In pre-school we go to great lengths to help your child be prepared for their next stage of learning; as well as developing their confidence and skills to be an independent learner. In preparation for school, here are some things you can do with your child to help them develop the basic skills on the road towards their Early Learning Goals which they should reach at the end of reception.

Cartoon image of a mother and her two children reading a book together on a sofa.


  • Show your child how to be a good listener by listening to them and others
  • Be patient—don’t interrupt or finish their sentences for them 
  • Give them your full attention when they are speaking, showing them eye contact and good body language.
  • Respond to what they are saying by asking questions or ask about their opinions. 
  • Sharing stories together, talking about what they can see and asking what may happen next?
Graphic image showing six multi-coloured speech bubbles.


  • Speak clearly and confidently 
  • Model using the right words and set an example 
  • Speak in full sentences 
  • Use clear, simple directions for tasks and behaviours 
  • Engage in discussions with your child and allow them the time to speak without being interrupted 
  • Ask for their opinions 
  • Tell them about your day and ask about theirs. 
Cartoon image of the numbers 0-9, each in different colours.

Number Skills

  • Count daily with your child 
  • Count objects, actions, numbers and a range of things. 
  • Identify numbers wherever you go—a neighbour’s house number or the number on a bus. 
  • Help children putting numbers in order. 
  • Let children help with the tidying and sorting. Can they sort the DVDs by colour? 
  • Identify shapes around the home. 
  • Use fingers to represent a number
Cartoon image of some coloured pencils lined up together.


  • Encourage your child to mark make without feeling pressured. 
  • Get your children colourful pens, gel pens and exciting new tools to encourage them to mark make.
  • Let children write their name on cards or letters.
  • If your child is already writing with a pen or pencil, support their pencil grip so they do not develop a bad habits.
Cartoon image showing the different stages of a child's routine around an analogue clock.


  • Children like routine—so set regular times for bed, getting up, meals and family time.
  • Under 5’s need up to 15 hours sleep a night.
  • Check your child has their name in everything before they bring it, this helps them be organised themselves at school.
  • Help your child remember to bring everything—book bag, drinks bottle.
  • Let your child take hold of their own things on the way to school—they will know where to put dinner money, contact books, bottles and book bags.
  • Let your children help you at home with the cooking, cleaning and shopping—they relish an opportunity to feel useful!
  • Be patient when your child is helping.
  • Lay your child’s clothes out in the correct order each morning so they can dress themselves—this really helps for sporty tots.
  • Children are expected to toilet themselves once they begin the Foundation Stage.
Cartoon image of families and children playing outside with kites, balls, dogs.

Extending their learning

  • Link your child’s learning to family activities—we can give you ideas for each topic!
  • Go to local museums, parks, wildlife reserves and into nature.
  • Talk about the world around them and encourage them to ask questions.
  • Take time to listen to your child and explain things carefully, developing their understanding and vocabulary.
Cartoon image of a young girl holding a trophy and certificate in her hands.


  • Agree clear and realistic rules—and stick to them.
  • Give your child boundaries so they know what is expected of them.
  • Encourage your child to always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
  • If your child’s behaviour is proving difficult we can work on a home-school reward System together.