Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School

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Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School
Be School

                                                         & Counting!
                                                          FUN ACTIVITIES
                                                           TO DO WITH
                                                           YOUR CHILD


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                           Page 7           Page 8              Page 20
                       GETTING READY       A DAY IN        FORCE FOR GOOD!
                          TO READ         THE LIFE OF      GETTING INVOLVED
                         AND WRITE     RECEPTION CLASS      IN SCHOOL LIFE
Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School
CONTENTS                                                                                                                                                                                                             BE SCHOOL READY

What 's inside                                                                                                               Welcome!
    Practical ideas and advice from parents,
    for parents
                                               10 LEARN THE LINGO
                                                  School words, phrases and
                                                  abbreviations from ARE to SEND!

                                               11 FUN ACTIVITIES                                7
                                                                                                    Enjoy reading
                                                                                                    time together
                                                                                                                             W         elcome to Be School Ready magazine from Parentkind –
                                                                                                                                       the charity that brings together home and school. Inside
                                                                                                                                       you’ll find top tips from other mums and dads, practical
                                                                                                                             information about school life, advice to help you and your child feel
                                                                                                                             happy and confident about starting school, and some fun activities.
                                                  A pull-out section for your child with
6   READY, SET, SCHOOL!                           activities from National Literacy Trust                                    We’d also like to welcome you to your PTA (they might be called the
    Help your child feel prepared for the         and National Numeracy
    changes ahead                                                                                                            PTFA, Friends group or something else at your school). Now that your
                                               15 WHO’S WHO AND                                                              child is enrolled at the school you’re automatically a member of the
7   GETTING READY TO                              WHAT DO THEY DO?                                                           parents’ association, so get ready to take part (as much or as little as
    READ AND WRITE                                Get your home/school communication                                         you like). Over the coming months a member of your PTA’s committee                  
    How sharing books and building strength       off to a great start by finding out who                                    will let you know more about how you can get involved and support
    will help your child learn                    does what                                                                  the school.
8   A DAY IN THE LIFE OF                       16 KEY STAGES, TESTS                                                          Starting school is an exciting time for the whole family, and there’s
    A RECEPTION CLASS                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                  AND ASSESSMENTS                                                            overwhelming evidence that children do better
    A glimpse at what your child might get
                                                  A quick look at what to expect at                                          when their parents are engaged and involved in
    up to at school                               primary school                                                             their education, so jump in right from the start.
9   TURN SCHOOL MORNING                        19 PTA FACT FROM FICTION                                                      It’ll be worth it for you and your kids.
                                                                                                             Be inspired                                                                                                      @Parentkind
                                                  How your PTA supports your child’s                         to make a
    Tips for a great morning and                  school                                                     difference
    after-school routine                                                                                                     Acting Chief Executive, Parentkind
                                               20 BE A FORCE FOR GOOD!
                                                  Parents make an incredible                                                                                                                                   
                                                  difference in schools. Read our
                                                  members' stories and be inspired!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             0300 123 5460

                                                        16                                          9
                                                                                                    How to turn
                                                                                                                           WIN! £250 vouchers for you and the PTA
                                                 A quick guide to                                   morning chaos
                                                 key stages, tests                                  into calm

                                                 and assessments                                                                                   Head to and answer a few questions
                                                      B                                                                                            about Be School Ready magazine to enter our prize draw.
                                                                                                                                                   You could win £250 of M&S vouchers - £100 for you to spend on uniform or
                                                                                 Top tips
                                                                                 for starting                                                      other school essentials, and £150 for your school’s PTA to buy raffle prizes
                                                                                 'big school'

                                                                           B                                                                       or event supplies.

                                                                                                                                                   Closing date 30/09/2019. Full terms and conditions at

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Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School

Top tips for                                                                                                                                                                                    Listen up

starting school
                                                                                                                                                                                                “Nothing” and “I can’t remember”
                                                                                                                                                                                                are standard answers to questions
                                                                                                                                                                                                about your child’s day. If you’re used
                                                                                                                                                                                                to detailed nursery handovers, this
                                                                                                                                                                                                lack of information can come as a bit
                                                                                                                                                                                                of a shock. Don’t be discouraged: wait
                                                                                                                                                                                                a little and the stories will come out,
                                                                                                                                                                                                usually at an odd time – when they’re
          The next few months are                                                                                                              Label it
                                             Shop for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                in the bath or on the toilet! Try asking
        the perfect time to focus on                                                                                                                                                            specific questions like “who did you
     helping your child feel happy           essentials                                                                                        If it is not permanently attached to
                                                                                                                                               your child, put their name on it! Labels
                                                                                                                                                                                                play with at break?” or “what made you
                                                                                                                                                                                                laugh today?”
     and confident about starting            The school will probably give you a list of            Get yourself                               help them identify their own clothes,
                                             everything your child needs, but it might                                                         and also help staff deal with piles of
      school. There are lots of easy
                                             not all be essential right from the start, so          organised                                  identical jumpers and bookbags. If
            things you can do now.           ask other parents what can wait until later.
                                             Children come home covered in everything
                                                                                                    There’s a surprising amount of
                                                                                                    admin to deal with once your child
                                                                                                                                               your child isn’t reading yet, use labels
                                                                                                                                               with little pictures next to their name.     Familiarise & socialise
            To help you get started,         – mud, lunch, paint, playdough – you                   starts school. Letters and forms           There are lots of quick and effective        Familiarise your child with their school before they start. Go along to the summer fair so they
                                             name it. So if you don’t want to be washing            come home every week and it's in           alternatives to sew-in nametapes,            start to feel like it’s ‘their school’. Attend the welcome events, get to know other parents and if
             here are some top tips          every night, it’s a good idea to have plenty           your child’s interests that you are on     including stamps, stick in labels, or the    possible arrange a few playdates so your child sees a few familiar faces on their first day. Do a
         from the Parentkind team,           of uniform. Ask whether the PTA runs                   top of things – you don’t want your        old marker pen on the label trick.           dry run of your journey to school, just as if it is the big day itself.
             our PTA members and             pre-loved uniform sales – particularly for             child to be the only one in uniform
                                             school logo items, they’re a great way to              on an own clothes day! Read the
           Facebook community of             support the school and save money. And                 newsletters, familiarise yourself
                   mums and dads.            to help get your child excited about school,
                                             let them help choose anything that isn’t
                                                                                                    with the school website and note
                                                                                                    dates on your calendar. Remember                                                                                                            Lunches
                                             school specific, like a skirt, shorts, wellies or      to share information with everyone                                                                                                          Children don’t get a lot of time to eat
                                             their PE bag.                                          involved in your child’s care.                                                                                                              lunch, and usually they don’t want to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sit down for too long, so make sure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                packed lunch quantities are manageable.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If your child will be having a hot dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (all Reception children in England are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                entitled to a free school lunch), look at

                                                                                                 Accept that they’re                                                                                                                            the menu together in advance to make
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                choosing less daunting. Try out similar

                                                                                                 going to be tired                                                                                                                              meals at home so they get used to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                food on offer, but don’t underestimate
                                                                                                 Even children who are used to nursery or                                                                                                       peer power – children will often give new
                                                                                                 pre-school will be tired after school, so                                                                                                      things a go at school.
                                                                                                 get into a routine of early bed
                                                                                                 times and wake ups well
    Develop                                                                                                                                  Be positive                                    Get involved
                                                                                                 in advance and prepare
                                                                                                 yourself for meltdowns!
    independence                             Avoid fear                                                                                                                                                                                             It’s not a race
                                                                                                 After a day of listening,
                                                                                                 playing and learning,                       and calm                                       in school life                                          Try and dodge playground
    Though Early Years staff are happy       of the unknown                                      there can be an                             Your child may feel anxious if they see        Volunteering for the PTA, helping in                    discussions about whose child
    to help with shoes, PE changes,          There are lots of ways you can get your             outpouring of                               that you are worried. Accept that, just like   class, or joining a Parent Council are                  can already read or count –
    cutlery etc., the effort you put in to   child used to the idea of school – start by         emotions once your                          them, you will learn as you go. If you have    all great ways to be involved with the                  your child will develop at their
    preparing your child for school life     borrowing a few books about going to                child’s back home.                          concerns, talk to their teacher, school                      school and take part in                   own pace. The qualities that
    by encouraging independence won’t        school from your local library and read             They’ll be hungry                           office, or head teacher; they are                             your child’s school life.                matter most in Reception age
    go unnoticed. Encourage your little      them often. Treat your child to a sticker or        too, so bring a                             there to help. On the first day                                 Attend meetings and                    children are things like curiosity,
    one to practise getting dressed and      activity book about starting school, play           healthy snack                               don’t stay around at drop off;                                   get-togethers and                     independence, imagination, and
    undressed, and make things easier        ‘school’ with their teddies, and let them           at pick up                                  it’s generally best to leave                                     you will soon get to                  enjoying playing and sharing
    for them – think Velcro shoe straps      wear their new uniform around the house –           time for a                                  them to it and have a box                                        know other parents                    with other children.
    and elasticated waist bands!             if there’s anything itchy or annoying you can       quick energy                                of tissues ready at home                                           who understand the
                                             deal with it before the big day.                    boost.                                      – just in case!                                                       school well.

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Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School
PREPARING YOUR CHILD FOR SCHOOL                                                                                                                                                                                                                    READING AND WRITING

                                                                                                                                                     Getting ready to                                                                                                       parent tip
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bring out the

                                                                                                                                                     read and write
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            paper, paints
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and brushes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            – building up
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            arm and chest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            muscles helps
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            them write too!

                                                                     Ready, set,
                                                                                                                                                     Every child is different and will develop at their own pace. Children aren’t
                                                                                                                                                     expected to be able to read and write before they start school, but there’s
                                                                                                                                                     plenty you can do at home that will help them get off to a great start.

                                                                                                                                                     READING TO YOUR CHILD                                                LEARNING TO WRITE
                                                                                                                                                     The benefits of reading regularly with your child are                Learning to write is tricky. Young bodies need to develop
                                                                                                                                                     well documented. Here’s why it’s such an enjoyable                   muscle strength in the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders
                                                                                                                                                     and simple way to support your child’s learning:                     and back to be able to hold a pencil properly. Here are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          some ideas for building strength through play:
              Together with all                                                                                                                                                   Imagination and creativity.             Messy play. Get out the play dough and do
        the excitement of starting                                                                                                                                                Looking at the pictures, talking        some modelling. Use pinching, chopping

                                                                                                                                                                                  about how the characters feel and
                                                                       Get them used to schools
     school, it’s completely natural                                                                                                                                                                                      and squeezing actions to help develop all
    to worry a little. Here’s how you                            1                                                                                                                what’s going to happen next can
                                                                                                                                                                                  really ignite their imagination.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the muscle groups needed for writing.

      can help your child develop                              Your child’s school will arrange taster sessions, welcome meetings and tours
                                                               before they start, but don’t stop there; try and visit schools with your child as
       the skills to cope with new                            much as you can over the next few months – even if it’s not the one your child will                                                                                                          Puzzles and games. Jigsaws are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           brilliant for developing hand-eye
          situations and bounce                              be going to. Go along to school summer fairs and as you walk around, talk about         Concentration. Sitting down regularly                                                                 coordination and building with
                                                            what goes on in the playground, classrooms etc. (they’re great for picking up cheap      to read together can help increase the
             back when things                             second-hand toys and books too). If you have older children already at school, take        length of time your child is able to sit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           wooden bricks and Lego can help
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           strengthen little hands and fingers.
                 go wrong.                             little ones along to their open days and school performances.                                 still and concentrate – this will help                                                                 B

                                                                                                                                                     them when they start school.

      CALLED RESILIENCE                                                                                 4 BIG-UP GOING
                                                                                                          TO SCHOOL
                                                                                                                                                                             Language skills. Children hear and
                                                                                                                                                                             learn words that are different from their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Helping at home. Get your child involved
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in a bit of housework: pegging out washing,
Being resilient means that children (and                                                              How you and your family talk about                                     day-to-day vocabulary through books.         dusting and sweeping all build strength
adults) are able to cope with change and                                                              school with (or in earshot of) your child                                B                                          (why is it that kids enjoy tidying and cleaning

bounce back quicker when things go wrong.                                                             will have the biggest influence on how                                                                              when it’s not their bedroom?!)
Three easy things you can work on together                                                            they feel about going. So even if your own
that will help build resilience are feelings,                                                         memories of school aren’t particularly
positivity and coping. Encourage your child                                                           happy ones, make sure you talk positively                                                                                                      Play outdoors. Head to the park, the
                                                           Let’s pretend
                                                                                                                                                     Learn about the world. Choosing
to talk about how they’re feeling, teach them
the names of the different emotions and how
                                                   3                                                  to your child about what school will be
                                                                                                      like for them. If there’s something you’re
                                                                                                                                                     books about a wide variety of topics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     beach or mess around in the garden.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Make a den, build sandcastles, feed
                                                  Do lots of school-type activities at home                                                          helps children learn about different
they can recognise how other people might                                                             concerned about, ring the school or drop                                                                                                       the ducks, squirt a water pistol, climb
be feeling. When problems come up, show
your child how to look at them in a good way
with a ‘glass half-full’ attitude. And let them
                                                  (you probably do lots of these already):
                                                  read to your child and look at books
                                                  together, talk about the time of day and
                                                                                                      in and ask to
                                                                                                      speak to your
                                                                                                      child’s teacher        parent tip
                                                                                                                                                     places, cultures and interests. They’ll
                                                                                                                                                     develop a greater understanding
                                                                                                                                                     of the world around them and an
                                                                                                                                                                                                B                                                    trees and swing from play frames –
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     pretty much every outdoor game will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     support their physical development.

                                                  days of the week, sing rhymes together                                                             empathy for others.
know that sometimes things do go wrong,                                                               or a member
but there are ways to distract themselves if      and play with musical instruments, role             of the pastoral         “Relax and be there

they feel upset or angry, like counting up to     play, help them recognise their name                care team               to support your                                                                             Tummy time. Nope, it’s not just for

ten or finding something different to do.         when it’s written on things (think bedroom          about your              child. Try not to be                                  Time together. Cuddling up and        babies. When your child is looking
                                                  door sign, novelty rulers, clothes labels           worries, so             stressed, your child                                  having some quality time is a great   at books or watching a bit of telly, by
    Read more about resilience at                 etc.), and count things together - like going       you don’t pass          will pick up on your                                  way to relax and enjoy a story        getting them to lie on their stomach,               up and down the stairs or yellow cars               them onto               emotions”                                             together away from the regular        they’ll be developing core strength
                                                  when you’re out and about.                          your child.                                                                   demands of busy lives.                and coordination.

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Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School
GETTING TO SCHOOL AND BACK SAFELY                                                                    GETTING THE SCHOOL DAY OFF TO A GREAT START

                                    Turn school morning chaos
                                        Even the most
                                     organised parents
                                        with years of
                                                                                                    into calm!
                                         school- run
                                                                                                                                 AFTER SCHOOL AND
                                                                                YOUR MORNIN
                                     experience will tell
                                     you that mornings                                                                            EVENING ROUTINE
                                     can be a challenge.                           ROUTINE
                                        You'll need to
                                        be adaptable,                        Get up half an hour earlier than                    Check your child’s book bag for
                                                                             your child to give yourself a head                  any letters or notes from their
                                         but having a                        start                                               teacher, the school office, or PTA –
                                      routine will help                                                                          party invites are often sent out this
                                      you manage the                         Open curtains or switch on a lamp                   way too
                                    mayhem – making it                       in your child’s room 10 minutes
                                                                             before they need to get up, to give                 Talk about their day, read
                                    easier for your child                    them a chance to wake up naturally                  together and (in time) help
                                     (and you) to enjoy                                                                          with homework tasks
                                       the day ahead.                        Use the Parentkind morning
                                                                             checklist with your child so they                   Make sure any books that come

                                         KIDS MORNING
                                                                             learn what they need to do each                     home are back in their bag each
                                                                             day – as they get older encourage                   evening
                                           CHECKLIST                         them to do more by themselves
                                                                                                                                 Find out if there’s anything
                                            [Child’s Na                      Allow enough time for breakfast                     special going on the next day
                                             G     Checklist
                                                       d         DONE?
                                                                             – try and leave 15-20 minutes to
                                                                             sit at the table, it’ll give you a few
                                                                                                                                 that they need something out
                                                                                                                                 of the ordinary for e.g. wellies,
                                            Get dresse
                                            Tidy bed
                                                                             minutes to talk about the day                       cardboard boxes, a costume for
                                                        ast                  ahead, and eating a filling breakfast               World Book Day!
                                             Eat breakf
                                                                             will help your child concentrate at
                                                Brush teet                   school
                                                 Hair brushe
                                                                                                                                 Help your child lay out their

                                                 Shoes on                                                                        uniform ready for the morning

                                                 Bag                         Switch off distractions like TV or                  (including BOTH shoes)
                                                 Ready to go                 tablets – perhaps build in a few
                                                                             minutes to watch a bit of telly if                  Get them to bed on time, because
                                                                             everyone’s ready on time, but not                   tired and grumpy children aren’t
                                     Download at                             if you know it’s going to cause                     fun in the morning!
                                    problems leaving the house!

                                       Parentkind tip
                                       It might take a while to
                                       establish a routine (or
                                       even remember that you
                                       have one), but stick with
                                       it and on the days when
                                       it all goes to plan, you’ll
                                       find mornings are much                                                                     More about being an organised
                                       calmer.                                                                               parent and the importance of sleep at

                                                                                                             |                                9
Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School
fun activities

                                                                                                          School life has

      Learn                                         the lingo
                                                                                                          a language and
                                                                                                          vocabulary all of its
                                                                                                          own. If things are getting
                                                                                                          lost in translation, check                      As a parent or carer there are lots of simple ways                  The National Literacy Trust is an
                                                                                                          our list of words, phrases                      you can support the communication and language                      independent charity that transforms
                                                                                                          and abbreviations used                          skills your child is learning at school.                            lives through literacy.
                                                                                                          in primary school.                              Chatting and playing with your child develops                       Their website for parents has
ARE: Age related expectations.                      Guided reading: A method of teaching that        Phoneme: A unit of sound – examples would            listening and speaking skills. Sharing stories inspires             tips, milestones and activities like
                                                    involves reading with children in small groups   be the noises you make when you say “t” or           children to love books and to want to learn to read.                the ones in this booklet for you to
Blending: The merging together of the               so that their individual needs can be met.       “k”. They can be put together to make words.         Scribbling and drawing develops early writing skills                complete with your child to help
separate sounds in a word.                                                                                                                                and helps children express themselves. Pointing out
                                                    High frequency words: The words that             Phonics: A method for teaching reading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              them develop their literacy skills.
Circle time: When the teacher brings the            occur most often in written texts. They          and writing by developing the ability to hear,       signs and words when you’re out and about helps                     Visit for
children together to share news or discuss          include ‘the’ and ‘and’.                         identify, and manipulate units of sound.             children understand the world around them.                          lots more.
values. The class sit in a circle on chairs or on
the floor.                                          Home–school agreement: Non-binding               PSHE: Personal, social and health education.
                                                    statement explaining the school’s aims and
                                                                                                                                                               Little Fish is a colourful, friendly fish who loves to splish and splash with
Digraph: Two letters that represent a single
sound. For example, “sh” or “ch”.
                                                    values, the responsibilities of both school
                                                    and parents, and what the school expects
                                                    of its pupils.
                                                                                                     SEN: Special Educational Needs. The needs
                                                                                                     of children with a learning difficulty which
                                                                                                     means they require special educational
                                                                                                                                                      1        underwater friends. Colour in the fish using your favourite colours.
EAL: English as an additional language.                                                              provision either in mainstream or specialist
                                                    INSET day: In-Service Education and              schools.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): The            Training days for teachers – a day off for
regulatory and quality framework for children       the children!                                    SEND: Special Educational Needs and
between birth and the academic year in                                                               Disabilities.
which they turn five.                               Learning objective (LO) or We are
                                                    learning to (WALT): Describes what children
Fine motor skills: The skills that involve          are expected to learn or achieve from a task             More on the w
using smaller muscles of the hands, like using      or activity.                             ebsite
a pencil or scissors, building with Lego and
doing up buttons.                                   NQT: A newly qualified teacher in their first
                                                    year of teaching.
Free play: A time when children choose their
own play activities (indoors or outdoors) with      Number bonds: Simple addition sums that
little adult direction or intervention.             your child will (eventually) memorise and
                                                    recall automatically.
G&T: Nope, not that! It’s an abbreviation
of gifted and talented used to describe             Number line: A line with numbers on it
children who have the ability to develop            used to teach maths by providing a visual
significantly beyond what’s expected for            representation of numbers.
their age.
                                                    Number sentence: An arrangement of
Golden time: A strategy used to promote             numbers and symbols, for example 6 + 5 = 11.
positive behaviour. Children stop work and
spend time doing special, enjoyable activities      Parental engagement: The partnership
for a period of up to an hour, usually on a         between home and school, where schools
Friday.                                             actively reach out to parents and parents
                                                    are committed to supporting their child’s
Gross motor skills: The skills that involve         learning and development.
whole body movement, using large muscles
like standing, walking, running and jumping.        Partitioning: A method of working out
They also include hand-eye coordination             maths problems by splitting the numbers
skills like throwing, catching and kicking.         into simpler units.                                                                                              Illustrations copyright © 2005 – 2018 by Lucy Cousins,
                                                                                                                                                                     reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd.

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Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School
2   Grandma says she's seen a Tiger in the garden. Can you follow
    the lines below to help Nora find him?
                                                                            fun with numbers
                                                                                      We all use maths every day, often without realising it.
                                                                            National Numeracy believe that every child can develop the numeracy
                                                                                 skills they will need, both at school and throughout their lives.
                                                                            Maths is about solving problems, thinking logically and finding different
                                                                              ways of working things out. Helping your child feel confident about
                                                                                       numbers now will prepare them for learning in class.

                                                                        1    Cost of an ice lolly
                                                                             Matthew wants to buy an ice lolly. It costs 5p
                                                                             What coins could he use to pay for the lolly?
                                                                             How many different ways can you find to pay 5p?

                                                                             Helpful hints:
                                                                             Try to work methodically, starting with 1p coins
                                                                             and developing the idea of exchanging 2 x 1p coins
                                                                             to make a 2p coin.
                                                                             If your child finds this easy, ask what would
                                                                             happen if you only had 10p?

           Illustrations © Lizzy Stewart, reproduced by permission of
           Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School

           Shapes of food
           Think about the shape of some of the food
                                                                                              Who’s who
           you eat.
           Do you eat any of these shapes?
                                                                                              and what do they do?
                                                                                                   Who does what varies
                                                                                                  from school to school,
                                                                                                                                                     Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
                                                                                                                                 Accountable to the Governing Body for the leadership
                                                                                                                                     and management of the school. The team includes
                                                                                                                                                                                                     r Lea
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Team dership
                                                                                               depending on the needs                 the Headteacher or Principal, Deputy Head or Vice
                                                                                                                                 Principal and other key teaching staff. Each member of
                                                                                              of the school community,                            the team has specific responsibilities.
                                                                                              staff skills, and of course,
                                                                                                 funding. Knowing what                  Pastoral Care
                                                                                                                                Supports the social and
                                                                                                support is available and                                                     Care
                                                                                                                                   emotional health and
                                                                                                who you can go to with           wellbeing of children at
                                                                                                  questions or concerns           school. Hopefully your
                                                                                                                                    child’s school blends
                                                                                                        can really make a       pastoral care throughout
                                                                                               difference to your child’s        their teaching, they may
                                                                                                                                    also have a dedicated
                                                                                                    enjoyment of school.                pastoral care team
                                                                                                                                    either led by a teacher
                                                                                                                                 (often with responsibility                                   SENC
                                                                                                                                                                                                   O: T
                                                                                                                                       for inclusion), or as a                                 educa he speciali
                                                                                                                                                                                                     tion       st
                                                                                                                                                                                                 co-or al needs

                                                                                                                                              specialist role.                                         dinat

                                                                                                 Parentkind tip
         Can you draw them?                                                                      Check out the school                             SENCO: The Specialist
                                                                                                 website. Look for a parents'
                                                                                                                                        Educational Needs Co-ordinator
         Are there any other shapes you find in your food?                                       section and important
                                                                                                                                           SENCOs work in partnership with the
                                                                                                 information like: what to
                                                                                                                                     families of children with SEN to make sure
         Could you make a different shape from food?                                             do if your child is unwell,
                                                                                                                                       they get the support they need at school
                                                                                                 who’s who, the curriculum

                                                                                                                                         and that any plans or provision agreed
                                                                                                 and what your child will
                                                                                                                                      are carried out. A member of the SLT may
                                                                                                 be learning, class pages
         Helpful hints:                                                                          (that’s where you’ll usually
                                                                                                                                     have SENCO responsibilities at your child’s
                                                                                                                                       school, or it could be a stand-alone role.
                                                                                                 find homework) school
         Talk about circles, squares, rectangles, triangles and any other shapes you might       dinners, clubs, Parent                                                                     Family
                                                                                                 Council and PTA updates.
         find. If possible, make shapes from sandwiches, biscuits, pizzas etc. Talk about                                                                                                   Support
         how many straight sides and round edges there are.                                                                                                      Family Support
                                                                                                                                     Extends pastoral care to parents and carers.
                                                                                                                                         Parent support advisers, family liaison or
                                                                                                                                     education welfare officers can help you with
                                                                                                                                        any issues you may have supporting your

                                                                                                                                                  children at home and in school.
                                                                                             more on the website
    Learn more about shapes, space, measures and all of the                        
    Essentials of Numeracy at
    Family Maths Toolkit resources are available at:

                                                                                                                                                               |                   15
Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School

     Tests and assessments                                                                                                    The Council for the Curriculum,
                                                                                                                              Examinations and Assessment (CCEA)                                                               NORTHERN

                   at primary school
                                                                                                                              explains:                                                                                          IRELAND
                                                                                                                                  In Years 1 to 7, teachers assess your child’s
                                                                                                                              learning in these aspects of the Northern            AGE       SCHOOL         KEY STAGE       TESTS AND ASSESSMENTS
                                                                                                                              Ireland Curriculum: Areas of Learning,                          YEAR
                                                                                                                              Cross-Curricular Skills and Thinking Skills
                                                                                                                                                                                   4 to 5     Primary 1     Foundation     Ongoing assessment of learning
                                                                                                                              and Personal Capabilities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and skills based on teacher
                                                                                                                              Schools can decide how they will assess your
             With the Reception                                                                                               child’s progress in the Areas of Learning            5 to 6     Primary 2     Foundation     Ongoing assessment of learning
                                                                                                                              and in the Thinking Skills and Personal                                                       and skills based on teacher
         Baseline Assessment being                                                                                                                                                                                                  observation
                                                                                                                              Capabilities. However, all primary schools
        introduced in England from                                                                                            use the Levels of Progression (LoP) to assess
        September 2020 and a new                                                                                              the Cross-Curricular Skills in Years 3 to 7.         6 to 8    Primary 3-4    Key Stage 1      Teachers will use the LoP to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            make a judgement about the
     curriculum for Wales in 2023, it can                                                                                     The Levels of Progression are a framework
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           level your child has achieved at
                                                                                                                              of assessment criteria that teachers use to
      be hard to keep track of how and                                                                                        assess your child’s progress in the Cross-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the end of Key Stage 1

       when your child’s progress will                                                                                        Curricular Skills.
         be assessed. Here’s a quick                                                                                                                                               8 to 11   Primary 5-7    Key Stage 2       Teachers will use the LoP
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to make a judgement about
               guide on what                                                                                                                                                                                                   the level your child has
                  to expect.                                                                                                  For more information visit                                                           achieved at the end of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Key Stage 2

                                                                               The Department for Education told
     ENGLAND                                                                   Parentkind
                                                                                                                              Education in Wales is changing
                                                                                   The Reception Baseline Assessment
                                                                               will be introduced from September 2020
                                                                                                                              From September 2022 there will be a new curriculum
                                                                                                                              for all schools (except Independent schools).
      AGE      SCHOOL         KEY STAGE          TESTS AND ASSESSMENTS         as a new starting point for primary            On their website, Welsh Government says: The
                YEAR                                                           school progress measures, giving credit        curriculum has been made in Wales but shaped by
                                                                               to schools for the important work they         the best ideas from around the world. There will
     4 to 5    Reception        Early Years        Teacher assessments                                                        also be changes to improve how we assess pupils,
                               Foundation                                      do with their children in the first 3 years.                                                         AGE       SCHOOL        KEY STAGE       TESTS AND ASSESSMENTS
                                                                                                                              teacher training and school accountability. These                YEAR
                                                                               A teacher will carry out the assessment        improvements will complement the new curriculum.
     5 to 6      Year 1            KS1            Phonics screening check      one-to-one with the child, in a familiar
                                                                                                                                                                                   5 to 6     Reception     Foundation          Teacher assessments
                                                                               environment, using materials children              Our national mission in Wales is to                           Year 1
     6 to 7      Year 2            KS1           SATs (Standard Attainment     can easily handle. It should only last         raise standards, raise the attainment of all
                                              Tests) and teacher assessments   around 20 minutes, and breaks can be                                                                6 to 7     Reception     Foundation     National Reading and Numeracy
                                                                                                                              children and ensure we have an education
                                               in English, Maths and Science   taken if needed. There will be no scores                                                                         Year 2                            (reasoning) Tests
                                                                                                                              system that is a source of national pride
                                                                               or marks given, and the data will only be      and public confidence.
     7 to 11   Years 3-6           KS2              SATs at end of year 6      used 7 years later with key stage 2 results                                                         7 to 11    Years 3 – 6       KS2        National Reading and Numeracy
                                                                                                                              Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education                                                             (reasoning) Tests
                                                                               to form the progress measure.

                                                                                                                               Find out more about why the
      Read about SATs, phonics and other tests                                                                                 curriculum is changing at

16                        |                                                                                                                                                      |                               17
Be School Ready - West Witney Primary School

                                                                                               PTA fact from fiction
                                                                                                   When you support your PTA, you’re not just baking a cake, writing a cheque or giving up
                                                                                                 your time to volunteer. You’re buying your child playground equipment to climb on at break
                                                                                                 time, sending them on outings to places they’ve never been, making new friends, building a
                                                                                                           community and helping to make your child’s school even more brilliant.

                                                                                               WHAT IS A PTA?                       Everyone’s invited                                      IT WON’T TAKE
                                                                                               A PTA (aka Friends group,            Now that your child has started at school,
                                                                                               Parents Association or
                                                                                                                                                                                            OVER YOUR LIFE
                                                                                                                                    you’re automatically a member of the parent
                                                                                                                                                                                            (unless you want it
                                                                                               something else) is an open           association. How involved you choose to                                             to!)
                                                                                                                                                                                             There are always ple
                                                                                               and friendly group of                become is up to you. If you’re passionate about                                  nty of
                                                                                                                                                                                            opportunities to vo
                                                                                               parents and (depending               making a difference and want to be involved                                    lunteer
                                                                                                                                                                                            for your PTA. Wheth
                                                                                               on the type of group)                in running the association, you might want to                                   er you
                                                                                                                                                                                            work full-time, part-
                                                                                               teachers, extended family            consider joining the committee. If you have ideas                              time,
                                                                                                                                                                                            or you’re a stay-at-h
                                                                                               and members of the local             to share or want to know more about the group,                                 ome
                                                                                                                                                                                           parent, any time yo
                                                                                               community, working                   head along to the next meeting.                                              u can
                                                                                                                                                                                           offer will be welcom
                                                                                               towards a common goal;                                                                                              ed.
                                                                                                                                                                                           PTAs are involved in
                                                                                               supporting the education of                                                                                        a huge
                                                                                                                                                                                          range of activities, all
                                                                                               the children at your school                                                                                         with
                                                                                                                                                                                          varying time comm
                                                                                               and strengthening the                                                                                            itments,
                                                                                                                                                                                          so how much or ho
                                                                                               school community.                          It's good for you                                       STAR
                                                                                                                                                                                         you choose to get inv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                w little
                                                                                                                                           The PTA is a fast way to get to                                        olved
                                                                                                                                                                                         really is up to you.
                                                                                                                                       know other parents and school staff.
                                                                                            IT ’S GREAT FOR                         Feeling part of a community is a very real

  I N !                                                                                     THE KIDS (even if
                                                                                             they don’ t realise it)
                                                                                                                                    human need – and more practically, these
                                                                                                                                      friendships create a support network.

W                    £250 vouchers for you and the PTA                                      Studies show there’s
                                                                                            direct link  betw ee  n
                                                                                                                    pa rental
                                                                                                                     ol and
                                                                                                                                     Chances are there will be opportunities
                                                                                                                                       for you to learn new skills, and who
                                                                                            involvement at scho                           knows, you may even discover
                                                                                                                      . When
                                                                                             how well children do                             some hidden talents!
                                                                                             they see us involved

    Enjoying the magazine?                                                                   their school and lea
                                                                                              encourages them
                                                                                              best. Being ac
                                                                                              group not   on
                                                                                                                     rning, it

                                                                                                                       do their

                                                                                                                          es your
                                                                                                                        es you
                                                                                                                                    We all have something to offer
                                                                                                                                    It doesn’t matter how many children you have,
                                                                                               child’s school, it mak               how old you are, or what your background is;
                                                                                               an excellent role m                  the skills that PTAs need are so diverse, everyone
                                Tell us what you think of Be School Ready magazine to                                               has something to offer. Of course, if you have
                                                                                                                                    book-keeping experience you could be a future
                                enter our prize draw to win £100 M&S vouchers for you to                                            treasurer, and anyone showing a creative flair

                                                                                                                     A          R   might be asked to design a poster or two - but

                                spend on school uniform or other essentials, and £150 M&S                                           the most important skills you can bring to
                                                                                                                                    your PTA are enthusiasm and a willingness
                                vouchers for your PTA to spend on raffle prizes or other                                            to get stuck in.
                                items for PTA events at your child’s school.

                                Enter at

    Only parents at Parentkind member schools who have received Be School Ready
    magazine 2019 may enter. Closing date 30/09/2019. Full terms and conditions at
                                                                                                                                                                     |                              19

                                                                                       Get involved in school life and

 Be a force
                                                                                       help make your child’s school                                           Be vocal
                                                                                                                                                               If you’re keen to have a say on school matters, like uniform or homework policy,
                                                                                       brilliant! By taking part, you’ll have                                  behaviour or wrap-around care; find out whether there’s a parent voice group at
                                                                                       a positive influence on your child’s                                    your child’s school.

 for good!
                                                                                                                                                                 Some PTAs act as a consultative group for school leaders and governors, but
                                                                                       education, because when children                                        parent voice can also be heard in a Parent Council, or other type of parent forum.
                                                                                       see their parents involved in their                                       A Parent Council is a forum where parents meet, share ideas and feedback
                                                                                                                                                               to the head teacher or governors. Membership should reflect the entire school
                                                                                       school and learning, it encourages                                      community and give a voice to all parents. A well-run group helps develop the
                                                                                       them to do their best.                                                  partnership between parents and schools, as parents views are included in school

                                                                                                                                                                  SUCCESS STORY!
START SCHOOL TOGETHER                            Be a fundraiser                                                                                               Having faced a challenging few years, St Nicholas CE Primary Academy set
You’re in luck! Your child’s school has an       Whether you do it to create an outdoor                                                                        up a Parent Council to create a vital link between home and school. Read
active PTA (they could be known as the PTFA,     classroom, stock the library with new books,                                                                  why it’s been so beneficial at
friends group or another name) and they’re       or buy new technology - if you’re interested
waiting to welcome you on board.                 in fundraising your PTA needs you!
  As you might expect, fundraising is a            Funds raised from PTA activities make
priority for most PTAs, but they do a lot more   such a difference to your school and the                                                                                                            BE AN INFLUENCER
than you might imagine: running events and       opportunities and experiences available to                                                                                                          If you’re looking for deeper involvement,
socials, holding pre-loved uniform sales,        your child. And as a member of the PTA,                                                                                                             being a school governor or trustee is a
helping improve communication between            you have a say on how those funds are spent.                                                                                                        challenging but rewarding opportunity
parents and your school, or linking the            Events will always be at the heart of PTA                                                                                                         that benefits you, your child and the
school to the wider community (among             fundraising, because as well as making                                                                                                              school. As The National Governance
other things!)                                   money, they bring families together and                                                                                                             Association put it “Governors play a vital
  To find out what your PTA gets up to and       play an important role in building the school                                                                                                       role in shaping the education of young
how you can be involved, talk to a committee     community. But if they’re not your thing,                                                                                                           people by helping to set the ethos, vision
member or go along to the next meeting –         or don’t fit in around your family life, ask                                                                                                        and strategy for schools.”
everyone’s welcome!                              your PTA about non-event fundraising, like                                     Be a force for good!
                                                 easyfundraising or Amazon Smile, where                                         Because it’s not always possible to take part in activities              READ MORE...
     PTA SUCCESS!                                parents raise money for the PTA when they                                      within the school gates, or be active on the PTA or
                                                 shop online.                                                                   Parent Council, there are other ways to participate                  Read more about being a governor at
PTAs make a valuable contribution to                                                                                            and share your views. Look out for surveys being sent      
the schools they support – last year                SUCCESS STORY!                                                              home by the school and if you’re in England, complete
Parentkind member PTAs raised a                                                                                                 Ofsted’s Parent View online, so your opinions are taken
whopping £108 million!                           Friends of Heathbrook helped raise £130k                                       into account during inspections.
                                                 for an all-weather astroturf pitch that                                          If you want to help shape education matters at

“   I love helping and                           benefits the whole community. Read their                                       national level, sign up for the Parentkind Parent
                                                 story at                                          eBulletin and we’ll keep you updated with the latest
organising events; seeing                                                                                                       news and consultations, or join our new Parent Insight
all the children’s faces and                                                                                                    Panel to be sent regular surveys.
knowing that we are
                                                 BE A HELPER
                                                 Any offer of help is welcomed in schools, so if you want to                           SIGN UP!
helping the school and                           volunteer, just ask. Parents often help out in class, by listening

the children.                                    to children read, going on school trips, or running sports or                  Visit to
                                                 creative activities. If helping with the kids isn’t for you, or you’re         sign up for the Parent eBulletin or join the
Kate, PTA Treasurer                              not able to offer your time regularly, ask if there’s a one-off                Parent Insight Panel
                                                 project you could get involved with, like building a vegetable

                                                                                                                                “   Work can make it hard to be part
                                                 garden or outdoor learning area.

                                                                                                                                of school life. Being a PTA dad allows
                                                 “ For me it’s about being part of a
                                                 community and teaching my daughter
                                                                                                                                me to show that daddy cares and is
                                                                                                                                involved with their school. I can see

                                                 how rewarding that can be.

                                                                                                                                how proud they are.
                                                 Caron, PTA volunteer
                                                                                                                                Scott, PTA dad at St John’s CofE Academy, Coleford

20                    |                                                                                                                                             |                                21
        A PAGE FROM

                                                                                                                                     As seen
Beginners' guide to parental                                                                                                         on TV!

involvement and engagement
                                         Bringing together home and school
     Children do better at school        Over the coming years there will be so many ways you'll
     when their parents are involved     engage with your child's education and get involved at school
     and engaged in their education.     – and it all counts!
     In fact, research has shown
                                                  Getting your child to school on time
     "the effect of parental
     engagement over a student's                  Reading together at home
     school career is equivalent to
     adding two or three years to
     that student's education"*
                                                  Going to parents’ evenings,
                                                  class assemblies and other events
                                                                                                                                   “We love sharing
     Children with involved parents               Showing your child you’re interested                                              that time together!”
                                                                                                                                   Anne, Flo’s mum
     are more likely to:                          in what they’re learning

           Be well behaved                        Getting to know your child’s teachers

           Be confident and resilient    Support for parents
                                         We want all parents to be able to build a really great partnership
           Attend school regularly       with their child’s school. You’ll find lots of information, ideas and
                                         resources on the Parentkind website to help you support school                                                                                                       £7.50
           Enjoy learning                life, learning at home, your child’s safety and wellbeing, and to                                                                                             monthly
                                         have a voice in education yourself.
           Get better results                                                                                                                                                                        subscription

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SC0369 Scope is a registered charity, number 208231. Copyright Scope March 2019
                                         • starting primary school              safety-and-wellbeing
                                         • exams, tests and assessments         • positive behaviour
                                         • communicating with the school        • social and emotional wellbeing
                                         • getting involved at school
                                                                                                         Fun family activity cards inspired by
                                                                                                                                     mindfulness and delivered to your
                                         supporting-learning                    • parent voice in education
                                         • supporting homework
                                         • reading and writing
                                         • learning in everyday life                                                                 door every month!
                                                 Receive regular updates straight to your inbox.
                                                          Sign up to the Parentkind eBulletin at

                                                                                                                                                                                   ati         on

                                                                                                                                                           Sign    up for your monthly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ity 8
                                                                                                                                                              Activity 2
                                                                                                                                                           mindful activity Creacards        online
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Activity 19


22                 |                                                       *John Hattie, Visible Learning 2008                 
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