5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. it’s July and it’s our penultimate Little Lyons Countdown to Reception!

We are delighted to send out the penultimate issue of our Little Lyons Launchpad ‘Countdown to Reception’ series. The summer holidays have arrived, brilliantly timed with this glorious weather, meaning that we are now in the final stages of our countdown to the new academic year when children will be officially starting school in Reception Class.

We continue to provide our helpful tips for families – to support and encourage their daughters to be ready for September. You can catch up with all the tips given so far here. There is one practical tip, one that helps children to be ready for the rigour of school and one for you as a family too!

Family tip: Practise the school run
If this is your first child joining school this September, you will soon be embarking on a new pattern of daily life – focused on the school run. Parents with older children will already know this well – how quickly it becomes part of the rhythm of your family life.

A very practical tip is to practise the school run. As well as being eminently useful to know the best travel routes (by car or foot), it can be a great way to get your daughter excited about the term ahead. Normalising the journey (when you don’t have the stresses of being anywhere at a specific time) can be a good exercise for children. Perhaps set your normal course of travel ‘via’ Lyonsdown whenever you can, so that you can wave at the School and talk about joining during the journey.

Let’s be practical tip: Let’s talk tissues!
We have already given you plenty of tips to encourage your daughters to dress themselves in readiness for school. This is a really important stage in school readiness and you can refresh yourself with our tips here.

Part of encouraging your child to be able to dress and undress herself is linked to her being able and ready to go to the toilet by herself. The summer before beginning school is a really important time to try to encourage your, daughter if she isn’t already doing so, to ‘do it herself’ where possible. If you take the time to think about this, it’s quite a complex task we are asking our children to undertake – it involves understanding (that they must learn to do it themselves properly, for hygiene reasons) and good co-ordination.

Here are our practical tips:

  • First encourage your child to understand the concept of wiping something completely clean. Try practising with something they can see in front of them. E.g. wiping dirt off one of their toys or peanut butter or chocolate sauce off a plate.
  • You can practice the movement needed for bottom wiping e.g. passing a ball or balloon under the body when standing or sitting.
  • You can teach your child to wipe their doll or teddies bottoms – showing them how to wipe from front to back.
  • Perhaps encourage your child to wipe 5 times and check – they may not be able to feel when they are clean so it may help to have a specific number of times to wipe.

Here are some additional tips and advice from Andrex – including a good time on how to encourage them to not use too much toilet paper… https://www.andrex.co.uk/parenting-advice/wiping-guide-for-children/teaching-children-how-to-wipe

Finally – as we are talking tissues – remember, over the summer, to encourage your daughter to blow her own nose too!

Development & emotional support tip: Encouraging listening skills
Last month we encouraged you to develop your daughter’s curiosity – to be able to be confident to ask questions. This month, we are encouraging you to develop her listening skills. Not because we want to dampen down her curiosity or to stay quiet when she joins school, but listening is an important part of life, and there will many times during the school day when she will need to listen properly. It’s particularly important that she can listen to the teachers’ instructions, either in class or whilst doing Sport, Music, Art or Drama. Your daugher must also learn to sit quietly and listen during assemblies, where she will learn lots of new things and be able to celebrate her peers’ successes.

Here are some activities you can enjoy with your daughter to help her to develop her listening skills before September:

  • Reading stories every day can develop listening skills, as well as a being an excellent way to promote a love of books and, later on, to become an independent reader. You can also try audio books (which are great for long car journeys).
  • Games such as ‘Simon Says’ can really help your child listen to and follow instructions. Also, playing ‘Chinese Whispers’ can help too (as well as being fun)! Or try describing a picture to your daughter, which they then have to draw based on your description. You can keep adding new descriptions to make the picture more detailed.
  • Active listening: try to encourage your daughter to be an ‘active’ listener – to look at the person who is speaking, to give them her full attention and understand what they are saying (that hearing is different from listening). We encourage our girls to remember five things to be good active listeners – to have ears listening, eyes watching, mouth quiet, hands still and sitting still.

Listening isn’t just good for lessons, it’s an important part of making friends too. Perhaps show your daughter this video to explain how listening is important for friendship: https://youtu.be/OILvbpWxyuI

Finally, we hope you enjoyed our previous monthly book recommendations. This month we suggest ‘Boris Starts School’ by Carrie Weston. We hope that adding this book to the others you are reading to your daughter over the summer months will help prompt positive conversations. Remember, you could ask her questions such as: how did Boris feel about starting school? Was there anything he was worried about? How did they feel at the end?

We hope you continue to find our Little Lyons Launchpad ‘Countdown to Reception’ tips useful – if you would like any further information about joining Lyonsdown’s Reception class, please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing admissions@lyonsdownschool.co.uk .