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Clyst St Mary Primary School

Nurture and Grow Together Through Aspiration, Resilience and Kindness

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Getting Ready for School

Getting Ready for School


Starting primary school can be daunting for you and your child, but it marks the start of an exciting new chapter. Before you know it, your child will be making friends, learning new skills, and becoming increasingly independent.


Click here for the 'My First Day of School' game.  

This is a great game to play with your child before they start school. Help your child create his/her character and pick a school jumper, then explore the school and find all the different activities to play. 


Support your child’s independence

The most useful thing you can do to get your child ready for school is to make sure they are comfortable doing simple tasks by themselves. This includes:

  • Going to the toilet. It is better to get your child into the habit of doing this for themselves.
  • Getting dressed. Avoid clothing with fiddly buckles and buttons. It is also a good idea to have a few dry runs with the PE Kit!
  • Putting on shoes. Tie-up shoes might be a bit difficult. Go for shoes with Velcro fasteners if possible.
  • Eating. This includes using a knife and fork, opening their lunchbox, and being able to open everything in the lunchbox (some yoghurt tubes and drink cartons can be tricky).
  • Solving simple problems. Encourage your child to resolve problems by talking when they don’t understand or something isn’t going well. It is important that they also learn when to ask an adult for help.



At school, we recognise the great importance of reading and the influence that parents and carers can have on children’s literacy. Reading is a very complex skill and children learn to read in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas to help you to support your child’s reading:

  • Recite nursery rhymes
  • Recognise their own name 
  • Read, role play and retell stories together
  • Share picture books and talk about them
  • Make up stories together
  • Show them that you enjoy reading and value books
  • Visit the library
  • Talk, talk, talk
  • Split words up into sounds to help develop their phonic knowledge. Can you get your c  oa  t?  Let’s go to the sh  o  p  s. 



Learning to write is fun! Early writing involves control of lots of muscles in the hand. Things you can try at home are:

  • Let the children see you writing and let them try too
  • Dot –to-dots, mazes or spot the difference
  • Colouring inside the lines
  • Use scissors safely
  • Giant writing in the sand, mud, water
  • Make models with play dough
  • Help them to write their name



At this age, maths is all around. Spotting numbers on signs, counting out amounts, recognising who was first or second in a race or spotting patterns are all important mathematical skills that can easily be practised at home.

  • Encourage 1:1 pointing when counting objects
  • Talk about quantities using words like bigger/smaller and more/less
  • Encourage them to recognise the patterns on dice or dominoes as representing numbers
  • Play games that involve counting eg snakes and ladders
  • Look for house numbers
  • Sing number songs eg 1 2 3 4 5 Once I caught a fish alive


Visit the Oxford Owl website for more ideas on how you can help your child get ready for school: Activities to help your child get ready for school.


Getting ready for school checklist

Books to help get ready for School