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How to Help Your Child

Before starting School

Children attend our Nursery for five morning or afternoon sessions per week, and Reception for five days per week. To help your child settle in happily, we operate a staggered induction programme in the Nursery, where we invite new children to join the class in small groups, over the first few weeks of term. In the Reception all new children attend until 12.00 for the first week, until 1.15pm for the second week and full time from the third week.

To help you child to become familiar with the Nursery Staff and Nursery environment, we will invite you and your child to visit the Nursery in the term prior to the one in which he/she is due to start.

Starting Nursery and Reception is a big step for children and is the start of their School life. For some children, this may be their first time away from you on a regular basis. Please be patient and understanding if your child has difficulty settling in, as some children settle very quickly, while others take a little longer. Please always say “goodbye” to your child and say that you will see them later, when you come to collect them. If you child is distressed, after saying goodbye, please leave as soon as possible to allow them to settle more quickly and to lessen the anxiety for yourselves.

Here are some ways to help your child feel more confident in the Foundation Stage:

  • Help your child to:-
    • Dress and undress without grown up help. The job will be made easier with loose fitting or stretchy clothes, trousers with elasticated waists and shoes with velcro or buckles (rather than shoe laces)
    • put on and take off his/her coat
    • hang up his/her coat
    • drink through a straw
    • take her/himself to the toilet and manage on her/his own
    • wash and dry his/her hands on their own
    • recognise her/his name in written form (Capital letter at the beginning and lower case letters).
  • Let your child play with other children:-
    Children need plenty of opportunities to play with other children to develop social skills and to get used to sharing.
  • Try to get your child used to being without you:-
    Take him/her to a playgroup or leave him/her for an hour or so with relatives/friends.
  • Talk with your child:-
    Children make sense of their world by talking and listening. They need you to talk with them and listen to them. They will learn from your conversations together.
  • Read to your child:-
    Buy books or borrow books from the Library. Reading to your child will help to develop essential speaking and listening skills. There are also many good story books about children starting school. Sharing one of these books is an ideal way to prepare him/her for the Foundation Stage.
  • Let your child draw:-
    Give your child plenty of opportunities to draw pictures with pencils, crayons etc. This will help your child’s pencil grip and pencil control. It is a good idea to write his/her name on each drawing to help with name recognition.

Whilst at School

For Foundation Stage children, homework will constitute home reading activities, learning phonics and some basic number work. Parents will be able to communicate with the school through daily contact and through the Reading Record Books (Reception only).

For Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) English activities, in addition to reading every night, might include:-

  • Spellings; phonic work; writing activities; word games
  • Maths activities might include:- number bonds/number facts; number games
  • Topic Linked:- design a poster, survey etc.

Children in Key Stage 2 will keep a homework diary, and time will be set aside to discuss the homework to be done, and to fill in the homework diary for the following week. The diary will detail the date and task set. This information is for the child and for the parent, who should sign the diary ready for its return to school with the completed homework by the date due. This will indicate that parents are aware of the homework set, that it has been brought home, and that it has been completed. Homework will normally be linked to class work, and will form an integral part of planning.

Children in Years 3 to 6 will be set tasks linked to spellings, and may have tables to learn. They will also be expected to read every night and to have Reading Record Books completed. Children may also be asked to complete unfinished work from school, which will be expected to be returned the next day. Where children are experiencing difficulties extra work may be sent home to help them.

Parents are asked to support their children with homework, by encouraging completion, good presentation and helping if they get into difficulties. It is important, though, that the child completes the work through his or her own efforts, and that help given by parents assists the child’s learning, rather than taking over the task!

Parent Helpers

We welcome parent help in the school.  Parents can provide valuable help with school clubs, in the school library, on school visits, with classroom activities, cookery, needlework, sports and many other aspects of school life and the curriculum. Children and teachers appreciate parents’ assistance in school, and there is no doubt that activities of this kind help to foster the very important relationship between home and school. (All parent helpers will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Application Form which is available from the School Office).