Your Journey to Big School
With many of our Kindred families embarking on the exciting transition to Big School this September, Annie Tierney, our Head of Operations, wanted to share 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' at the end of this article.
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 we have been, and will continue to, work closely in partnership with parents at this time to ensure that each and every child is prepared for the transition to school from us. It is both our mission and passion to help each of our children to reached their full potential and most importantly develop 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 so 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 on hand to support you through this time and our Kindred childcare experts are 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 Big 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, plus some that you may have overlooked or not even considered. As parents we often focus on the teaching, 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.
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