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Bitterne Manor Primary School

Bitterne Manor

Primary School

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Preparing for school

What can you do at home to prepare your child for school?


It is helpful if your child can:

  • Recognise their name
  • Independently use the toilet and wash their hands
  • Put their coat on independently
  • Take turns
  • Recognise some numbers
  • Use a knife and fork
  • Hold a pencil correctly
  • Use scissors safely


You can help your child by:

  • Read some books all about starting school.
  • Model good social skills to your child, for example: smiling, sharing, making eye contact, using their manners.
  • Make sure that your child can use the toilet independently, including pulling pants and trousers up and down and wiping themselves afterwards. Encourage hand washing too.
  • Encourage your child to use a knife and fork correctly and to drink from an open cup. If you’re planning on sending your child with a packed lunch, ensure they can open their lunch box and open their water bottle.
  • Teach your child to pay attention, listen well and respond appropriately. The best way to do this is by having regular conversations with them and giving simple instructions.
  • Read to and with your child every day. Encourage a love of books!
  • Help your child to recognise their own name. Write it on pieces of paper or card, using a capital letter for the initial and lower case for the other letters. Hide the cards around your home for your child to find. Each time they find one, they have to tell you what it says. Next, muddle the name cards with cards that contain other words. See if your child can find the ones that say their name amongst them.
  • Practise counting objects during games, tidy-up time, baking activities and so on. Encourage your child to touch or move objects and say the number aloud as they count. If your child is enjoying counting and seems ready, you can move on to recognising the numbers from 1 to 10.