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The Inevitable Wobble

At some point in Reception it is more than likely that your child is going to have what we in the profession call a 'wobble' ..... A day one wobble ..  This may happen at the door on day one when your child suddenly resembles a koala bear hugging a tree, except they won't be cute and quiet and it won't be a tree that they are hanging onto dear life for! No, they will be screaming the house down as the teacher will be calmly trying to persuade said child to let go of your leg. You might want to die of embarrassment or feel like a failure or just plain wicked for daring to enroll your child in education. But please don't worry, we have seen this countless times. We know how to calm a child down and help them to settle. Nine times out of ten the exact same child will be playing cars and singing frozen songs fifteen minutes after you have left. Children like to play on your heartstrings so they might do this a few times before settling into a nice routine. However,
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A Reception Teacher's Top Tips For Preparing Your Child For School

A question I get asked a lot is "What should I be doing at home?!", usually in a panic stricken because they've just found out that Amelia from down the road can already read and write.   So here is my top ten list of things to do with your child before they start school (and after) ...  1. Go on adventures ... I don't mean Disney or the Bahamas, I mean real life experiences like running around in the woods or posting a letter. Having this context really supports children's learning and builds language which is key to understanding and successful writing.  2. Ask lots of open ended questions ... Why do you think leaves turn brown? What will happen if we don't water this plant? What do you think cows eat? This type of questioning helps your child to develop their critical thinking skills.  3. Read lots of stories ... Read, read, read get your child excited about books (funny voices are a must!). Don't forget that it is important that your child

Label, Label, Label

If you like it put a name on it This post is going to save you money FACT  When your teacher tells you to label your child's belongings DO IT  Your child will leave their jumper, tie, hat, underpants (yes that was an interesting one) in the most random of places and will not remember where they have left them.  The first term of P.E with Reception children is carnage, and it is an impossibility for your teacher to ensure every item of clothing goes back into the correct P.E bag or back onto the correct child at the end of each session.  If you want a chance of getting your items back then please please please label them! Don't worry about lovingly spending your evenings sewing or ironing in handcrafted labels from notonthehighstreet, a bit of pen on the label will do.  No matter what the rumours are about 3.15 finishes and 6 week holidays, teachers do not have time to locate 30 sets of uniforms nor should they have to.  Here is a link you may find use

Staggered Starts

What is a staggered start? Most schools will stagger the starting dates for Reception children over a short period of time (usually around the 2 week mark). The children will be settled into the classroom in smaller groups with new children joining everyday until the whole cohort has arrived.  In my school we start with the youngest children first (who typically need the most support) staying for a few hours and eventually building up to a full school day on their 4th school day.  Why do you stagger starts, when we are working parents?  We understand that arranging childcare can be very difficult, especially for working/ single parents however please believe us when we tell you how beneficial this method is to your child. By allowing us to settle small groups at a time, the children have a much calmer and smoother transition into school life. It allows us to give your child more focus and support. Imagine how stressful it would be for your child to have 29 peers all wailing fo

Home Visits

A home what?! When I first started teaching and told my Mother about home visits she was absolutely flabbergasted, she had never been visited by any of mine or my brothers teachers and couldn't understand the reasoning behind it. I imagine lots of you were horrified to find that before your child started school you would be visited not only by your child's class teacher but also with his/her EYP (Early Years Practitioner).  But fear not ... this is not a test.  Before you start a panic google for the local cleaning company lets clear a few things up, we are not coming to see how clean your house is. We won't be doing a spot check on dust or peeping under the sofa to check your hoovering schedule nor will we be counting the number of educational toys your child has. We are not coming to judge you or put you on a fast track list for the social services.  So what is the purpose of a home visit? The reason we visit isn't just a welcome excuse to take a tr