As part of our partnership with Save the Children through our Together for Families programme, we’d like to support families across the UK to make sure that children get off to the best start at home and in school. So, to mark the start of the school holidays, we wanted to share a few tips to help little ones and parents get ready for their first day at school.

Supporting families at home

In the UK, children from low income families are 50% less likely to do as well at primary school than their classmates. Through their programmes, Save the Children have helped children in the UK to get a better start in life, and through their campaigning work they’ve had a positive impact on millions more. Save the Children have worked in over 700 primary schools across the UK over the last five years, helping teachers and teaching staff to get parents involved in their children’s education. They’ve reached over 30,000 young children since 2010 through their parental engagement programmes.

Families can do amazing things. By simply chatting, playing, and learning together this August, families can help their little ones prepare to go back to school. Because every child should be able to make their mark on their world, and help to build a better future.

Get ready to go back to school this August

Parents and other adults in children’s lives have a huge impact on how they grow – here are some tips for helping little ones develop and learn this summer:


Book talk

Learning to read is really important, but it doesn’t have to feel like hard work. As you read along:

  • Think of art and craft ideas inspired by the story
  • Make up some actions
  • Make noises to match the pictures
  • Guess what might happen next

 The importance of counting

Numbers can be confusing for young children at first, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be bad at maths. You can help them get a great maths head start by practicing counting together as much as possible – and don’t forget to make it fun! Try:

  • Counting toys as you tidy up
  • Counting socks, t-shirts or trousers as you’re doing laundry
  • When you’re laying the table, ask: How many plates do we need? Have we got enough spoons? Do we need more? How many more? Do we have too many?

Once you start looking for numbers suddenly they’re everywhere! Can you think of any ways you could practice counting?

 Focusing on feelings

Feelings are important because they’re part and parcel of how we behave and how well we learn. Tricky feelings like uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration can be a barrier to learning. You can help your child recognise their feelings, which will help them manage them. Ask them:

  • It’s raining and you can’t go out to play – how does that make you feel?
  • Your teacher isn’t in school and instead you have a teacher that you don’t know – how does that make you feel?
  • There aren’t any pens left when you want to do some drawing, so your friend shares theirs with you – how does that make you feel?Credit: Magda Rakita/Save the Children

Celebrating success

Children learn better if they feel good about themselves and if they feel they’ve got your support. Recognising success can help children feel valued and grow up to be confident in themselves. This helps improve their ability to learn and to achieve whatever they set their minds to. Try celebrating small achievements like:

  • Completing homework even when it’s hard
  • Reading even though they’d rather be playing on the Xbox
  • Trying again if they get things wrong or struggle the first time

If you’re looking for further support or information about Save the Children, please visit their website

Print this page