Voice-over: Starting school is an exciting step for every child, but it can feel daunting too. If your child needs some extra help with their language and communication, there are lots of practical things you can do to help them prepare. This film, made by speech and language therapists from Evelina London, takes you through some ideas step by step. Sharing information. Share as much information as you can with the school about your child, what they find hard and what helps them. A communication passport is a simple way of doing this.
Parent: Things Lucy likes.
Parent: What does she like doing?
Parent: She likes sitting at her desk colouring yes.
Voice-over: Ask your speech and language therapist for one or you can make one of your own. With your consent the therapist can also share information with the school about how to support your child. Talk about feelings. Help your child share their feelings about starting and being at school.
Parent signing: Excited about school? Or are you sad about school? Are you sad?
Voice-over: Even if your child can talk fluently it's helpful to use visual supports as part of daily routines to help them understand and express themselves. Visual supports can be objects, pictures, signs such as Makaton, written words or a combination of these. Practise wearing uniform. Show your child their new school uniform
Parent: You're going to be wearing your uniform yeah!
Voice-over: Practise putting it on and taking it off. Your child might also need help practising with their shoes and coat too.
Parent: And then let's pull it from your hands because it's easier to take off that way and just bring your hands out of it. There you go!
Voice-over: Practise the new home routine. So Annabelle this morning we have had our breakfast, we have brushed your teeth and you have gotten dressed as well. Practise your new morning routine and journey to school.
Parent: So now we are going to pack your school bag. Do you want to get your book and put it in your bag? Do you want to put your bottle in your bag as well and your cuddly toy. Awesome! So now that you're ready for school,we are now going to go to school on the school bus.This is the way to the bus stop to get the bus to go to your school. So that is going to be your school there, and that building there is for the juniors
Voice-over: Talk about the school day.
Parent: You'll be doing PE.
Voice-over: Ask the school what a typical day might be like so you can help your child prepare. What activities will they be doing at school? You can help them learn new words like PE, assembly and book bag
Parent: And should we look at this story? Look, this is a story about someone called Mohamed starting school. He's got to put his school uniform on. He's got to wear a red jumper like your jumper.
Voice-over: Talk about people. Practise the names of their new teachers.
Parent: That's your teacher, do you know what her name is?
Child: Ms Shantelle.
Parent: Ms Shantelle, well done!
Voice-over: Your school might have sent you some pictures or maybe their website has staff photos on it. Practise using the toilet.Help your child practise how to ask for the toilet and what to do when they get there. Help your child practise washing their hands.
Parent: Rub your hands with some soap, rinse your hands, turn the tap off and dry your hands
Voice-over: Talk about lunch time. Will your child have a school dinner or a packed lunch? Lots of schools have their dinner menu online so you can talk to your child about the different meals and what they might want to have for lunch. Sing songs.
Parent: Do you want Incy Wincy Spider or The Wheels on the Bus?
Child: The Wheels on the Bus.
Voice-over: Singing songs will help your child build their confidence to join in at carpet time.
Child and parent: The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round the wheels on the bus go round and round all through the town.
Voice-over: Practise joining in. Teach your child some playground games. If you have older children at home they might be able to help.
Parent: And then I'll open my eyes and come and find you. Okay? Good.
Parent: I'm coming to get you!
Voice-over: Help your child practise phrases they could use like, can I play, I don't like it or it's my turn.
Parent: We are going to practise how to join in with your new friends at school. Okay? Good. Say hello to Mr Fox.
Child: Hello, Mr Fox.
Parent: Hello Kaydon. Can I play Kaydon?
Child: Yes you can.
Parent: Thank you.
Voice-over: Tidy up time. Practise tidying up together. Not all children will be able to do all of these things when they start school, but if you can practise just a couple of these things every day, you will be helping your child be more prepared to start school. Which activities are you going to try out at home? All through the town. If you need more tips do talk to your speech and language therapist or go to our website or Facebook page where you'll find lots of resources, links and ideas from us and from other parents and carers. We hope you found this film useful. Good luck starting school.