Teachers’ 5 Top Tips For Going Back To School
It’s that time of year again! After six weeks of summer holiday bliss, the kids are going to soon be back into the classroom ready to enjoy the new school year.
When Do Kids Go Back To School?
We’re sure you’ve already got this marked down in your calendars, but most schools go back for the Autumn term on Wednesday 1st September 2021. You can also enter your postcode to double-check your area on Gov UK.
Teachers’ Top Tips For Going Back To School
We spoke to James, a Senior KS2 Teacher based in Folkestone, Kent. James has been teaching English and Maths for 11 years. We also spoke to Chantel, a Deputy Nursery Manager based in Ashford, Kent.
Chantel has worked in a nursery setting for 17 years and has been a Nursery Manager for 5 years. Check out James and Chantel’s top tips to make your child’s transition into the new class even easier!
1. Set Up A Routine
Routines help kids feel safe, develop self-discipline and build healthy habits. James recommends setting “a regular routine, especially for bedtimes and mealtimes”. Additionally, “getting into practice with regular reading ensures its importance and consistency”, he says. Kids can deal with change best if it's expected and happens in the context of a familiar routine.
Chantel also stresses the importance of having a “consistent daily structure for bedtime, bath time and mealtimes.” If kids need a little extra persuasion - particularly at bathtime - a fun activity such as bath crayons can engage children in getting squeaky clean without any tears!
2. Practice Fine Motor Skills
James suggests giving children “the opportunities for developing their fine motor skills” and recommends our Junior Tool Box as it helps to “develop a child’s ability to manipulate smaller objects”. Practising fine motor skills through playtime means that kids will be more confident and accustomed to things that require skill, such as writing and drawing. Our Weather Balancing Game and Jar of Lacing Beads are also great for getting little fingers working!
Chantel recommends “practising gross and fine motor skills through the manipulation of objects or games such as catch”. Our Flexible Flyers are great for games of frisbee and practising children’s catch skills. They’re also super lightweight and gentle on little hands.
James stresses the importance of talking with your child, particularly “about what they are looking forward to.” He suggests reinforcing “positive opportunities - such as seeing their friends and learning new things” so your child can feel more at ease with the new school year. Why not write these down on a whiteboard or art easel, so it’s in easy sight of your little one?
Chantel says that “regularly engaging in play and conversation helps to develop social skills and language acquisition.” Playing with teddies, dolls and play kitchens, for example, are fantastic ways for kids to act out scenarios they see in the real world.
4. Engage New Learning Opportunities
There are learning opportunities everywhere! James recommends doing educational activities such as times tables or applied maths when out shopping. “Ask them questions such as ‘how much will this cost? ‘How much for two of them?’” This is a great way to get kids involved with grown-up activities and engaging their numeracy skills.
Chantel suggests “finding opportunities for counting, recognising colours, and using phonic sounds”. Our Lexie Mouse phonics colouring books make it easier for kids to recognise letters and text and begin their reading journey. These books have also been specially designed for children with dyslexia and SEN, and have bolder letters and punctuation.
5. Learn New Skills
Children can also pick up some new skills to impress their classmates. “Help them learn new skills or give opportunities such as creating their own packed lunch, tying their shoelaces,” says James, “as this will support them in developing independence.”
Other skills kids can learn is self-confidence and independence. Chantel says “set simple tasks for your child to develop independence such as tidying up their own toys or clearing their plate.”
Reward your kids where possible for their good behaviour and following routines. Our Reward Chart is the ideal tool to celebrate your kids’ achievements and comes with activity images and star stickers!
Share Your Back To School Advice
What are your top tips? Let us know in the comments!