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St James' C of E Primary School

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New Reception 2020

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Welcome to the St James' C of E School Family!

We can not wait to meet you all in person, but until then we hope you find the information on this page useful.


We understand that you will have lots of questions, especially if this is your first time having a child starting school: what are the drop-off and pick-up arrangements? Where do I buy uniform, what will they need? Will they get any homework? How will my child settle and make friends? Who will be their new teacher? It can be very unsettling for you, in these uncertain times, not knowing all of the answers and not being able to attend meetings about your child's transition to 'big' school but please do not worry. We understand and we are here to help.

What can parents do to help?


Getting ready for transition at home and without face-to-face contact with us in school is a new challenge for families but there are lots of fantastic resources to help you. The wonderful BBC Bitesize website has just created a new page: BBC Bitesize Starting Primary School (see the link posted below). It has lots of resources to help you have fun together at the same time as supporting your child's learning and sense of independence. There is also advice on how to make your home a fun learning zone, and films to help your child develop independence skills like using the toilet and getting into good sleep habits.

Parents often ask us how they can help prepare their child for school. As far as learning to read is concerned, it is important to get the basics right and you can help here by doing lots of simple things without teaching them all of the formal sounds we will start with in September.


Concentrate on developing your child's speaking and listening skills and try to get them attuned to the sounds around them. You could go on a listening walk, drum on different items outside and compare the sounds they make, play a sounds lotto game and make shakers. Work on developing your child's awareness of sounds and rhythms. Activities could include singing songs and action rhymes, listening to music and developing a sounds vocabulary. You could also read your child rhyming stories and play a rhyming bingo game.


Once your child is developing their awareness of sounds, rhythm and rhyme, you could begin to focus on the initial sounds of words, with activities including I-Spy type games and matching objects which begin with the same sound. If they get really good at this, you might like to play oral games to help your child distinguish between different vocal sounds and to begin oral blending and segmenting. Activities include Metal Mike, where children feed pictures of objects into a toy robot's mouth and the adult sounds out the name of the object in a robot voice - /c/-/u/-/p/ cup, with the child joining in.


There are links to YouTube games and activities to help support this below.

Listening Game - Phase 1 Phonics - Listening and Attention Skills

Listening skills can be difficult to master for many children. Help children develop their listening skills. Use this video in conjunction with the bingo car...

Phase 1 Phonics Letter Sounds (Set 1)

Phase 1 Phonics Letter Sounds This Phase 1 video was created to help introduce letter sounds, usually as initial sounds, and new vocabulary. Each video intro...

Phase 1 Phonics I Spy Game (Initial Sounds Game)