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Starting in the Pre Prep Department

Parents often ask how they can best help their child before joining us in Pre-Prep. Here are a few ideas which we hope you will find helpful.

Talk about school and discuss the photographs your child has taken home on the experience morning showing the staff, classroom, Pre-Prep building and playground.  Remind them who the people are that will look after them and practise saying their names.

Encourage your child to gain independence in dressing, undressing and tidying toys away.  Show your child the name tags on his/her clothing so he/she can gain greater independence when changing. Do remove old name tags from second hand clothing.

It is very helpful if children can manage all of their own clothing (buttons, zips, shoes etc.) and have all uniform items, including bags, very clearly and permanently labelled.  Sewn on name labels are preferable, at the collar of tops and waistband of bottoms.  Some parents use a system of colour coding to enable their children to identify their belongings instantly, which is useful in the first days of school. 

To help your child become independent, please make sure that blazers, fleeces, cardigans, jumpers, caps and coats have a loop at the top so clothing can easily be hung on their peg.  

The children will not need to provide their own pencils, so all that needs to be brought each day is their reading folder and a small healthy snack for morning break, preferably fruit.  Encourage your child to be independent at using cutlery, including knives to cut food.

Spending quality time together as a family eg short times free from phone-calls and e-mail, meal-times or playing games together which involve listening skills, discussion, turn-taking and learning to follow instructions and rules will all help your child develop good communication skills which is an important building block at this age.

Read stories and sing nursery rhymes. It is also helpful if those children who have already begun writing can be carefully monitored at home to ensure they are using the correct pencil grip and letter formation.  Children are encouraged from the outset to hold their pencil with the correct pencil grip.   Left handed children are encouraged to slant their paper to the right so that they are not covering what they are writing.  See below.

A copy of the letter formation used in the Pre-Prep is below with directional arrows to show how letters are formed from the starting point.   Information about posture, pencil grip and paper position is also included.  We follow the Nelson Handwriting Scheme.  Our aim is that each pupil should use fully cursive handwriting by the end of Year 2.

It is very helpful to talk to your child about the daily school routine and timetable so he/she knows what to expect each day. All this information can be found in the 'New Parents' section.