Starting school is a big deal but actually there is a major transition between Year R and Year 1. I have just completed a year working in Year 1 as a teaching assistant and Zach has just finished Year R.
Year R or Reception is actually a continuation of the Foundation Stage which begins at preschool. Most activites are free flow and can be completed indoors or outside. Work is usually play based so children often come home saying they’ve played all day while the learning has been sneaked in! Year R works on development of key skills like fine and gross motor development and social interactions as well as the beginnings of English and Maths.
Year 1 is much more structured, following the National Curriculum. The majority of the time will be spent in the classroom and they may be streamed according to ability so they can get the support they require.
So how can you prepare your child for the transition from Year R to Year 1?
Try to get them to focus on a task for 30 minutes. They will need to pay attention to the teacher and thir work for increasingly longer periods of time.
Practise pencil grip, letter formation and simple sentences using capital letters, full stops and finger spaces between the words.
Count to 20 and back down again. Do they know one more and one less than a number? Rehearse number bonds to 10 as this will set them up for future learning. Work on doubles and halves if your child is confident.
Read every day: magazines, books, comics, street signs, food packaging, anything!
Most importantly, don’t be anxious! Children learn at different paces. The staff are highly trained to settle the children as they begin a more formal education and will be happy to support your child’s transition in any way they can.