Getting ready for “Big School”

Many parents ask “Is my child ready for school?”. There may be some concerns that their child can not do the things that other children can do, such as writing their name, counting or recognising letters. While these skills are important, they are not the only indicators that a child is ready for school. A child’s emotional and social maturity is the most important factor in assessing whether a child is ready for school. Children need to feel happy and confident if they are to be successful learners. Early school success is often associated with the child’s ability to:

 

* separate from parents without being upset

* follow structured daily routines

* dress independently, this includes buttons, zips and shoes

* work independently

* listen and pay attention

* get along with and cooperate with other children

* follow simple rules

* take care of own personal hygiene

* choose and maintain attention whilst taking part in various tasks, such as painting, puzzles and scissors

* count and enjoy number games

* identify shapes and colours, match and sort objects, recognise and copy simple patterns

* recognise and attempt to write their name, recite the alphabet and enjoy working with letters

* speak clearly

* understand cause and effect

* hold a pencil correctly, trace and colour inside the lines

* climb, jump, catch a ball and enjoy outdoor play

 

What do we do at Rolfe’s Nursery School to ensure your child is ready for school?

Children at Rolfe’s Nursery School are involved in many experiences on a daily basis which develop particular skills and competencies that make the transition to school an exciting and happy experience.

 

Literacy

This involves giving the children opportunities to develop their pre-reading and writing skills. This area includes:

* name cards that are available to children so that they can learn to identify and write their names

* daily opportunities for experimentation with mark making; we provide free access to numerous resources that enable the children to develop their fine motor skills, ready for writing

* examples of writing which are displayed. Children are regularly encouraged to write their names on their work, write stories, letters to each other and involve themselves in many experiences that give them the opportunity to write

* an individual “story book”, where they draw, tell their story and then attempt to write it

* daily table top activities which include games and various experiences that help with letter recognition

* the provision of a literacy book, which contains some of the samples that we have completed throughout the year

*  tracing, letter formation, listening and following teacher led tasks

*  reading stories in a group and on their own, cultivating an interest in story books

* the Jolly Phonics program. We introduce letter sounds and names on a weekly basis

 

Numeracy

This gives children the opportunity to develop their problem solving and pre maths skills. This area incorporates:

* daily experiences that explore quantity and measurement through sand and water play and at the same time introduce mathematical language such as heavy/light, full/empty, half/whole etc.

* the provision of a Numeracy book, this includes activities such as matching, sorting, number writing and sequencing

* daily table top activities that include games and various activities that enable the children to count, recognise and work with numbers

* ICT experiences , such as beep-bop, whiteboard and computer skills

* opportunities to explore math concepts, solve problems, express thoughts and share ideas.

 

Personal social and emotional development

We give the children the opportunity to be happy, confident and independent at school. This area involves;

*  encouraging children to greet their teachers on arrival, prepare themselves for the school day, by putting bags away and snack in the basket

*  providing children with self selection centres , promoting independence as they choose what they would like to do, when to do it and with whom

* a daily program with numerous opportunities for social interaction, whereby the children are encouraged to share, resolve conflict, express their thoughts and ideas and learn to participate in a group environment

* helping children to become as independent as possible, this includes opening their own lunches, managing their own hygiene needs, packing away and using their words.

 

Group time

This provides many learning experiences in both small and large group sessions. This area incorporates:

* turn taking in group games

* listening and responding to teachers and each other

* promoting discussion, the sharing of ideas and learning from one another

* developing language skills

* opportunities to ask and answer questions

* promoting concentration, listening skills and follow directions

* promoting positive social interaction

*  planned experiences that include, literacy, numeracy, problem solving, games, and curriculum influenced activities.

 

In the final term at Rolfe’s Nursery we begin more focused activities to prepare children for what they can expect in their reception class. This includes:

* a school readiness project; children discuss going to school, look at the differences and similarities between nursery and school, discuss what they think will happen at school

* encouraging children to sit for longer periods of time to complete tasks

* promoting total independence in the classroom, especially with self help skills and social interaction

* talking with children on a daily basis, discussing scenarios and helping children to consider strategies that they can use to solve problems. This helps to create independent learners.

 

What can you do to help your child prepare for school?

* ensure your child is eating a well balanced breakfast and getting plenty of sleep

* encourage your child to be as independent as possible, this includes putting own coat on/off, putting snack and lunch away on arrival at school, able to blow their own nose and take care of own personal hygiene

* provide your child with the opportunity to try new experiences

* encourage your child to participate in lots of play activities that help develop concentration, memory skills, listening and following instructions and pencil control

* practise finishing tasks and tidying up

* provide opportunities to help with simple chores around the home

* organise lots of play dates, so your child learns how to co-operate with other children

* read to your child regularly and ask comprehension questions afterwards

* encourage your child to ask and answer questions

* help your child to remember their full name, address and phone number

* provide experiences that promote problem solving, sorting, counting and letter recognition

* sing songs and nursery rhymes, listen to music and dance

* do a range of activities both indoors and outdoors

* play games together, e.g. snakes and ladders, I spy and Junior Scrabble

* use positive praise to encourage good behaviour

* talk to your child about what to expect at school, remember to be excited and positive.

 

WHAT TEACHERS WANT TO SEE ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ARE

CHILDREN WHO ARE HEALTHY, MATURE, CAPABLE AND READY TO LEARN!

 

Research shows that children are more likely to succeed in learning when their families actively support them. Families who involve their children in activities that allow them to talk, explore, experiment and wonder, show that learning is both enjoyable and important. This motivates children to take pleasure in learning and want to learn more, preparing them to be successful in school and life!