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Starting your journey with Salmestone

Starting primary school can be an exciting but daunting time for you and your child.

Your child will be making friends, learning new skills, and becoming more independent day by day once they are in school, but how can you help them prepare for this big first step?

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 checklist will help you to see if there are any areas to work on with your child.

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School is a very social place.

Children often make better progress if they are happy mixing with other children and adults.

You can encourage this by:

  • Organising play dates. Play dates help improve your child's social skills.

  • Practising greetings. You can use dolls and soft toys to practise saying “hello”!

  • Encouraging sharing and tolerance. Sharing games such as Snakes and Ladders let children practise social skills and turn-taking.(Be sure to use the language of turn-taking, like ‘Whose turn is it next?’ and ‘Thank you for waiting’)

  • Practising conversations. Giving your child time to talk and also having time when they have to listen, teaches vital speaking and listening skills. ​

    • You could take turns to talk about the best part of your day during dinner.

    • Can they ask questions to find out more?

    • Can they remember your favourite part of the day?

There are some other things you can be working on at home to make your child more comfortable on their first day.

  • Help them recognise their name. This will help them to find their peg in the cloakroom.

  • Share stories. Reading to your child improves their vocabulary and listening skills, and prepares them for carpet time with us.

  • Build hand strength to prepare your child for writing. Making Lego models and using scissors are fun ways to develop hand strength.

  • Introduce them to numbers. Why not go on a number hunt around your local area? Can you see all the numbers from 1 to 10? ​

Support your child's concentration

Being able to concentrate in 10 minute bursts will be really useful when your child starts school.
Here are some ways you can help:

  • Enjoy extended play together. Building kits, like Lego, are great for encouraging your child’s resilience. Race-the-clock games are good for improving concentration (and are helpful when you need your child to get their socks and shoes on quickly!)

  • Giving your child simple instructions to follow helps build their concentration. These can easily be added into your daily routine. If you're not already doing so, ask your child to gather the things you need to leave the house. Start with one or two items and gradually build this up.​​​

Talk about school​
  • Talking about the exciting things your child is going to do at school can help calm most nerves, but just in case we've put together this handy leaflet for you to share with your child, to answer some common questions we get asked.​

  • Feel free to watch our virtual tour with your child as many times as you like: Virtual Tour​

  • It might even be helpful to practice the school routine before the big day, look out for interesting landmarks to point out on the way to and from school to break up the journey and make it more exciting.

If you or your child still have concerns ahead of their first day please email us on and we will do our best to help.​

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