Let’s get our little school starters #schoolready

It won’t be long until schools across the borough start preparing to open their doors ready to welcome lots of excited and nervous school starters. Not wanting to wish the holidays away, but now is the time to start preparing new school starters for this next chapter. So, this week, we’re launching our #schoolready campaign to share lots of advice, hints and tips to support you and your child take this next big step. 

Starting school can be a very exciting time for some children, but it can also be an equally daunting time for others – not to mention for parents and carers. Starting school is a huge step but to make the transition as smooth as possible, it’s a good idea to prepare your child emotionally and socially and to equip them with some basic skills. This will help your child feel more confident, reassured and happy as they begin their journey into the world of school. 

Take a look at some of our #schoolready top tips below:  

1. Support your child in carrying out simple tasks for themselvesThink about the practical skills they’ll need and practise them, such as:

  • Using a knife and folk 
  • Putting on and fastening their own shoes and coat 
  • Getting undressed and dressed for PE 
  • Going to the toilet independently and washing hands 

2. Encourage your child to be more independent. Take a step back and encourage them to do little jobs that you might automatically do for them, such as: 

  • Carrying their own bag 
  • Tidying up their bedroom and toys 
  • Putting their dirty clothes in the wash basket
  • Hanging up their coat and putting shoes away 

3. Help your child get ready to learn. 

Your child is not expected to start school able to read and write – there’s plenty of time for that. But it can be helpful to get them ready to learn. Recognising and writing their name is a great place to start - this will also help them find their peg and their labelled clothing. You could also practise writing their age and look out for different numbers when out and about.  

4. Good listening and social skills. Talking and listening skills will come with practice, but it’s a good idea to practise some basic social skills, such as: 

  • Taking it in turns to talk and not talking over people 
  • Greeting their teacher with ‘good morning’ and a smile 
  • Listening to their teacher and following instructions 
  • Good sharing and manners 

5. Preparing your child emotionally. 

Starting school might make your child feel worried or anxious for a whole range of reasons. The single best thing to do is talk. Talk about school as much as possible – what it will be like, the fun things they will do, the new friends they’ll make. Talk about the things worrying them, then reassure them to dispel their fears. If worries continue in September, talk to their teacher. 

It’s not just new starters who may be feeling worried or anxious about starting school, older children may also feel anxious – especially those moving to secondary school. So, we’ll also be sharing some tips to support older children returning to school, such as meeting up with friends, talking about their anxieties and getting back into a routine. 

Cllr Jo Newing, Cabinet support spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “Our #schoolready campaign aims to support parents and carers with children who are set to start a brand-new chapter in their lives. Starting school is a huge step and can bring with it excitement, nerves and apprehension.  

“To ease these nerves, it’s a great idea to start preparing your child over the holidays for school life. They’re not expected to read or write but helping them to become more independent and do more things for themselves will ease some of your worries and make your child feel more confident and equipped to do things for themselves.  

“Ultimately, we want children and young people across the borough to aim high and achieve their full potential with the best outcomes they can. Although they’re just starting out on their learning journey, preparing them now is an important step, to grow happy, confident and resilient children, whose early school experiences put them in good stead for the rest of their learning journey. 

Follow the #schoolready campaign via our social media channels Facebook and Twitter. 

For further information, please visit fsd.barnsley.gov.uk, email Infofis@barnsley.gov.uk or call 0800 0345 340 


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