Frequently Asked Questions


My child is only 3 and seems quite advanced at nursery. Can I start using your product with her?
Ready Steady school boxes are all designed to be used under the supervision of an adult and are safe for children from 3 years upwards. There is a lot you can do at home to give your child that head start at school if they are ready.

I can’t decide if my son is right or left handed. How do I tell?
It is not uncommon for children starting FS2 not to have a dominant right or left hand. It is important not to rush this phase and place objects like cutlery, cups, pencils, bats before them on the midline to allow them to make their own preferred choice. A good test is to give them a pot with a screw lid and ask them to remove it. Given time their dominant hand will become evident.

We have just moved into the area and my little boy will start school not knowing anybody. Have you any advice?
Try and attend the pre school workshops most Reception classes host or make an appointment to visit at some point. Share the starting school pack together with your child and look at the school website. Provide your details to the class teacher and ask if she can pass these on to a few parents and arrange a meet up over the holidays. Reassure your child there will be lots of other children starting school for the first time. Most children make friends very quickly and before long I am sure they will be reeling names off!

My little girl is so upset in the morning when I leave her I don’t know what to do for the best, any tips would be helpful please.
Some children settle more easily than others. The information card in Tom and Pom’s Starting school box is full of ideas on practical things you can rehearse to ease the transition and a list of books which could prove helpful too. It is best to make the goodbye short and sweet, long drawn out partings end up upsetting both child and parent. If the school allows for settling in time in the morning take time to share a story, rushing in as the bell goes is stressful. Decide on a routine and stick to it, a final wave at a particular window or passing them over to a particular member of staff. Remind them of who will be collecting and perhaps suggest a treat of something to look forward to like baking together or a trip to the swings after school. If you do have to leave a distraught child leave it half an hour and then ring the school office and ask if somebody is available to reassure you that your child has settled. From years of experience I can assure you most children have started to settle before you have even made it beyond the school gate!

My little girl is starting school soon, my neighbour’s son is too, he is streets ahead writing his name and numbers to 10 and can read some words, my daughter can’t do any of that yet. Should I be worried?
Absolutely NOT! Children progress at different rates, the term of your child’s birthday and if they are a first child or have older siblings can have a huge bearing too. Your child’s class teacher will much prefer a child to start school with all those personal, social and emotional skills and attitudes in place, the rest will follow. The Tom and Pom Starting School box is full of oodles of tips on how to best prepare your child for the big day.

I am concerned that when I ask my child about their school day I get the same reply of ‘I have just played all day!’ or simply ‘nothing!’ – should I be worried?
Responding by saying they have played all day is a huge compliment to your child’s class teacher as FS2 is all about learning through play based activities. ‘Nothing!’ is an indication your child has a new world, one they don’t want to share perhaps and this is nothing negative. Think about a busy day at the office and how often when you arrive home you just want to switch off, this can be the same for our children. Instead of quizzing comment on things you have seen in their classroom on display to provide openers for conversation rather than question, for example ‘I noticed a tank of tadpoles in your classroom when I dropped you off today….’

Do I need to have used box 1 with my son before I purchase box 2?
Absolutely not! Each box has a different focus. 

My child’s school uses a particular phonics scheme, am I okay to use your phonics box at home or will I confuse him?
The materials and ideas in the phonics box compliment all phonic approaches used in UK schools and are compatible with the Department for Education’s letters and sounds programme.

I am unsure how to pronounce some of the letter sounds can you help?
Follow the link on the website on the phonics page.

My little boy has very limited concentration and seems to prefer bouncing on the sofa to sitting down with his letter cards – any ideas?
Having had boys ourselves we understand your concern. Both boxes contain fun and engaging approaches to learning and we always suggest little and often is the key. Choose the most appropriate time in the day which is not always after school when they are tired. Other family members including older siblings can also support.

My daughter is relying heavily on the pictures in her reading books. Should I cover them up as she is guessing rather than reading the actual words?
Using picture clues is a valuable reading skill and should be encouraged. We always suggest that in the early stages it is important to look through the book at the pictures before attempting to read providing the opportunity to introduce the story line, tricky words and character names.

I'm still waiting for delivery
We will email you when your box is dispatched. If you haven’t received your box after 4 working days get in touch with us.

Items are missing or damaged. What shall I do?
Missing Items: We are really sorry! Please email us with details.
My box arrived damaged: Oh no! Transit can cause damage at times, please email us if your box has not arrived in a satisfactory condition.

Can the box and its contents be recycled?
Resources in our boxes are carefully selected to be fully transferable to our other boxes. The box itself is fully recyclable.

Can I leave feedback?
Anything you have to say is important to us. Just drop us an email. We are always coming up with new ideas so your views are much appreciated.