At this time all of your child's skills are developing at a rapid rate. They are learning many new words and they are beginning to speak more clearly. They love to ask questions, and they love you asking them questions, even though they may only give one word answers.

Praise and approval is what they thrive on. They are also beginning to understand the rules of playing with others, although they may still choose to play alongside - rather than with another child.

Their fine motor skills are also developing and they are getting a lot better at holding a pencil or using scissors. Getting dressed and going to the toilet are also skills that are developing alow they may still need support and help in these areas.

For those starting Reception

Starting school is a very big milestone in your child's life. Some children will find it all very exciting - they will look forward to making new friends and trying new things. For others it can be a scary time and a little daunting. The same goes for parents.

You can help your child at this time by talking about it and listening to what their fears are. Give them as much information as you can about what it will be like and what is going to happen. Show them that you are excited. Don't let your child pick up on any worries or concerns you may have.

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For those homeschooled

Exciting times are ahead. There are so many new things they want to try. 

Don’t worry about structuring your day - likelyhood is it will be too difficult to stick to. 

The work of any 4 and 5 year old is Learning Through Play.

Why Play? - well because that's how children learn. 

Take this time to engage with your child. Here's a reminder of just some things you can do:

  • Read with them. 

  • Build giant structures of of blocks 

  • Walk and talk

  • Visit the library

  • Go to the park/zoo/museums

  • Play in the garden

  • Play dress up together. 

  • Dance, clap, skip, and move around.

  • Play games. 

  • Listen to them.

WOW - So much going on. 

So let's take a look at the Literacy and Numeracy they will be learning in school at this time and how you can help at home.


Literacy is taught as 'Communication, Language and Literacy'. This is preparation for reading and writing. Speaking and listening play a big part in Literacy sessions. Read  aloud to them to develop an interest in books. Sing songs and rhymes and join in with familiar stories.

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Speaking and Listening

  • Speaking clearly and grammatically

  • Listening carefully

  • Acting out stories

  • Singing songs with actions and intonation

  • Taking part in 'show and tell' sessions

  • Making up stories and rhymes

What you can do to support this:

  • You can learn nursery rhymes together

  • Sing songs

  • Read a new story and ask your child what might happen at the end

  • Look at picture books together

  • Make something together so that your child can take it in for 'show and tell'


  • Using a pencil and holding it correctly

  • Writing recognisable letters, mostly formed correctly and facing the right way

  • Writing their name

  • Writing labels, captions and mini books

  • Using phonics to write simple consonant - vowel - consonant words (CVC), and having a go at more complicated words

  • Beginning to form simple sentences

  • Using basic punctuation

  • Beginning to learn to spell

What you can do to support this:

  • You can learn nursery rhymes together

  • Sing songs

  • Read a new story and ask your child what might happen at the end

  • Look at picture books together

  • Make something together and show it off to the family

If you want to find out more about phonics then press the back utoon to go back to the education page and click on the phonice link.

If you want to find out about early phonics (phase one) the find the information you want on a blog post


  • Naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet

  • Linking sound to letters (phonics)

  • Recognising groups of letters for example 'oo' and 'ee'

  • Hearing and saying sounds in words

  • Recognising familiar and common words

  • Understanding a story has a beginning, middle and end.

What you can do to support this:

  • Read with your them as often as possible. Little and often is much better at this age than any prolonged shared reading time.

  • Let your child see you reading - set a good example

  • Play 'I spy' - use the sounds of the letters rather than the name of the letter.

  • Look for rhyming books or familiar story books that you can share

  • Play with letters. You an buy some magnetic letters or if you have a laminator then print out some letters - laminate them - and have fun moving them around and talking about the sounds they make.