Top Tips for Foundation Parents (Click here to download the following for printing
- Use a variety of creative tools (scissors, paper, thread/string, tweezers, chalk, pens, playdough) to help develop fine motor skills.
- Read to your child as often as possible – any time, any place, anywhere. Do shared reading of their school books (Reception) but also do remember to keep a special time when you can cuddle up and share stories that the children really love. The more a child can see that you enjoy reading and see it as a valuable skill, the more likely your child will want to read and see the importance of reading in their learning.
- Play games with your child. E.g. I-spy, connect 4, hangman.
- Allow your child to be as active and physical as possible. E.g. trips to the park, playing football in the garden, running races, gymnastics/ dance clubs or going swimming.
- Maths should be learnt in a practical manner. E.g. counting knives and forks as you lay the table, recognising numbers as you walk down the street, counting the cars which go past your house, counting down from 10 before starting a race, using the words more/less when making comparisons of amounts of sweets in a jar.
- Encourage your child to become increasingly more independent. E.g. Being able to dress/undress, put their coat on, do up their buttons, tidying up after themselves and finding things for themselves.
- Listen to and spend quality time with your child. Children develop their spoken language before being able to read or write. Encourage your child to take an interest in the world around them by asking questions using how, when, where, who and why.
- Allow your child to interact with other children – encourage play dates. Social communication is one of the main areas of learning assessed in foundation stage. Encourage your child to share, play fairly and think of others feelings.
- School can be tiring! Please listen to your child’s needs and ensure that your child gets enough sleep.
Top Tips for Year 1 Parents (Click here to download the following for printing)
- Look for opportunities to talk about numbers. If you see numbers, can your child read them? What is the next number, or the one before? Use vocabulary of more/less/fewer/most/fewest. Encourage adding by counting on in their head, counting in 2s, 5s and 10s forwards and backwards. Try to involve word problems in everyday situations. E.g. If I have this pizza and it needs to be cut into quarters and I have 12 toppings. How can I fairly share out the toppings?
- Share books with your child – read to them and talk about the story. Discuss what you like/dislike about the books. Try to use a selection of questions to encourage the child to infer from the text. (Make a presumption of what the answer could be based on the information given ) E.g. Did Callum do the right thing? What makes you think that? How did everyone feel about the decision he made? If the decision was the opposite, what might have happened?
- Reading every day for 5 to 10 minutes – regular reading practice is vital to support their progress. Those children who read every day are more likely to become confident readers by the end of Year 1 giving them a solid basis for their future learning.
- Help your child to practise reading and spelling the first 100 High Frequency words at speed. If they can recognise them on sight, reading fluency will be greatly improved.
- ‘Gimme 5’ – strategies for reading unfamiliar words.
- Think about it – does the word they said make sense?
- Look at the picture – What is happening in the picture that can give a clue.
- Sound it out – this works well as long as it is not a ‘tricky’ word.
- Go forward – miss out the tricky word and carry on reading the rest of the sentence. Can you think of what might make sense in the gap?
- Go back – Go back and re-read the sentence – this helps them to make sense of what they have just read.
- Encouraging correct tripod pencil grip – the more a child holds their pencil correctly, the more natural it will be to them.
- Encouraging correct letter and number formation when writing at home. If they reverse some letters ask them to re-write it 5 times to develop fluency in writing the letter and hopefully encourage them to get out of the habit.
Top Tips for Year 2 Parents (Click here to download the following for printing)
- Look for numbers when you are out and about. Try adding or subtracting house numbers or partitioning bus numbers into tens and units.
- There are plenty of board games that require maths and English skills. These can fun for the whole family and support learning going on at school.
- Look for opportunities to reinforce number bonds to ten as these underpin all future addition and subtraction learning! (0 + 10, 1 + 9, 2 + 8, 3 + 7, 4 + 6, 5 + 5)
- Wherever possible, let you child handle money and work out change.
- Look for opportunities to rehearse times tables. By the end of year 2, children need to know their 0, 1, 2, 5 and 10 times tables and be able to recall any of them rapidly, not just in order. They can move onto 3s and 4s if they want to be challenged further.
- Encourage your child to question the things they see, to wonder how and why things happen, so that they can become deep thinkers.
- When taking part in any writing activity (thank you letters, postcards) always encourage your child to start with capital letters and finish with a full stop. Bad habits can be hard to break!
- Encourage your child to read road signs, the backs of food packages etc… to develop their range of words recognised on sight.
- Encourage children to use a wide range of vocabulary, eg. Use interesting adjectives to describe an object – don’t settle for ‘big/small’, ‘happy/sad!’
- Some children enjoy keeping diaries of special events or holidays. They are always welcome to bring these in to share with the class, along with any other objects which have contributed to out of school learning.
Top ten tips for behaviour and well-being (Click here to download the following for printing)
- Boundaries – children thrive when boundaries are set and maintained; it helps them to feel safe and secure.
- Praise efforts – don’t forget to praise your child’s efforts and not just their achievements. This teaches children that it is okay to fail, but it is not okay to not try.
- Make mistakes – it is easy to forget that making mistakes is human nature, and children need to know this. The best learning opportunities often come from getting things wrong the first time.
- Keep learning – learning outside of school is just as important as learning inside of school. Adults possess many skills that they can introduce their children to, from sewing or carpentry to empathy and positivity.
- Body matters – NHS healthcare for children is mostly free and it is important that we get them into the habit of attending the dentist, opticians and doctors regularly. Personal hygiene can begin from a young age too – bathing regularly, washing their faces and brushing their teeth are fundamental to our children’s health.
- Be mindful – many adults can struggle to live in the moment, but children have natural ability to do so; nurture this before they lose this wonderful, innocent mentality!
- Discuss feelings – children need to be taught to pay attention to feelings, both the negative and positive, and learn how to display these appropriately.
- Work together – adults can be great at demonstrating how to work as a team or in a group to get a job. Whether it’s getting the food shopping done, pairing up socks or decorating the house, children pick up many excellent skills from day-to-day family life.
- Be active – children need a range of activities or opportunities to be active both indoors and outdoors. These can be as simple as bike rides, walks, swimming etc. and are brilliant for improving your child’s strength, fitness, balance and coordination. Group sports are also great for enhancing confidence and fostering friendships.
- Connect – time constraints aside, spending quality time with family, friends and other parents/carers can make a real difference to your child’s social and emotional development. Sharing meal times, play dates, meeting extended family and simply making time to talk, are a few ways you can support your child’s well-being.
For more information:
The Children’s Society (2015) ‘How to support your child’s well-being’ Available at: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/tcs/parents_guide_online_final.pdf (Accessed: 10th May 2016)