Getting ready to learn
How can I help my child with their learning before, and during, Reception?
“Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments”
Development Matters, 2012
Talking and Listening
Almost everything we do involves speech, language and communication. Communication helps children express their likes and dislikes, interact with others and learn at school. Yet so many of us take these skills for granted.
We know that parents are essential in supporting their child's speech, language and communication skills and small changes can make a big difference.
During Reception there will be a focus on providing children with lots of opportunities for speaking and listening which will help ignite their interest in reading and writing.
Tameside Talking Together is a campaign to increase awareness of the importance of face-to-face communication by encouraging everyone to take the time to talk, listen and play with their children.
The Importance of Play
Playing isn't just fun, it's also the best way for young children to learn. By playing, children can practise all the skills they'll need as they grow up.
To grow and develop, children need time and attention from someone who's happy to play with them.
Parents should make the time to play with a first or only child. And while brothers and sisters are natural playmates, parents can also play an active role in siblings' games.
But it can be hard to find the time to play with your child, especially when there are many other things you need to do. Gradually, children learn to entertain themselves for some of the time.
If you're pressed for time as a parent, it's a good idea to find ways to involve your child in what you're doing – even the housework.
Children learn from everything they do and everything that's going on around them.
Get your child involved in everyday activities
When you're washing up, let your child join in – for example, by washing the saucepan lids. When you cook, show them what you're doing and talk to them as you're working.
Getting them involved in the things you do will teach them about taking turns to help and being independent. They'll also learn by copying what you do.
Sometimes things have to happen at certain times, and it's important that your child learns this. But when you're together, try not to have a strict timetable. Your child is unlikely to fit in with it and you'll both get frustrated.
There's no rule that says clearing up has to be done before you go to the playground, especially if the sun's shining and your child's bursting with energy.
As far as you can, move things around to suit both your and your child's mood.
Tips for playing with young children
Get together lots of different things for your child to look at, think about and do.
By making what you're doing fun and interesting for your child, you can get your household jobs done while they're learning.
Have times when you focus completely on your child. Talk about anything and everything, even what to put on the shopping list. By sharing as much as possible, your child will pick up lots of new words.
Give your child plenty of opportunities to use their body by running, jumping and climbing, especially if you don't have much room at home.
Find other people who can spend time with your child when you really need to focus on something else.
Read, Read, Read!
Read to your child and encourage them to read to you. Read anything and everything, not just the reading scheme books your child will come home from school with. Real books, with pictures, rhyme and enjoyable stories are crucial here. Try to encourage your child to talk about the pictures, or to make predictions about what will happen next. It’s most important for your child to enjoy reading above all, so try to relax, and stop when either of you begins to feel pressured or anxious.
Encourage your child to recognise and read print when you are out shopping, on the bus or at the park. Most children can recognise the TESCO sign a mile away!
When at school, you will be asked to fill in a Reading Diary each time you read with your child. This can be a really useful communication tool, so the more info you provide the better! The teachers are just wanting to find out about how things are going with your child’s reading and really don’t mind what you write so please don’t feel pressured at all here.
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.
Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children decode words as they read.
Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words.
Talk to your child about individual letters (especially the letters in their name) and their sounds. Singing songs and nursery rhymes really helps them to find out more about letters and sounds. Play I-spy when you go out (using the sound the letter makes, rather than its name). Ask your child to pass you the c – u – p, and see if they can blend the sounds to work out the object.
At Stalyhill we follow the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. Find out more by clicking the links below.
The first years of a child’s life are especially important for mathematics development. Research shows that early mathematical knowledge can predict later reading ability and general education and social progress.
For maths, there are all sorts of ways to encourage number recognition. Try to involve your child in using numbers at home by singing number rhymes and songs or by encouraging them to recognise and read numbers when you are in the car. When shopping, ask them to select the number of apples or bananas you need — they’re helping you out, and learning at the same time.
Numberblocks, first broadcast in January 2017, is a pre-school BBC television series aimed at introducing children to early number. Snappy animation and loveable characters combine with engaging storylines to gently introduce concepts of number to support early mathematical understanding.
You can find more information, including episodes, here;
Please follow this internal link for more information about how we organise our Core Curriculum, Reading, Writing and Mathematics, at Stalyhill Infant School.