As the end of another year approaches, there is another group of excited, apprehensive, nervous pre-schoolers (and parents!) ready to take on Reception Class. But how are our little ones prepared for this? It’s a huge challenge for them and some certainly take it in their stride more than others.
Playgroup plays a huge part in this transition process. This year, parents have received a ‘school readiness’ checklist, which helps to explain some of the things that the Reception staff will be looking for when your child starts school. Playgroup will also use this list to see how your child is developing in a pre-school setting. They are encouraging independence and a sense of responsibility for their own wellbeing as well as their possessions.
During their focused ‘Rising 5’s’ sessions, they will also be engaging in lots of discussion between adults and the other members of their group. This encourages turn-taking and helps them develop conversational skills essential for group work in school.
Playgroup also carry out a number of informal visits, where the children may just visit the grounds or see some of the current pupils engaged in various activities. These short visits, help them to become more familiar with school and so hopefully it doesn’t feel as daunting. Playgroup tries to keep routines similar to school, enabling them to feel a part of their new class relatively quickly.
Parents can support Playgroup by not only following the readiness checklist but also encouraging their child to be motivated, enthusiastic and keen to explore further in their learning and experiences. These are all key qualities that Playgroup strive to enhance in every activity they provide.
When your child approaches the end of their last term at playgroup, and you have applied for their school place, you will receive an invitation to come to an information meeting at the school of your choice. At Tollerton School, this involves a presentation by the Headteacher, Mr Board, and the Reception teacher, Mrs Gordon. You will then receive lots of information about everyday school life, what your child will need and how they will learn.
At Tollerton School, the children are then invited for two introductory sessions, so they can familiarise themselves with their teacher and classroom. They are split into two groups and will either attend in a morning or afternoon. Other current Reception children will also be in the classroom with them, which can provide some recognisable faces from when they too attended Playgroup.
They are able to play, chat and get to know their new classroom, so they can excitedly tell you;
“They had a kitchen!” “I found the toilet!” “We read a good story about a crow!” “I didn’t cry!”
And hopefully these enthusiastic little comments will help you both begin to realise that school readiness is only around the corner…