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Establishing a routine during school closures (or the summer holidays) to prepare your child for Reception


When your child starts Reception they will soon become familiar with their daily routine which will consist of:


8:55am You will be greeted at your child’s classroom door by the Class Teacher

9:00am Registration and handwriting 

9:15am Daily Phonics

10:00am Snack Time/sharing Wow moments from home/ story time

10:30am Morning break outside

10:45am Number time

11:45am Get ready for lunch, time to go to the toilet and wash hands.

12:00pm Dinner Time in the hall and play in the school quad afterwards

1:00pm Free flow into all areas of Reception and Outdoor Learning with a topic focus

2:45pm Circle time, Story time and songs

3:15pm Doors open to go home


P.E. day in the Hall will be once a week but your child will do outdoor physical development activities most afternoons.



You can help to prepare your child for their transition to Nursery by creating a familiar weekday routine at home that includes the following:


1/ Regular bed times and wake-up times


Bedtime routines are important for children. Establishing and maintaining good sleep habits help children fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up rested and refreshed. Without the sleep they need, children will be unable to function at peak levels in the classroom.

Top Tips:

  • Set a regular, non-negotiable, bedtime each night.
  • Turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes to an hour before the child’s bedtime
  • Have a consistent sleep preparation routine (for example, bath time, get pyjamas on, brush teeth, read a story)
  • Keep light levels low in the bedroom



2/ Regular time for fresh air, outdoor exercise or play (in the garden, at the park, in the street or further afield)


Crucial ways that playing outside is beneficial for children:


  • Physical development - Outdoor play improves physical development in children. Physical skills are important for growth, physical coordination and the movement of the body. When children play outdoors they increase their ability to balance, jump, climb, throw, run and skip.


  • Exercise - Children should be active for an hour every day, and getting outside to play is one way to be sure that happens. Outdoor exercise is extremely fun and can take on many forms – running, climbing, riding a bike or scooter, playing football etc. and this helps children to develop co-ordination and burn off excess energy. This will also help them to sleep better.


  • Appreciation of nature - Spending time outdoors is a fantastic sensory experience for young children. There is so much for them to see, explore and learn. The changing nature of the outdoors makes it an incredibly stimulating and multi-sensory place to play.


  • Sunshine - Children need sun exposure to make vitamin D, a vitamin that plays a crucial role in many body processes, from bone development to our immune system. Sun exposure also plays a role our immune system in other ways, as well as in healthy sleep — and in our mood. Our bodies work best when they get some sunshine every day.


  • Risk taking - Children need to take some risks and spending time outdoors allows children to develop the confidence and independence to attempt small risks such as climbing a tree, riding their bike down a hill or jumping over a puddle.



3/ Regular meal times


Mealtimes provide an opportunity for children to develop good eating behaviours, as well as learn about nutrition and food variety. They are also an important time for social interaction.


How to make the most of family meal times:


Family mealtime is a perfect time to model great manners so make time to sit together as a family for at least one meal a day.


  • Sit down to eat, preferably all together at a table. Remove distractions like televisions and mobile phones so your family can focus on eating.
  • Trust your child to eat what he needs. A growing child’s hunger can change from meal to meal, they won’t starve if they miss one meal. Simply (and calmly) ask, “Did you get enough to eat? We won’t be eating again until lunch,” then follow their lead.
  • Try to get your children more involved with meal times if possible, this may range from chores such as laying the table or asking them to help you prepare simple food items. Helping to prepare for and clean up after mealtimes can also help to teach children about personal responsibility.



4/ Regular time for learning activities


Children who practice basic skills at home will be able to better manage the transition to school by feeling calmer and more confident when performing these at school. Routines help to establish constructive habits and by working with your child at home you can reduce the unfamiliarity of what ‘school’ means as they will anticipate and look forward to future learning activities at school.

Incorporating fun learning activities into your daily routine (for example counting the number of spoons in the washing up bowl whilst carrying out chores) will help children to learn without the pressure of sitting down and being called over to ‘do a job’.  Incorporating number and letter recognition within your daily routine (such as counting the steps as you climb them together, spotting patterns when pairing socks whilst doing the washing or spotting familiar letters on the pages of a book when reading a story) enables children to continue learning in an active way in their environment through play.

In addition to the types of activities detailed above, to support your child as they enter Reception, it is important to set time aside each day to practice some direct learning activities including:


  • Counting to ten
  • Recognising their name
  • Practising overwriting or copying their name
  • Identifying 2d shapes


By practising these basic skills you are ensuring that your child will begin Reception at the age-related expectation for their year group.