A very warm welcome from our Reception Team here at St. Matthew's. We are looking forward to meeting you on your first day of school. We hope you are feeling as excited as we are. We have lots of fun activities ready for you when you start school and lots of resources for you to explore.
We are lucky to have a big classroom, a shared area and an outdoor area too. These classrooms are split into different areas. For example, role play, construction sand and water. We love to read and write at St. Matthew’s and we tell different stories such as ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and ‘Supertato’ - these are a few of our favourites.
Don’t be scared of starting primary school because you may already have friends here at St. Matthew’s and even if you don’t, there are lots of other children waiting for you to be their friend.
We have a terrific ‘buddy’ club in the school. The children in Year 6 are ‘buddies’ for all the new children starting in Reception—just like you. Once you arrive in school, your ‘buddy’ will help to look after you at lunchtime and playtime and they even help you with reading and writing.
We are so lucky to have you at St. Matthew’s and you will have a fantastic time here with us too.
See you soon!
The Reception Team
Below is a PowerPoint to share with your child. The PowerPoint has photographs of key members of staff and our school environment to prepare your child for starting school.
This photograph is a useful resource provided by Nursery Resources to explain ‘school readiness’. We strongly believe at St Matthews that concentration, listening, independence, self-care and social skills are key for starting school. We have provided a list of activities below to support your child becoming "school ready". We also understand each child is different and we aim to support every child to achieve their personal best. We have attached a link for the photograph if this will be easier to read.
Our aim is for children to start the Reception year being able to listen to and compare sounds. These skills can be improved by going on a listening walk and sharing the different things you hear e.g. birds, aeroplanes etc. We will upload different activities below to improve your child’s listening skills and ideas to compare sounds. If children can write their own name then that is a great start but this isn’t an expectation. We would however love it if your child could recognise their own name as a starting point. Each child is different and unique and therefore we understand there will be different starting points and we will support your child wherever appropriate with you as a team.
One aspect we will focus on at the start of the year is listening to the beginning sound in words. We sometimes call this the initial sound. We want children to be able to say what sound is at the beginning of a word. This doesn’t mean that they can recognise it or write it, but they can orally say the first sound. If you feel your child is ready to do this before September then please start breaking up the sounds in words to help your child be familiar with this. You can play Simon says but instead of saying the word- break it up e.g. Simon says touch you ch- i – n. This is a great game for developing listening and concentration skills. The document below provides other games to support this area of phonics.
If your child is enthusiastic and and eager to write then please introduce them to our handwriting. The PDF document below helps you form letters through rhymes.
Below is a document we have produced to support your understanding of fine motor skills with some activities on to strengthen those very important muscles in our hands.
Memory and concentration skills are so important throughout school and we would therefore encourage you to develop these skills with your child wherever possible. We have uploaded a variety of activities below to provide some suggestions.
Developing independence will benefit your child significantly to get them ready for school. These skills include tidying away toys and taking care of your belongings etc. We would aim for children to go to the toilet independently and for children to be able to dress themselves without help. The PDF documentation at the top provides more skills in this area (using a zip, putting shoes on, buttoning and unbuttoning etc). Some of these skills will take time but please keep trying and practising them. Allowing time for your child to practise dressing themselves and giving your child ownership over taking the shoes on and off will help them to become quicker.
We hope you’re all feeling well and keeping positive in the current uncertain situation. We have uploaded an activity below that some families are doing to remember the special time they have enjoyed together.