Readiness for School

What can you do at home?

Starting school for the first time brings with it new routines, social situations and experiences.

It is a great help, particularly to the children’s confidence, if, by the time they start school, they are able to:

  • go to the toilet without assistance

  • use a knife, fork and spoon

  • dress and undress themselves (including school uniform and PE kit)

  • understand and obey simple verbal instructions

  • write, or at least recognise, their name.

How to Help Children in the Early Years


  • Start looking at and talking about books. It’s important to talk about pictures and encourage detailed observation.

  • Read short stories to begin with and encourage children to join in with repetitions to develop concentration.

  • Make book sessions enjoyable and do not force.

  • Always share a bedtime story together!

  • Introduce your child to a range of books; stories, picture books, poetry book, nursery rhymes, information books etc. Joining the local library is a great way of doing this. Make the visits relaxed and enjoyable occasion.

  • When libraries are closed, you can find lots of e-books and audio books online. The link below to Oxford Owl will take you to a website with lots of free e-books.

  • For more ideas and support with early reading, click the button to the right. You can also find some useful information about phonics on our curriculum page.



  • Teach your child to recognise their own name.

  • Begin to work on writing their name. Start with a capital letter but use lower case for the rest. Please do not write words using capital letters or teach your child to write in capital letters.

  • We teach cursive letter formation from Reception throughout KS1 (see picture for correct letter formation if you are interested). If you talk about letters, please refer to the sound e.g. /a/ as in apple, /b/ as in ball, /c/ as in cat.

Mathematical experiences

  • Encourage children to:

  • Help with cooking, measuring ingredients etc.

  • Set the table

  • Fill containers with sand, water etc.

  • Sort out a purse of money (play with real coins)

  • Go shopping – hand over money and receive change

  • Sort out buttons and bits and bobs

  • Talk about shoe sizes

  • Point out numbers in everyday life (e.g. clocks, road signs, price labels etc.)

Talking and listening

Talk to children as much as possible, including them in your conversations. Answer questions and ask what they have been doing. Try not to use ‘baby talk’. Use correct vocabulary – children are amazing at picking up big words. Listen to what children have to say and encourage them to listen carefully.


Play games and do jigsaws with plenty of discussion about colours, shape, size and numbers. This also helps with social aspects of playing and sharing and teaches children how to accept that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Sharing games with older children and adults is valuable play.


Click on the image above for some fantastic early years ideas to try at home!


There are some very good programmes which will widen children’s visual experience, extend their vocabulary and stimulate imagination. These will be far more valuable if adults are there to share and discuss them. We particularly recommend ‘Numberblocks’. This has been developed with early maths experts and we use it as part of our maths curriculum.