Early Years

One of the best ways to support your child at home is to have fun and encourage positive conversation about school. You are your child's first and most important educator and know your child better than anyone.


Young children have a very short attention span so make activities short, fun and based (where possible) on your child's interests. Please remember that your child will have been at school for a large part of the day and will be tired, they may need an extra hug and a little time to run off steam. Below are some suggestions of ways in which you can support your child across the curriculum.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development


Encourage independence; this will increase self-esteem and positive self-image. We expect children to use the toilet on their own, manage their own hygiene and personal property (however help is always available if needed). You can support this at home by:


  • Encourage the children to have a go on their own, talk them through, step by step.

  • Ensure clothes are easy to put on and take off. Practise doing up buttons and zips, these are difficult. Practise turning clothes the right way after undressing. Sowing the label in the back of the neck helps.

  • Ensure that all clothes and personal belongings are named and that your child recognises their name, how it is written.

  • Encourage children to share and turn take (board games are great for this).


Communication, Language and Literacy


Children need to develop good listening skills as this is the basis for all future learning. In school, we play games and encourage the children to share their news with the group and to talk confidently in a range of situations to a variety of audiences.


In reception, we introduce phonics to the children (sounds to letters). They are encouraged to learn both the letter name and its corresponding sound. This learning is delivered through fun playful activities which will appeal to all learners. You will always know in advance which sounds the children are learning and can help at home by:


  • Going on a sound hunt, write the letter and the search for things at home which begin with the sound.

  • Guess the letter, trace a sound on your child's back and guess what it is.

  • Point to letters in books and the environment.

  • Make play-doh, pipe cleaner letters.

  • Recognise letters in family names.

  • Play I-Spy.


Once the children have a good understanding of sounds we will begin to blend them together to form words. Reading books will also be introduced at this stage. Just as important as sharing stories with your child is encouraging them to demonstrate their ability to read. At school, we will hear them read as often as possible but progress will be greater if you could share a few minutes each evening to listen to your child read and reading to them too.


Children love to mark make.  At school, there is always a table where writing materials are available. At home, you could encourage writing in celebration cards for your family, shopping lists and stories. We will provide an example of correct letter formation to help writing progress.


We want to encourage a love reading and books, All learning stems from a story context and we try to end each session with a shared story. At home sharing, bedtime stories is a brilliant way to end your child's day as well as encouraging them to read at home. Visits to the library will be arranged from school, it is a brilliant and free resource for us all. But reading does not have to be confined to books, cereal packets, comics and road signs are also good.


Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy


Children are encouraged to have a love of problem-solving and number and take every opportunity to engage the children in counting activities.


For us, snack time is a good opportunity to count, the children take it in turns to count the number in their group and ensure there is the correct number of cups etc. At home, you could ask for help setting the table ensuring that everyone has a plate etc. Counting everything and everywhere will help your child understand numbers, for example, counting the stairs at bedtime or the signs on the road, the possibilities are endless!


  • As well as counting forwards, count backwards to the start of a favourite activity.

  • Cooking together is a lovely way to introduce sharing and measuring.

  • Ask questions such as, "will we need more water in the bath?" or "it there too much here?".

  • Have a height chart at home and use language to describe size and growth.

  • Look for shapes and patterns in the environment.


Knowledge and Understanding of the World


Help your child understand the routines of the school day by talking to them about what they have done during the day, ordering the passing of time.


  • Encourage your child to understand their past and present experiences and explain that other families will have different traditions.

  • Talk to your child about where you live, pointing out features of the environment and the changes in the seasons.

  • Share stories and/or celebrations from other cultures.

  • Make your child responsible for the care of a plant or pet.

  • Cook together.


Physical Development


  • Encourage your child to be active and to take carefully measured risks.

  • Explore the garden or go to the park and have fun.

  • Explore what our bodies can do and the different ways of moving, jumping, running, swimming, climbing etc.

  • Help to develop your child's fine motor skills by encouraging them to play with small construction toys, play-doh, pencils etc.

  • Children's scissors are readily available and cutting is an excellent skill to master.


Expressive Arts and Design


  • Children love messy plays, collect recyclable materials and allow them to cut and stick/model make.  Have paints, pencils and chalks for your child to explore.

  • Sing, dance and make music together.

  • Encourage your child to be imaginative and engage in role play. Old clothes are excellent for dressing up and just about anything can be used as a prop to enhance their play.


All of the above are only suggestions and we are sure that you will already have your own ways of helping your child as they grow and progress. We value your support and look forward to working in partnership with you to ensure that your child has a happy and successful year in reception.  Don’t forget to record their ‘Wow’ moments from home to add to their Learning Journeys in school.

50 Le Safferne Gardens



Telephone: 01603 984737

Email: office@stclementsacademy.co.uk

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