Transition to School
The key points that were raised are as follows:
• Children do not need to be proficient in writing their names but they do need to be able to recognise it and attempt to write it.
• It is very important that children have the confidence to ask questions, make their needs known and take care of themselves in an environment where there may be one teacher for up to 35 children.
• There is no expectation that children need to be able to read and write before school as long as they have an understanding of what letters mean and how they are used. Many parents teach their child differently to how a school will teach and therefore the child will become very confused and bored if they know too much.
• There is an expectation that children are independent at toileting and dressing themselves
• Children should be encouraged to maintain their home languages
• Children will be asked to complete a variety of gross motor activities to assess their level of competence
• Children need to show an interest in learning
• Children need to understand the way recess and lunch works as they are used to being given hot nutritious meals during the day
• It is important that children are able to make friends, share and negotiate with others
• Concentration skills are important so that children learn
What we do here at Jack and Jill Kindergarten to assist with this transition to school:
• Confidence – building a child’s confidence is extremely important to their continual success at school and beyond. Here at our centre children are given lots of opportunity to succeed in front of peers and teachers. ‘News time’ is a great opportunity for children to get up in front of their group and talk about something important to them. They are given the chance to answer questions from their peers.
• Reading and writing - The children are surrounded by language and literature throughout the day. There is a wealth of story books, resource books, signs and labels for the children to learn that letters and meaning of words (phonics), the phonics program we use here at Jack and Jill is ‘Ants in the apple’ the wonderful staff here also have amazing and resourceful creative ideas of teaching your child phonics. The children have access to a variety of writing materials that are available to them all day. Children are not forced to write, but when an interest is shown, children are encouraged to extend on it by ‘writing’ their names-e.g. invitations for events, information from interest projects, words for the day book
• Toileting and dressing - Here at the centre we encourage children to become independent at toileting by close supervision of the bathroom, especially whilst toilet training so that they can ask for assistance if required. Children are also encouraged to dress themselves before and after sleep time and any other times throughout the day. They are given many opportunities to develop self-help skills, from making their own beds to cleaning up after themselves at lunch time
• Gross motor experiences - We have a lot of gross motor equipment at the centre for children to play in and we also program for specific gross motor games, such as parachute games, dancing, long jump in the sandpit , etc. In order to continue to build the children’s confidence, these activities always remain competition free and all children are encouraged to participate. This is also a good opportunity for children to learn about games with rules which can be quite complex for them to understand.
• Interest in learning - Our whole program is designed to ensure that children are interested in learning and have an inquisitive mind about the world around them. We want to foster their natural curiosity at the stage in their lives. All of our day to day programs and projects are based on the children’s interests and therefore they are much more likely to invest the time to explore, investigate and learn. These experiences give ownership to children and encourage problem solving and decision making. We use realistic materials and equipment so that their experiences are more genuine.
The best things for parents to do for their child:
• Read the Day Book every day and ask your child open ended questions about their day.
• When we put up the schools listings later in the year, try to make a connection with at least one other family who are going to the same school – just leave a note in their communication pocket.
• Encourage your child to help with tasks at home (even if they don’t always do a perfect job), including setting the table, clearing away after dinner, putting their clothes away.
• Support children’s attempts at dressing themselves and encourage their independence with toileting.
• Read to your child as much as you can from a variety of sources including story books, reference books, signs, labels , etc.
• When the orientation process starts at your child’s school, follow the recommendations for a smooth transition.
The following information is all the local schools in this area:
• Berowra Christian Community School – Cnr King St and Berowra Waters Rd Berowra 9456 2444
• Berowra Public School – Hillcrest Rd Berowra 9456 1319
• St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School – Warrina Street Berowra Height 9456 2104
• Wideview Public School – Wideview Rd Berowra Heights 9456 1633
We participate in the termly meetings with all the local preschools and schools with 'transition to school meetings' this gives our centre the opportunity to network with all the other centres and schools and talk about the important issues that may arise.