We’re currently in the midst of H’s transition from Reception to Year One, so I’ve been doing some research on it and thought I’d share it with you.
Differences Between Reception and Year One
- There’s a change from a play-based curriculum to a more structured one. The Foundation stage (for nursery/preschool and Reception class) is built on different principles to the Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) curriculum and many teachers feel they are too different.
- There’s a need for children to be independent, have longer concentration spans and be good listeners. KS1 (Key Stage 1) classes will involve spending more of their time listening to the teacher or concentrating on tasks.
- Children miss the chance to play as much and sometimes worry about the work.
Handling the transition from Reception to Year One
Understand the Change from Reception to Year One
If you understand the change that your child is going through, it will be easier to support them through it.
- Read up about the differences in the curriculum
- Talk to the class teacher(s) to understand how their day will be different
- Talk to parents who children have been through the experience in previous years
Limit the Effects of the Transition from Reception to Year One
- Keep up your consistent school term time routines to limit the amount of change going on in their lives. Similarly, this is not the time to tackle night-time toilet training, etc.
Emphasize the Positives of the Transition from Reception to Year One
- Pick out the highlights: Will be more grown up/will learn to do this or learn about that (be specific so find out what skills and topics they will be covering in the first half term and emphasize those that will appeal to your child).
- Provide some treats outside of school to counterbalance the more structured school day. Go to the park on the way home from school. Factor in some downtime at home before tackling reading books and spellings.
- Talk to them about the transition from Reception to Year One. If they have older siblings you can refer to the sibling’s experiences. It would be useful to read a storybook together about the process or about change in general, but I’ve been unable to find any that seem relevant enough (they are mostly about starting school or dealing with family breakup, death, etc. If you’re feeling creative you could make up your own story and if you can think of any books that would be useful, please let me know in the comments.