What do we understand by this term and what should a nursery promote to prepare children for the world of Primary School?
Good interpretation of the term is from PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) who quote: ‘children who have strong social skills, children who can cope emotionally with being separated from their parents/carers, children who are relatively independent in their own personal care, children who have a curiosity about the world and a desire to learn’.
It is well documented that children who are confident, independent and curious thrive as school starters and are able to take on academic process and develop more successfully.
58% of Teachers from Nursery and Reception classes and 40% of childcare professionals felt that a great emphasis of school readiness was upon ability to play. This is echoed with research recognising that play best supports a child’s social, emotional development and creativity ability.
Finland a lead country in promoting high quality play has high performance of children.
School preparation requires co-operation between individuals, families and systems.
Transition needs to be smooth running, holistic, enjoyable and positive for every child. Schools need to be ready for a child as much as the child needs to be ready for schooling. Transition between play based learning and more formal class based instruction and learning needs careful handling.
Parents are key to preparing their children for school. Key to this is careful positive co-operation between parents, childcare professionals and teachers.
What we aim to do is:-
Support parents with understanding the foundation stage in a 3 part ‘hands on’ programme.
Provide SENCO support for parents with children identified as having additional needs.
Be flexible with staff allowing support staff to move with children having identified needs especially at the start of the term/transition periods.
Reassure parents about change and explain how change can be a positive opportunity and growth factor.
Continue offering learning opportunities which promote activities for children to develop confidence, independence, responsibility for their own personal care, care of others including animals and plants, communication, social skills, resilience and respect.
Introduce and encourage children’s interests in reading, the world of letter and print, stories, rhymes, songs, signing and sounds.
Introduce and encourage children’s interests in the world of Mathematics, shape and logic.
Introduce and encourage children’s interests in mark making, scribing, list making, drawing, painting, copying, tracing.
Introduce and encourage children’s interests in technology – using safely and properly ipads, computers, DVD’s, digital clocks and timers.
Promote interest in the natural world using natural products, promote gardening, forest school learning, visit places of interest.
Develop creative play experiences using role play, art materials, visit theatres and invite drama groups, develop dancing and music playing.
Promote talking, listening, acting out songs – use videos and recording devices to capture voices, singing, talking – carry out interviews with children and their parents.
Listen to and support parents – stepping in before a crisis happens.
Celebrate leaving one school and moving on to another.
Invite teachers from future schools into the setting and spend time working together and planning positive experiences.
Visit future schools and prepare reports to help children settle well.
Share all attainment details from Nursery School with Primary School and ask to be sent update from School back to Nursery.
Encourage children to know and recognise their name and some key simple words.
Encourage children to say, know and recognise some simple sounds and letters.
Encourage children to count in sequence from 1 – 10, 20 - ?
Encourage children to be able to sit in a group/on the carpet without constant reminding.
Encourage children to be attentive, respectful and well behaved and have planned sessions for sharing, listening to others and taking responsibility for one’s own actions.
Encourage children to talk about their feelings, talking to familiar adults in small group times.
Provide parents with useful information on websites, Family Information Services about child development and learning.