Award Winning

Winner of the UK's People's Choice Tuition Agency of the Year 2023
The UK's favourite tutoring agency

Big ideas for Little Learners transitioning to ‘Big School’

Transitioning from nursery to reception

If your children are transitioning from nursery to reception, it can be a nerve-wracking time. How will they cope in a big classroom or in a large playground with lots of other children? Will they make friends easily? Will they be happy there?

One of our SENsational Tutors, Lucy Lynch, talks about Early Years Foundation Stage and how you can help create a successful move into reception.

A successful transition means children settle quickly into school, learning and developing from day one and, as a result, your child will feel safe, confident and ready to learn. Schools are responsible for much of the transition process, but you as parents can also play your part to ensure it runs smoothly.

The holidays and weekends are always fantastic opportunities to engage in a range of fun, creative, play based learning activities with your child – whilst preparing them for the daunting, yet exciting world of ‘big school’!

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework is underpinned by seven key areas of learning, as outlined below:

Prime areas:

– Communication & Language (C&L)
– Physical Development (PD)
– Personal, Social & Emotional Development (PSED)

Specific areas:

– ‎Literacy (L) – Reading & Writing
– ‎Mathematical Development (MD)
– ‎Expressive Arts & Design (EAD)
– ‎Understanding the World (UW)

So, how can I help my child at home?

I have put together a toolkit of creative learning ideas that are easy to resource, incorporate all of the seven areas of the EYFS Curriculum and each with key focus on transition.

Read, read, read!

Read to your child and encourage them to read to you. Read anything and everything, not just the reading scheme books. Real books, with pictures, rhyme and enjoyable stories are crucial here. Try to encourage your child to talk about the pictures, or to make predictions about what will happen next. Also, reading stories about transition based on other children starting ‘big school’ provides a great basis for talking about the associated feelings that may occur when there is a similar change in their own lives. Above all, it’s most important for your child to enjoy reading, so try to relax, and stop when either of you begins to feel pressured or anxious. Encourage your child to recognise and read print when you are out shopping, on the bus or at the park. Most children can recognise the ‘Golden M’ for McDonald’s a mile away!

All about me chatterboxes                                                                                 

Take an old shoe box and decorate it in your child’s favourite choice of paper, stickers and pictures. Collect key items over the summer that all have a special meaning to your child. E.g. Leaflets from family outings, favourite toys, family photographs, drawings, shells from beach trips or conkers from nature walks. This enables children to talk confidently about and share their favourite things and why they are important to them during show and tell sessions at school.                                   

Jolly Phonics                                                                                                                  

Talk to your child about individual letters (especially the letters in their name) and their sounds. Singing songs and nursery rhymes really helps them to find out more about letters and sounds before transitioning from nursery to reception. Play I-spy when you go out (using the sound the letter makes, rather than its name). Jolly Phonics is a useful website with free resources, including catchy songs and actions for each of the sounds in each phase.

Numbers, numbers everywhere!

For maths, there are all sorts of ways to encourage number recognition. Oxford Owl’s Early Maths Skills suggests that real-life provides the best opportunities for children to develop maths skills. Involve your child in using numbers at home by singing number rhymes and songs or by encouraging them to recognise and read numbers when you are in the car, on the bus or walking down the street. Calendars are a great way to introduce numbers in a meaningful way. See if they can find their birthday, or count down the days until the first day of school! When shopping, ask them to select the number of apples or bananas you need – they’re helping you out and learning at the same time.

Developing Independence

And finally, don’t forget to focus on small tasks that will make a big difference to your child transitioning from nursery to reception. E.g. Getting dressed/undressed without help, putting on their own shoes and going to the toilet and washing their hands. Buttons on shirts, zips on coats and buckles on shoes are particularly useful when it comes to PE lessons or getting ready to go outside! Encouraging your child to ‘have a go’ first and then to ask for help from an adult will encourage crucial independence skills during their first few weeks at school.

Lucy Lynch is a highly motivated teacher with experience across all three primary key-stages, both in the UK and overseas. Specialising in Performing Arts & Early Years Education, Lucy facilitates 1:1 tutoring that ignites an individual’s spark, instils confidence and inspires a love of learning.

SENsational Tutors Ltd.’s is a holistic and bespoke tutoring service in London enabling young children to develop confidence, self-esteem, a sense of success, a love of learning, and ultimately a love of life! Transitioning from nursery to reception is just one of the many support channels available to parents.  Contact us today to match with a tutor near you!

Share this post

Scroll to Top