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Preparing for Reception - A Foundation for the Future

Guest post by Nicola Kenny, Foundation Stage Phase Leader, Akeley Wood Junior School and Nursery

If your little one is starting school later this year, then you’ll know how exciting – and daunting – this change can be.

If you’re feeling anxious, it’s helpful to remember that most children settle quickly and easily into their new surroundings. Throughout their lives our children will go through many phases of transition and with a little help, preparation and encouragement, they are able to cope and indeed flourish during these times.

Here are a few things you can do to help in the weeks and months ahead:


Children commence school with a wide range of experiences and abilities. Some have already been in a nursery environment, others to playgroups, and some have had very little experience outside of the home environment. Teachers are there to help everyone progress at their own level.


Your child doesn’t need to be able to read, write or count before they start school. However, it is helpful if you have shared experiences of reading stories together to build a love of books and engaged them with activities to become familiar with mark making, such as painting, and handling large crayons and chalks.


Many activities such as singing, playing games, talking about nature and having fun with numbers will begin to build your child’s enthusiasm for learning and a curiosity to want to investigate the world for themselves.


Help your child build the skills to become an independent thinker and learner. Little things like putting on their own shoes and coat, hanging up their bag, washing their hands or helping you to tidy away can prepare them for listening and following instructions, and encourage them to become independent.

The school will provide you with information about starting Reception and some will also share a child-friendly version. It is important to discuss these with your child, looking at the pictures and talking about the positive things they are looking forward to seeing and doing upon arrival at school. If possible, visit the school with your child before they start. The school will have open days and other informal events, as well as a specific day for the children to experience their transition with their new class. Sharing your child’s interests and strengths with the teachers will enable them to provide opportunities to enthuse individual children.

The most important thing is to promote a relaxed and positive attitude to their new beginning. It is often us as parents that worry, but children are naturally sociable, quick to make friends and love starting school. They are ready for the next stage in their learning and will blossom as they grow during their first year at school. The progress that follows is amazing and you will look back and wonder why you ever worried in the first place.

The Reception Team at Akeley Wood Junior School specialise in every child’s successful transition into school life. Reception is packed full of exploration and discovery. For more information about the School and Nursery, the idyllic location and leading Forest School provision, please contact Admissions on 01908 555803 or