all Starting school articles

What is a school nursery?
What is a school nursery?
Nursery classes are a stepping stone between pre-school and Reception. We take a look at what happens in school nurseries, and the pros and cons of...
Understanding primary school league tables
Understanding primary school league tables
We explain how performance measures are used to rank primary schools in England.
Reception year explained for parents
13 things that’ll happen in your child’s Reception year
Prepare yourself for what to expect in your child’s first year at school: from phonics to school dinners, parents' evening and headlice, our...
Moving house for school places: what the law says
Moving house for school places: what the law says
Considering moving house or renting a property to secure a place at your first choice of school? We have the facts you need to know.
Starting Reception
21 things your child’s Reception teacher wants you to know
Your child isn’t the only one who has a lot to learn in their first year of school. Here’s what their teacher wishes you’d do – and not do.
First day of school traditions
7 ways to mark your child's first day at school
Your child's very first day at school is one to remember, so we've rounded up the best ways to mark the occasion.
What is an international school?
What is an international school?
How can you ensure your child gets a quality education while living overseas? Sending them to an international school could be the key.
Reception starters' meeting questions
19 questions to ask at the Reception starters’ meeting
The Reception starters' meeting is your chance to ask your burning questions about what happens when your child starts school. Our ideas will...
School waiting lists explained
School waiting lists explained
Missed out on a place at the school of your choice? Joining the waiting list could keep the door open for your child.
Child and teacher in the classroom
What is a special school?
If your child has special educational needs, a mainstream education may not be right for them. We take a look at how special schools could help.
What is a scholarship or bursary?
Applying for scholarships and bursaries
Considering a private school but worried about the fees? Financial assistance could help make the dream a reality. We explain everything primary-...
Schoolchildren stacking hands
What is a Montessori school?
It’s a term typically associated with nurseries, but many primary-school children benefit from a Montessori education, too. We explain what’s...
What is selective mutism?
What is selective mutism?
Around one in every 140 children suffers from this debilitating anxiety disorder. We explain the symptoms, causes and treatment.
Starting Reception
35 thoughts you have when your ‘baby’ starts school
Your child’s first day at school is a big milestone for both of you. No wonder you’re an emotional wreck...
Primary-school children in the playground
Settling your child into a new school
It’s natural for both you and your child to be nervous if they’re moving schools, so how can you make things go as smoothly as possible?
Children in primary school
How to change your child's school
Not all children stay at the same primary school from Reception until Year 6. We look at the ins and outs of transferring your child to a new school.
Children playing in school playground
'Help! My child hasn't been offered a school place!'
Every year, a number of parents face the nightmare of not being offered a Reception place for their child in any local school. We explain what to do...
Listening skills for kids
Improving your child’s listening skills
Listening is a vital skill for your primary-school child, but how can you help to develop it?
What is flexi-schooling?
What is flexi-schooling?
Tempted by the idea of home educating but not sure you could do it full-time? Flexi-schooling could be the perfect compromise, writes Elisabeth...
Pros and cons of single-sex primary and secondary education
Single-sex schools: the pros and cons
Would you consider a girls' school or boys' school for your child at primary or secondary level? We take a look at single-sex education and...
Creative child at the blackboard
What is a Steiner school?
Steiner schools place an emphasis on preserving childhood, music and arts with an internationally recognised curriculum, but what actually takes...
What is a prep school?
What is a prep school?
A prep school education can be the stepping stone to a place at one of the UK's best secondary schools. We explain how the system works.
Mother and sons drawing
20 things you learn in your child's Reception year
The first year of school is a big learning curve for your Reception child – and for you, too...
Pupils in school library
What is an all-through school?
More and more schools are opening up that provide education for all children from age three to 19. We look at the pros and cons of this new model of...
School starting age in the UK
School starting age and deferred entry explained for parents
When does your child legally have to start school, and what happens if you don't think they’re ready? We explain the rules around your child’s...
What is a maintained school?
What is a maintained school?
The vast majority of primary schools in England are maintained schools, but what does it actually mean if your child goes to one of these schools?
Starting school tips
Beat your first day of school nerves
You've prepared your child for their first day at school, but how will YOU hold it together at the school gates? We've rounded up the best...
Ofsted reports explained for parents
Ofsted inspections explained for parents
Reading Ofsted reports is likely to be one of the first things you do when you’re choosing a school for your child, but what do the inspections...
Cycling the school run
Starting school: what Year 6 parents think you should know
What tips would experienced Year 6 parents pass on to families whose children are just about to start Reception? Lucy Dimbylow asked seasoned mums...
Equal preference explained
What is the equal preference system?
How do schools take your rankings into account when you apply for a place? We explain how equal preference works.
What is an independent school?
What is an independent school?
Considering sending your child to a private school? We give you the lowdown on the independent education sector.
Applying to primary schools for parents
Your starting school action plan
From finding out about your local schools to making your application and beyond, we talk you through the process of signing your child up for primary...
Primary school appeals
Primary school appeals: a step-by-step guide
Finding out your child hasn’t got a place at your preferred primary school can be devastating. We explain how to appeal the decision with our step-by...
Reception assessment tests explained for parents
Reception baseline assessment tests explained for parents
Starting school used to be about settling in, making new friends and learning to be independent. Then ‘Reception tests’, due to take place within...
Prepare your child for primary school
How to prepare your child for primary school
What do tiny four- and five-year-olds really need to know before they start Reception? We asked experts, teachers and mums what you can do at home to...
Number puzzles
12 great benefits of maths challenges
Maths activities could give your child’s learning a boost in many ways, and help them engage with numbers (and enjoy it!) from a young age. Lucy...
Reception child reading
Starting school: keeping up the momentum in Reception year
So they’ve flown the nest... well, until the school run that is! Primary-school teacher (and parent of a Reception child) Phoebe Doyle offers some...
Topsy and Tim Start School
Best books about starting school
‘Big School’ can seem like an overwhelming place to Reception starters. Make the school-gates goodbyes a little easier by helping your child find out...
Schoolgirls writing
Beat back-to-school nerves
Many children feel a bit nervous about the start of a new school year, but for some, the jitters continue beyond the first few days. Here’s how to...
Name label
Best labelling solutions for school
Wish there was a labels fairy to transform the uniform pile into a neat stack of personalised clothing? Whether you’re super-organised and spread...

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