Transition into school

Communication, language and reading

Becoming more confident when speaking to others and being able to say when they need help, will help children make a smooth transition into starting school. 

Speaking in short sentences, enables children to communicate their wants and needs and also helps them make friends.

Talking about activities they like to do will help children to become confident and to connect to others who enjoy the same activities.

Your child doesn’t need to be able to read before they start school. Children start school with a wide range of abilities and their teacher will be skilled at helping children progress at their own level.

What’s most important is that you and your child have fun together in those preschool months and years.

Is your child able to:

  • listen to and join in stories, songs and poems
  • handle a book carefully
  • hold a book the correct way up and know how to turn the pages
  • listen to and follow a simple instruction
  • focus attention on an activity
  • recognise their name when someone calls it or it is written down
  • ask an adult for help when needed
  • make new friends and play co-operatively

How you can help

  • read to your child and help them share a love of books
  • children love stories with repetitive phrases – this helps them to be confident to join in with the story
  • sing songs and nursery rhymes with your child
  • use puppets to bring a story to life (you can make your own)
  • use funny voices when reading
  • give your child simple instructions to follow when doing an activity
  • help your child to practise sharing and taking turns
  • help them to recognise their name when written down

Activity ideas

  • make a Treasure Hunt for your child, giving them simple clues to follow to direct them to the next clue, with some 'treasure' to find at the end of the hunt
  • encourage your child to join in everyday activities such as cooking and preparing snacks - give simple instructions for your child to follow
  • share a story book with your child, for example 'Dear Zoo', encourage your child to join in by guessing the animal and make simple puppets of the animals to bring the story to life
  • sing nursery rhymes with your child - nursery rhymes are important for young children because they help develop an ear for language, both rhyme and rhythm help children hear the sounds and syllables in words, which later helps them to learn to read