Blog - How we help to prepare our children for their transition to Primary School
At St Petroc's School Nursery, we believe that it is never too early to start preparing your child for their all important transition to Primary School, as the jump can feel very big if they are underprepared. It can be daunting for parents too, but it marks the start of an exciting new chapter of learning, discovery and your child's increased independence.
We try to make sure that by the time our children leave us, they can confidently carry out simple tasks by themselves, such as having a go at getting dressed and undressed by themselves. Whether it's putting their coat on for outside play, or changing their top as they have soggy sleeves after water play, we find that avoiding clothes fiddly buttons or buckles is a good idea, plus shoes with laces as the children can get very frustrated when trying to put on or take off their own shoes.
Where possible we support the children to manage their own personal needs after going to the toilet. We also encourage eating independently, including eating with a knife and fork, taking their own plate to the sink once they've finished eating and even helping to prepare snacks for their peers. Children are also able to pour their own drinks at our setting, plus self-register on arrival in the morning.
We also like to encourage the children to take responsibility for personal items such as a sun hat or favourite toy, and to tidy up after an activity, ideally working together as a team before we start the next activity.
Learning to mix happily with their peers and making new friends is also a big part of the school experience. After all, learning in a classroom is a social activity, and your child will learn and develop by playing alongside their peers. We will help and encourage our children to make and nurture their friendships throughout their time with us, giving them new experiences and building their self confidence along the way. Encouraging children to share and be tolerant of others is important, as is taking turns and thanking children for their patience whilst waiting their turn.
Following the 'Development Matters Curriculum Guidance' for the early years foundation stage, we make an early start on Literacy and Numeracy skills in our setting. We support children to hold a pencil correctly and form the letters of their name, recognise their name and sound out the letters. We help children to hone their fine motor skills, build hand strength and improve hand-eye coordination in preparation for writing. This can include using lego, scissors, threading beads and modelling with play dough. We count with the children to support their mathematical development and develop their counting skills. Lots of cooking, planting and estimating activities take place throughout the year to further encourage all aspects of mathematical knowledge.
Last but not least, we support our children to develop a love of reading and being read to throughout their time with us. There truly is no greater gift that you can give to a child, they will certainly reap the benefits and thank you in years to come!