Journey to big school
We hope you have received the news you wanted yesterday and your little one has a place secured at your first choice school for September this year.
Due to a lot of our pre-school children currently being at home with their parents, Annie Tierney, Head of Operations, shares some ideas for making those important steps towards school readiness. Don't forget to download our 'Journey to big school' and our parent 'Top Tips for starting school'.
Remember, if you feel your child isn’t quite ready for big school, you can keep your child in our Pre-School until they are 5 years old. We follow the very same curriculum that a reception class teacher would. Some additional benefits include only a 1:8 ratio and the focus being heavily on learning through play, children being given opportunities to be active learners, problem solvers and critical thinkers.
Taking the first steps on your journey
The journey to school can be a bumpy, long and worrying journey for both children and their parents and under usual circumstances we would be working closely in partnership with parents at this time to ensure that each and every child was prepared for the transition to school from us and that they had reached their very full potential and most importantly got a hunger, excitement and passion to learn.
School readiness is not a term I particularly like, and I feel it is as important for the school and teachers to be ready for our children as it is our children to be ready for them. Nevertheless, I am an advocate for ensuring that our dedicated teams across the Kindred family give children the fundamental, underpinning skills and desire for lifelong learning whilst also ensuring that children leave us with a curiosity about the world.
Focus on the softer skills
The most important skills you can develop and secure with your child over the coming months is to have strong social skills. Provide them with strategies to cope emotionally, especially after spending some many months with you day in and day out, some children will find the separation from their parents difficult. Supporting them to become more independent is also important. They ideally need to manage their own personal care...I am sure they are all already experts in hand washing now!
Previous research from PACEY shows that almost three quarters (71%) of parents were anxious about their child starting school for the first time in September, with close to half of parents (48%) more anxious than their child about starting school. We are still on hand to support you through this time and we will be adding top tips, activity ideas in our Inspiration Corner, as well as having our Kindred childcare experts available to talk through any concerns with you.
In the meantime, the strongest message I can give to you all is that your child does not need to be able to read, write or do sums before they start school. Children are all unique and different and will be working at their very own pace showing preferences to different styles of learning, these are known as the Characteristics of Effective Learning and developing at their own rate relating to their age and stage of development.
Over the coming months what the most important thing for you and your child is to have fun together, sharing stories, singing songs, playing games and talking. Visit our Inspiration Corner for ideas.
Journey to big school
Our Journey to school and Top Tips for starting school, should hopefully give you some ideas on some of the ‘softer’ skills needed in preparation for a typical school day and some that you may have overlooked or not even considered as, as parents we often focus on the teaching and learning and academic levels but research shows us that the way your child engages with other people, their environments, play, explore and think critically underpins learning and development across all areas and supports your child to become and remain an effective and motivated learner.
Download a copy of our 'Journey to big school' here>>
Download a copy of 'Parent Top Tips for starting school' here>>