created.. ever.

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