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Whether your child’s about to start school or nursery, or they are already at school and progressing through the system, education is a highly priority for parents and an area that can make a substantial difference to our children’s lives. From home schooling advice to information on how to prepare your children for pre-school, primary school or beyond, these vlogs give lots of tips and inspiration.

Chat to other parents about education in our Support Group

Pre-school, education and learning on Channel Mum

Educational games for children

Learning through play is a great approach for getting your children to pick up new information and skills, and they are great way of helping them prepare for school. Here are some of our favourite educational games that don’t require a device:

I Spy with colours

Memory card games

Button counting

Counting and times tables songs and CDs

Playing shops and adding up the prices

Cutting up pizzas to learn fractions

Making a pretend clock

Schools Admissions: England and Wales

Even if the school you want your child to go to it linked to their current school, you’ll still need to apply for a place. Applications usually open at the beginning of the autumn term, the year before your child is due to start school. For the exact date, check with your local council. Also check with your council if you want your child to move to a different school outside of normal application times, for example if you move to a new area or want to change school mid-year. You can submit your application online or on paper. You must apply for at least 3 schools.

Deadlines for applications are:

15 January for primary schools.

31 October for secondary schools.

Schools Admissions: Scotland

In Scotland, you don’t decide which school your child is given a place at. It’s your local council’s choice based on the catchment area you live in. You can find out where your child will be given a place at school by looking on your local council’s website. Some councils will write to you confirming your child’s school. Others will expect you to register at the school.

If you’re unsure about the process, get in touch with your council. You can request a place at a school outside of your catchment area, but the council may not grant this and you may only be entitled to transport to your catchment school. Get in touch with them if this is something you are considering.

Schools Admissions: Northern Ireland

To apply for a primary school place, you’ll need to get an application form from the Education Authority in your area. On the application form you will need to list the four primary schools you prefer. Use the search tool on the EA website to find schools in your area. Check the admissions criteria of each school before adding them to your list.

If you want to transfer your child to a different school, you will need to make a formal application using an AP1 form.