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Starting school with BBC Bitesize

16th Apr 2020

We are aware that families have lots of questions about getting ready to start big school. At the moment, though, families don’t have the support from nursery, childminders or school that they would usually expect. 

Being ready to have a go, and not being afraid of failure, are just some of the skills pre-school children will really benefit from as they move through to big school – and we know that families can worry about a wide range of other things, too. BBC Bitesize Starting Primary School has support for parents with a wide range of concerns, from day-to-day independence skills like toileting and good sleep patterns, to spotting SEND and supporting children’s emotional and mental wellbeing – I always recommend a good dance to lift the mood, and it doesn’t always have to be on a shiny stage! And because children are never too young to benefit from the idea of the growth mindset, there’s an easy guide to what it means for parents of pre-schoolers.  

The advice on the site comes either from expert practitioners or peer-to-peer from parents. I’ve made some short films and written about how to support learning at home (everyone loves story time and number-hunting!) and help with the move towards transition when schools, childminders and nurseries aren’t open to the majority of families.

There are also lots of videos and games that are perfect for use with pre-schoolers in Early Years settings, including a game called “My First Day at School”, where the child can create their own character and experience a day at school. Plus a numeracy game, called “Bud’s Number Garden” – both have been designed with the support of Early Years consultants. There are films from children who take the viewer on a school tour and tell other kids all about the school day and what there is to look forward to. 

Don’t miss, too, the free resources for nursery and childminding practitioners to use – including the downloadable “All About Me” poster. With guidance for use by EY practitioners or parents and carers, it links to Development Matters and celebrates where a child is right now in their early years journey, as well as developing some of that independence that parents hope to see in their school starters.

We all want our preschoolers to feel confident and happy about the challenges ahead, as well as celebrating how far they’ve come. It is still possible, even in uncertain times.