Getting Ready For School Marshfield Primary School ‘Excellence in Everything’ Welcome to Marshfield Primary School „Excellence in Everything‟ Marshfield Road, Castleton, Cardiff, CF3 2UW Tele: 01633 680303 Fax: 01633 680607 E Mail: email@example.com http://www.marshfieldprimary.co.uk/ This booklet offers some ideas of how you can help your child on their entry to full time education These ideas, along with the basic information contained in the Parents Handbook, offers you and your child an understanding of what will be encountered in the first year of school. The Foundation Phase As from the 1st September 2011, all children in reception through to Year 2 will be in the Foundation Phase. This phase is designed to afford the children an opportunity to build the skills of learning through a multi-sensory approach. Underlying all the activities the children will undertake will be the acquisition and application of literacy and numeracy. The multi-sensory approach allows your child to practise and consolidate their learning through working alone and with others, communicating well, being creative, making choices, taking responsible risks, solving problems and making decisions. A priority throughout all these skills will be the building of confidence and self-esteem, without which your child will not be able to meet the challenges of education and life successfully. The Areas of Learning in the Foundation Phase are: Personal and Social Development Well-Being and Cultural Diversity Language, Literacy and Communication Skills Mathematical Development Welsh Language Development Knowledge and Understanding of the World Physical Development Creative Development The Transition Process Prior to your child entering Marshfield we would appreciate knowing whether your child has attended any pre-school placement. Visits to our local playgroups are taken as a matter of course, whilst other visits are generally due to ascertaining the specific needs of a child. These visits will be undertaken by the member of staff with responsibility for the Foundation Phase and any other member of staff deemed necessary. Your child is currently being looked after by members of the support team within the reception classes. This along with a further visit in the summer will offer familiarity in the surroundings and personnel they will be experiencing. The summer term meeting is designed for your child to spend time in the new learning environments, meeting with their peers and the members of staff they will encounter in September. Parents will be invited to join together for tea and coffee, purchase school uniforms and have any concerns or queries answered. Getting Ready For Reading Reading is a wonderfully enjoyable activity and the cornerstone to learning. From birth, children love hearing the human voice and soon learn that a book involves interaction between an adult and themselves. throughout their time at Marshfield we will be placing great emphasis on the development of reading skills and will use a variety of vehicles to build their expertise. 1. As a parent you are your child‟s first teacher and lay the foundations of language by constantly talking to them and encouraging them to respond. Sharing experiences and valuing their response will do more to prepare your child than any other activity. 2. Nursery Rhymes and songs appeal to children and the repetition of rhymes help them to remember new words. 3. Telling or reading stories and poems to your child is an important part of developing an interest in reading. This should be an enjoyable experience for yourself and your child. You should aim to do this for short periods on a regular basis. 4. When reading a story, encourage your child to talk about the pictures and identify characters. 5. Let your child hold the book and turn the pages as you read the story. 6. Children often ask for the same story over and over again. This should be encouraged, as it shows an interest in reading, will assist in developing the language of writing, values your child‟s choice and encourages decision making. 7. Your child may be interested in the sounds and names of individual letters, BUT, try not ask too much of them! Getting Ready for Writing 1. Encourage your child to use crayons, paints, pencils and felt pens. These should be of an appropriate size – preferably large. Encourage them to hold them properly using a tripod grip between the thumb and forefingers. Triangular pencils, crayons, etc. encourage the correct hold. 2. Large sheets of paper encourage them to experiment with shapes from which all writing emanates, e.g. circles, straight lines, swirls. 3. When your child enters school you will find we use the lower case script, firstly introducing the capital letter at the beginning of your child‟s christian and surname. As we proceed through the year your child will be taught the times and reasons why we use capital letters. Our initial focus is correct formation. Neatness and size will follow shortly after. Small letters Long ladder letters litujy One-armed robot letters rbnhmkp Curly caterpillar letters cadosgqef Zig-zag monster letters vwxz Getting Ready for Mathematics Opportunities to familiarise you child with number all around us. You can help your child with early mathematical concepts in many ways. 1. Sorting objects such as toys, buttons or shells into sets or groups of similar colour, shape or sizes. 2. Matching one object to another. For example: each person at the table will need a plate, spoon, knife and fork, or each toy car will need a driver. 3. Counting in a meaningful way, by picking up or touching items as you count. It is important for children to realise that they are counting one thing at a time, and that the last number counted gives the number of the set. For example, “How many buttons do you have on your coat?” 4. Many children‟s books contain counting games which give an opportunity to point out figures. You can also make use of numbers on houses, gates, buses and cars. 5. Counting rhymes are a love of children and are a wonderful way of sharing number in a fun way. 6. Mathematical vocabulary can be difficult to understand. You can help them to understand the meaning of terms such as big, little, tall, short, thin, fat, heavy, light, full, empty, wide, narrow, by using these words in real contexts, bath play, cooking, shopping. For example, “Is my shopping light or heavy today?” 7. Allow your child to handle money, play shops using your tins, shoes, books etc. taking turns to be the customer or the shop keeper! Getting Ready for a World full of Information Communication and Technology ICT is a vehicle to assist children in their learning. You can encourage your child to learn by developing the different skills needed to use various types of technology. Here are a few examples: Use a digital camera to record a sequence of events, print off the pictures and sequence them. Encourage the children to talk about each picture as they sequence. Use a search engine on the internet to find out information about a chosen topic or event. Use a video camera to make a „home movie‟. Use educational programmes to further develop early learning i.e. http://www.cbeebies.com/, http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/wordsandpictures/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/numbertime/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/scienceclips/ages/5_6/science_ 5_6.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/tweenies/ The list is endless! Getting Ready For School We would ask that parents ensure their child can do the following before entering school: go to the toilet by themselves including washing their hands afterwards; dress and undress themselves; change shoes and wellingtons; do up coat buttons and zips independently; do up their own shoes; recognise their own names; listen to instructions; tidy and clear away toys; share and be prepared to take turns; sit quietly for a time; feed themselves (using a knife, fork and spoon). Handy Tips for Parents It is essential that all your child‟s clothes are marked with their full name, as school uniform in particular, can easily get lost or mixed up with others. If your child is staying at school for a packed lunch ensure they have a lunch bag with a separate compartment for their break time snack. This should be a healthy snack such as fruit and a drink – plastic bottles only please. Marshfield aims to be a healthy school and therefore crisps or chocolate in any form is discouraged. Nut products are not allowed due to an increasing number of children with severe nut allergies. Be prepared for your child to be tired or tearful when they begin school. They will be very tired, particularly when they commence full time. If you feel there is any other reason, please contact the class teacher who will be able to set your mind at rest. If your child is tearful – stay calm – tell them you will be seeing them later then walk away with a kiss and a wave. You will be astonished how quickly the crying stops after you have left. You will probably shed more tears than your child. We are used to dealing with situations such as this. Please don‟t ever compare your child with others. All children are individuals and develop at their own pace and in their own way. Don‟t expect a great deal of information about events in school from them. Give them time to relax and unwind. They will talk to you when they are ready! Your child‟s teacher will always be ready to give any help and advice you may need.