Talk about Primary School  

Most children are very excited about starting ‘big’ school. Some may already be familiar with the school especially if they attended Nursery at the same school or have older siblings who already go there. Because of social distancing restrictions, some of you may have not had the opportunity to go visit the school. You can still talk about their new school or Primary school. Here are some ideas to help your child familiarise themselves with their new school: 

  • Why ‘Primary’? Talk to your child why ‘big' school is known as Primary school and then they are older they get to go to ‘Secondary school’. 
  • Practice the school run – this is practical and can make the idea of going to school exciting. Include language and concepts that are related to travelling e.g. “How will we get to the school?”; “How far is the school from our house?” This can be a great opportunity to include Maths language e.g. “How long will it take us to get there?”; “Let’s count the number of streets we need to cross”. 
  • School Uniform – make this a fun shopping day to make your children excited about starting school – perhaps by choosing their own lunchbox and pencil case! Make sure not to buy the uniform and shoes too early as they might grow out of it! Talk ahead about what is needed for their uniform before you go shopping. Help them familiarise themselves with the vocabulary e.g. “Polo shirt, sweatshirt, PE kit etc…”. Again you can take the language level up to include language such as different 'sizes' for shoes and clothes etc...

  • Use 'little people' toys to help re-create possible scenarios that your child will come across at Primary school. Doing role-play with 'little people' will give you an opportunity to use vocabulary that your child may be exposed to in different places around the school. Some of the language is often used in noisy environments such as the playground or dinner hall so it will be great to familiarise this vocabulary with your child. The best strategy we have to listen and understand in noisy environments (apart from the teachers using the radio aid) is for our brain to have prior knowledge of the language that is likely to be used. Role play a situation in which your child is being invited to play a game with other children and then swap roles. You can role play the dinner hall and asking your child if he would like some ‘peas on the side?’  
  • Ask the school for the names of key people in the school, class teacher, teaching assistant (TA), head teacher, music teacher, SENCO etc… It will be good to talk to your child about the different people and their roles in the school before they start.
  • Organise play dates with friends in their class – if possible, you could try and meet up with other children in their class before starting school so the first day is a bit less daunting.



  • Whenever possible, practice with your child putting on their hearing technology so they feel confident handling them at school. It is important that their class teacher and other members of staff at the school are given training in handling the technology including changing batteries and using the Ling Sounds to check that they are working. Please speak to your AV therapist about this or your local teacher of the deaf. Your child’s school might also be interested in attending our online course on Supporting Deaf Children in Mainstream Schools.
  • When you notice your child’s device is not working – do some troubleshooting. When its working again then you can talk to them about it, practise what they could tell or ask an adult in those situations (e.g. “My hearing aid is not working.”, “I need a new battery.”)
  • Use descriptive words for sounds that your child encounters (e.g. crackling, buzzing). Providing the vocabulary for these types of sounds may help your child be specific in their reporting of any problems with their equipment.
  • Many of the device manufacturers have information about troubleshooting the technology – give these to school and talk it through with school staff.
  • Send a small pack of spare batteries/leads with your child, talk through how to change batteries/cables with the class teacher or TA beforehand so they know what to look out for and how to replace them.

Sign up to our online course on 'Supporting Deaf Children’s Listening and Spoken Language in Mainstream Education' on 30 September 2021

This course is designed to give delegates the practical skills and knowledge to help a child with hearing loss thrive in mainstream education. 

It is aimed specifically at education staff rather than teachers of the deaf. It will be suitable for teachers, teaching assistants, learning support assistants, communications support workers, SENCO’s and parents who support a deaf child who has learnt to listen and talk, when they enter the Foundation Stage or Key Stage One in a mainstream education setting.