For the first month at school your child will be settling into class routines and learning expectations. After 1 month at school students are tested on a national standardised test. This information is used to help plan a programme for your child’s learning. This information will be shared with you at an interview and in report form.
The test we use says that when children start school they should be able to:
- Read and say the letter and sounds of at least 28 alphabet out of 54. This includes both the lower and upper case letters.
- Read their name and at least 2 basic sight words eg I. is, to, the, am.
- Write at least 4 words including their name.
- Use grammatically correct sentences. Know labels for things (body parts, food. animals), verbs (swim, run, melt), opposites (big – small), position (in, under, behind, between).
What can you be doing at home before they start school?
Research shows that young children who have reading and writing activities at home are better readers at school. If you provide an environment that has a variety of writing and reading experiences it will foster strong literacy skills.
- Talk to your child and listen to them. Strong oral language skills are essential for children to become readers and writers.
- Give them lots of experiences e.g.: walk in the bush, making mud pies, building huts.
- Read stories every day. Talk about the cover, the title page, where to start reading, which page to read first and how the pictures help tell the story.
- Become a library member.
- Teach them to write and read their name and basic sight words such as: I, am, to. is. the.
- Give many opportunities to draw, colour in and write. Use crayons, pencils, felts, chalk. paint. This helps to develop their fine motor skills.
- Play language games e.g: I spy, letter dominoes, write words with magnetic letters, memory, board games, role play favourite stories, puppets. Not only does this encourage literacy but it also helps with learning to take turns when playing games.
How can you help once they have started school?
When your child starts school they will bring home a reading book Monday to Thursday to share with you. These books are ones that they have had with the teacher that day. When reading with your child
- Keep reading time relaxed and with no distractions.
- Discuss the book – the title, the pictures. ask What is the book about?, relate it to any experiences your child may have already had.
- Encourage pointing to the words – jumping the finger along under the words.