This phrase has a lot of different meaning to a lot of different people. We would really like parents to get a more uniform and consistent idea of what this means and its significance to your child’s transition into school. We will be making this a real focus over the next few months at both parent Action groups and at our drop in sessions with our “Owl” parents to help get across the significant aspects of the real meaning of “School Readiness”
Here are a few things to consider:-
School should be an extension of nursery, it is the same curriculum until the end of reception class
Play is still significant to children’s learning and a valuable part of well-being and development.
You might be surprised at what skills nursery and school would like your child to have.
How can parents help their children prepare
Speech, language, listening and letters and sounds
Encourage listening by turning off phones, radios and televisions and spending time talking. Nursery and school involves a lot of listening and sometimes in our busy lives we forget this. Speech and language are really big concerns for nurseries and schools at the moment so it is a great place to start.
When you are out and about, encourage your children to listen to the world around them and recognise familiar sounds.
Whilst out and about point out significant letters and numbers, although children will not be expected to read and write it is fun to encourage an awareness of letters in their name and numbers on signs and houses or buses.
Rhyming books and stories are a great way of encouraging children to hear the sounds of words and alliteration.
When you call your child or ask them to do something, ensure you follow it through and see the task to the end.
Keep instructions short and clear and give them time to complete.
Always look at your child when you are talking to them as it helps them engage with your face and recognise emotions.
Social and emotional Aspects of development promoting positive interactions
We really spend a lot of time supporting social interactions, so that children learn to be around others, resolve and avoid conflict, listen to each other’s and recognise emotions and therefore develop empathy. This encourages children to have a greater understanding of social interactions and make friends.
When playing with friends, encourage children to listen and respond to each other, to have eye contact. Intervene when they do not listen to each other and demonstrate how effective communication should look.
When conflict occurs encourage empathy by talking about how an action has made the other child feel, don’t necessarily say sorry, SHOW sorry by making the other child feel better maybe a cuddle or give back the toy etc. but really encourage the child to genuinely care, after all sorry is just a word unless it is really genuinely thought about and meant, a gesture is much more effective.
Independence is a big aspect of nursery and school life, encouraging children to do things for themselves is great preparation for school where there will be much less help available. Being able to manage their own clothes, equipment and hygiene are really essential for nursery and school life. So giving your child time to carry out simple tasks will really give their self-esteem and them confidence so that they will be able to cope in school and function independently. Helping your child to access the toilet themselves is essential for school, they will have to ask to go to the loo and to do it ALL by themselves. Pointing out signs for useful things like toilets is helpful too, even the difference between male and female facilities.
Encourage them to know your nursery staff names and the class teacher’s name.
Try to avoid using the phrase “big school” when starting to talk about starting school, it can make it sound daunting.
Don’t “over talk” school, as it can start to cause anxiety if there is a big build up.
This is a massive part of yours and your child’s life, we want to be able to give as much help, support and guidance. Please ask a member of staff if you have questions or concerns regarding this or any other aspect of your child’s learning and development.