Transition to School Programme: What has been happening?
Having our children feel confident and prepared for starting school is very important to us – we have a number of experiences and activities happening in the centre on a daily basis to support this important transition. These experiences are available for all of the children in the centre to partake in regardless of their age – if they show an interest in activity, we do our best to support and foster them.
Here are some the experiences we have at Mt Royal to support the children’s smooth transition to school:
We have three mat times per day. During these mat times the children are encouraged to take turns at talking and to raise a quiet hand if they wish to share something. We also talk about keeping our hands to ourselves and respecting each other’s ideas. Children are encouraged to participate in the different experiences during mat times such as sharing news, singing, magnetic stories and songs, books, movement and dance. There are many opportunities to stimulate the children’s curiosity and for them to ask questions.
Being able to look after yourself is very important – we give plenty of opportunities and time for the children to practice their self-help and self-care skills when eating, toileting, washing and dressing. We also talk about being able to recognise the indicators of hunger, thirst, sickness and tiredness and how to respond to these symptoms if they occur and to ask for help if it is needed. Emotional well-being is an essential part of being a good learner so we, as teachers, ensure that the children feel safe and that their fears are taken seriously. Children are given opportunities to express their different emotions and make their own choices within the necessary limits. Behaviour management is a consistent practice within the centre to prevent confusion, conflict and contradiction. Rules about harming each other or the environment and regularly talked about as part of the programme so that children are aware of them and have an understanding of the reason for these rules.
Experiences that assist the development of literacy and numeracy skills are consistently a part of our learning environment. We have a writing table which is available at any time of the day and well supplied with paper, felt tips and pencils. Lots of great learning happens at this table such as book making, story-telling, letter and number formation and recognition. There are also opportunities for the children to develop their fine-motor skills with the use of different tools such as scissors, cello-tape, staplers and hole-punchers.
Whenever one of our children has a school visit, we encourage them to share their experience with us and, if they feel comfortable, talk about it with their friends at mat time. We ask about their new teacher, any new friends they may have met, their classroom, the playground and uniforms.
We provide experiences that support the children’s:
- social and co-operative skills
- Developing and maintaining friendships
- Learning about fairness, tolerance, being generous.
- Working as a team
- Awareness of other children’s feelings and well being
- Problem solving skills
- Contributing ideas and theories
- Identifying problems
- Confidence to explore – accepting that mistakes can and will happen
- Communication skills
- Expressing ideas
- Talking about themselves and their life
- Receive and convey information
- Take instructions
- Listen to others
- Numeracy skills
- Using measurement
- Recognising and using numbers
- Understanding patterns
- Literacy skills
- Recognising and writing letters and words
- Creating stories and symbols
- Physical skills
- Spatial awareness
- Hygiene and diet
- Motor skills, co-ordination and balance
- Manipulative skills
- Work and study skills
- Collaborating with others
- Communicating with others
- Knowing their own special strengths and how to contribute them
- Decision making
- Information skills
- Storing and relaying information
- Taking another’s point of view
- Sharing and comparing information
- Asking questions
- Using people, books, images as resources
By Ally – February 2015