Home School Links over the Summer
Once school is closed for the summer holidays it doesn't mean that you can't maintain the link. Keep starting school fresh in your child's mind through
discussion about the BIG adventure to come
reading appropriate story books
buying school items eg: uniform, bags
practising skills that will give them a flying start
A really good way to establish another link is to get your child to send a postcard to their new class from their holiday. Then on that first day in school you can increase the anticipation by reminding your little one that the card might be in the classroom already waiting for them. This will also give Reception staff a focus for settling your child by talking about where they went, what they saw, how they got there and where they stayed.
Keep your child engaged with the general idea of school by sharing storybooks such as ‘Starting School’ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. These present opportunities to talk about school and help your child raise any concerns.
Pre-empt any anxieties, for example, children may worry about using the toilet, lunchtimes, pick up time and making friends.
Ask older children to chat about things they enjoy about school. Remind your child about something they liked doing at the pre-school workshops and keep sharing any introductory booklets that were given out by the school particularly if these have photographs of the environment and members of staff.
As you are out and about take the opportunity to notice environmental print this is a valuable pre-reading skill and an early stage of literacy development.
Children very quickly learn to recognise signs and labels which are meaningful to them. The letters, numbers, shapes, and colours seen in logos and signs such as McDonald’s, Aldi, CBeebies, all provide opportunities for emerging readers to engage with print and the written world around them.
Adults often don’t consider it real “reading”, however this environmental print helps bridge the connection between letters and first efforts to read using context clues as a strategy for making sense of the written word.
Take advantage of all this rich print by engaging actively with your little one in the following activities:
Play ‘I Spy’ by describing a logo or sign on a journey
Spotting packaging which offers wonderful examples of print in different eye-catching colours and sizes, as well as images that correspond to the printed material. Ask your child to spot the first letter of their name somewhere on the box. Notice that on a box of Cheerios, they put a Cheerio over the letter “i” in the word instead of a dot.
Help your child take photos of different signs and logos and make a scrap book for your child to ‘read’.
During a routine food shop spot signs and play ‘…can we find a sign for…’
Choose a simple sign like a ‘STOP’ sign to focus on during a car journey. Count the number of signs spotted along the way. Read the sign, noticing that the same sign says the same message each time. Talk about the sounds of the letters you can hear ("The S makes the 'sss' sound.")
On a car journey play the registration plate game spotting certain letters, numbers or car makes and model logos.