Just as we have relaxed after our secondary school selection, we are now awaiting the primary school places. We all know that it’s a big world out there, and one of the first major hurdles for your child is the transition from pre-school to reception, or in plainer terms, the move from structured childcare into formal and compulsory education.
So just what can a child expect to face when starting this new and exciting chapter?
Reception is a year that is specifically engineered to introduce a child to school but without making it a huge trauma (or in our case a drama!!). Let’s face it, there’s a minimum of 12 years in education ahead so any damage done at this stage could be hugely detrimental. (no pressure here!!) So the emphasis in a reception class is on ‘structured play’ – we are told that it is along the lines of lining up cars and counting them, dressing up but with a relevant theme or playing with a boat in water but discussing how it floats. The idea is for children to learn without necessarily realising they are doing so.
Mixed in with this of course is a subtle introduction to a mainstream curricular education. Maths, English, Computer Skills and Science will begin to be embedded and the seeds for a love of learning very firmly sown. Add also social skills and respect. Assemblies are a good way of young children seeing how older children behave and ‘show and tell’, where your child can bring in an item from home to show their class, encourages confidence in talking in front of others as well as teaching them to be patient and respectful as others talk. Friendships are encouraged with no differentiation for race, religion or disability. Or to put all this into a condensed way, reception is the year when a child learns the skills that will help them to have a successful education with a hope on exceeding expectations.
It was also launched last year that children as young as five will be learning programming skills in the classroom, as teaching programming skills to children is seen as a long-term solution to the “skills gap” between the number of technology jobs and the people qualified to fill them. We are already quite a tech savvy family but with more and more emphasis for online learning, it is important that you make sure you have the right package for your children's needs (and also at the best price). We are always searching for the best deails and Broadbandchoices makes finding the right package easy as you simply input your postcode and it then informs you of the best deals on offer, so whether you are looking for a faster service or better value, it is certainly worth a look.
The changes ahead can be a myriad of emotions for us parents too (and that is without the talk of algorithms, debugging and Boolean logic). Firstly, there’s the first experience of ‘school-gate competitiveness’, where eager adults move house, use grandparents addresses and even find religion in order to get their child into THE school. Remember that this is just the start, so now is the time to think ahead and assess where your child will move to next.
Us parents also often feel a mix of excitement as well as deprivation. The little one is growing up, freeing up time and often money, and returning a portion of our lives back to us. I know that she needs to grow, spread her wings and make new friendships but I will miss my little buddy and I suspect there might be a few tears come September (just not sure if they will be hers or mine!).