As the end of July is looming and the weather is getting that bit warmer, we know many of our children and parents are preparing for their next big adventure – school! This can be an unsettling but exciting, nervous but positive next step and we, at the nursery, aim to support this transition as much as possible.
There are five keys things that children need to be doing before they join the Foundation Class:
- Be able to dress themselves.
- Put on their own coat and zip it up.
- Use a knife and fork, and be able to cut up their own food.
- Be toilet trained.
- Have a good sleep routine. Although your child may be used to going to nursery for long hours, they will still be very tired when they start school. The school day is full on and its essential that your child is getting enough sleep.
These are all key in children having strong independence skills and resilience to face new challenges that come ahead.
Within the nursery, we run our Rising Stars programme, which emphasises three specific areas in which we support children’s pre-school skills – Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Letters and Sounds and Mathematics. Under PSED, we focus in on independence, social skills and emotional awareness, which reinforce the five key things above. In addition to this, we also support Letters and Sounds and Mathematics in order to give children to best possible kick start.
So, what can you do at home to help?
Whenever the opportunity arises, it is important to encourage your child to be independent – whether this is putting on their shoes and clothes, eating with cutlery at the dinner table or wiping themselves and washing their hands when they have been to the toilet. Other social skills, such as turn taking, are also important as they prepare to be part of a larger classroom with new faces. Cook something with your child that involves using multiple ingredients. Assign different ingredients and processes to yourself and your child and take turns to play your part in creating a culinary masterpiece! Modelling can be very helpful in teaching your child to take turns. Model turn taking with other people as part of the behaviours you expect to see.
Letters and Sounds
A key aspect for children going to school is recognising letters and their sounds. There are some wonderful online resources that can help support this, such as Mr T’s Phonics YouTube Page and we also have games and books on offer from our Lending Library that can be taken home. Why not try looking for letters in everyday environments, when out for a walk or in the house? Reading with your child is also important for developing those early literacy skills.
It is wonderful if your child can count 1 – 20, but what is more important is being able to count out items and give them numerical value. How about drawing a number on a piece of paper e.g. 6, then placing it on the floor and ask your child to find three things to place on the piece of paper. Or outside, ask your child to find you a certain number of things and bring them to you. E.g. Find four stones for me. The nursery also has mathematical games on offer to lend out to you so if you want to try something new, please feel free to do so.
And remember – stay positive!
Children feed off the energy of those around them, and especially their key caregiver.
If there is any additional support or guidance you require, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of the nursery team.