Preparing Your Child for School

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School Readiness

At Stanford School we believe that school readiness is about children becoming confident learners who don’t giving up when things get tricky, it’s about being happy to leave familiar grown-ups and come into school willingly and be excited about what the day might entail.

We believe it’s about children being able to take care of their own needs at an appropriate level such as putting on a coat; washing their own hands and being able to go to the toilet by themselves.

Being school ready is also about children developing their language skills so that they can make their thoughts and feelings known to others. It is about making friends and being able to share. It is about being able to ask questions to find out how and why things happen and being curious about the world around them.

We believe that children should have a sound general knowledge about their world, they should be able to recognise and name colours and shapes. They should be able to say their number names in order and count objects carefully. They should develop a love of books and enjoy listening to stories and rhymes.

We hope that when children leave us ready to start at their next school they leave us as children that are happy, inquisitive and confident learners.

How do we help children to be school ready?

As well as making sure that we prepare the children emotionally, socially and academically we also work really hard at making the transition to school as smooth as possible. We work closely with the pre-schools and nursery setting, ensuring that information is shared about how each child learns, their developmental key skills and their next steps to learning. We welcome pre-schools and nursery setting to bring children so that they can spend time at Stanford School and so that the children become comfortable and secure in their new environment and understand the kind of activities the children enjoy and are used to doing.

Many thanks

Katie Wilson
Foundation Leader

Realise the value of play as a means of development

It is important that in the early years that we, (the parents, the pre-school and the school) make ample provision of a wide range of opportunities for the children to learn through play.

Areas of play which are valuable:

  • vigorous play ( e.g. climbing),
  • experimental play ( e.g. exploring sand),
  • creative play ( e.g. painting),
  • fantasy or pretend play ( e.g. dressing up).

Encourage lots of conversation

Talk to your child and listen with interest to what they are saying.

Try to extend their conversation by asking them questions, encouraging them to make observations etc.

Make the most of trips and visits.

Develop their ‘mathematical’ understanding by looking at shapes and using vocabulary such as ‘over and under’, ‘behind and in front’, ‘most and least’, ‘tall and short’ etc.

Value your child’s creative efforts

Praise them and put their work up on the wall.

Provide story books, paper, pencils, crayons, paints, scissors etc

Give your child lots of positive encouragement to use them, but don’t pressurise them.

Share and read books with your child

Let your child see how a book works, move your finger on the page and point to each word as you read, so that your child will learn that the text moves from left to right and from the top to the bottom of the page.

Encourage lots of discussion about the pictures.

Take your child to the library regularly.

Encourage children to recognise whole words

Their name, words on cereal boxes, on adverts, shop signs etc.

Introduce individual letters to your child

Remember to call them by their sounds e.g. ‘a for apple’.

Avoid using capital letter names as this will confuse your child when they start school.

Joined up handwriting

Our handwriting and recognition of letter sounds are in a progression of ‘letter families’.

The actual writing can be found in a hard copy of the school brochure or on a separate sheet which can be obtained by contacting the school office.


Encourage recognition of numbers and counting in practical situations. If counting is done ‘parrot fashion’ then your child will not have really grasped the concept of number.

Before coming to school, play lots of games which use number, count objects practically, learn to count using fingers, experience people handling money, sing songs about numbers such as ‘Five Green Bottles’ etc.

Encourage independence

Let your child try to put on his/ her own coat.

Encourage your child to ‘try first’ before giving help. Praise them for trying.

Social skills

Making friends is very important for children. It is always easier for children to settle into school if they have already made some friends. If your child has attended a pre-school then this will help them mix with other children. At school they will work in a variety of ways; with the whole class, half the class, in small groups, pairs and in a one to one situation with an adult.

Small skills, such as remembering to flush the toilet themselves can make a big difference in helping them to settle in.

Don’t worry

If for example your child can’t recognise his/ her name, remember that all children are different, there will be some children who are ready before others. You should, therefore, avoid comparing your child’s achievements with others.

Above all – childhood is a special time, so make the most of it and enjoy bringing up your child!