If you have a child starting Primary School in September and are preparing for Starting Big School - Communication Is Key!
As parents we all desire the very best for our children as they start school. Teachers and parents together need to play a role in achieving this goal. Everyone involved in the settling in period needs to communicate effectively and children need this skill too so they can cope better in school. Communication skills develop from birth and parents are nurturing these skills from these precious early days. Being an effective communicator is hugely beneficial as children are going through the transition.
So simply, what do we know about communication?
- It is usually a two way process
- It may use a mixture of language, facial expressions and gesture
- It may be used to express needs, concerns, feelings and ideas
- Listening skills are key
Listening skills are easily overlooked and they are actually easy to develop with simple activities and games. In present day, some children may be over exposed to screen time and similar stimuli that can be overwhelming. This in turn can affect their concentration span and overall cognitive development.
Children need good communication in school so that they can:
- Join in effectively with play
- Build friendships
- Express their feelings and needs
- Follow instructions
- Participate in learning
Try developing your child’s listening and language skills by:
- Saying their name to gain and wait for their full attention.
- Talking about their interests and activities
- BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL… Listening carefully when they are speaking and get down to their level
- Not instantly correcting but responding by repeating back with improvements eg: “want go toilet” “you want to go to the toilet?’
- Make games of giving simple instructions around the home that need to be followed
- Identifying sounds on walks to promote listening skills.
- Sharing books
- Listening to audio stories
Effective communication skills enable children to build friendships at school and develop their social skills. In order to make and keep friendships children need adults to encourage further skills to develop social skills in preparation for starting school.
- Understand the boundaries of acceptable behaviour
- Be kind
- Take turns and share
- Begin a conversation
- Understand the feelings of others
All of these skills can be encouraged by:
- Playing with their peer group
- Playing board games and puzzles
- Reading social stories and books about friends
- Using timers for taking turns and sharing
- Watching programmes and listening to stories then discussing how characters are feeling
If your child experiences difficulties with communicating it is well worth speaking to their class teacher as they will have a bank of ideas and tactics that may help overcome any potential stumbling block and if needed put you in contact with appropriate support services.
Stamptastic in partnership with Jo and Lisa, look forward to taking you on this journey to support your child develop the necessary skills to feel smart and confident from day one at BIG school.
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