It is important that children are ready to leave preschool and move onto school, and parents and practitioners can positively encourage children about the new, exciting change. This can be done by talking about the new school to ensure they are aware and ready for the new chapter of their lives. At Tops Day Nurseries, we prepare children for school by starting with familiarity.
We discuss going to a new school and how it will be similar to nursery but with different children and new friends. Some of our nurseries create a ‘school board’ where the children’s photographs are displayed alongside the name of the school they will be going to. This gives the children more confidence in knowing other children will be moving up to big school with them.
To ensure there is a good and effective transition for the children to school, we work hard to build relationships with the local schools. We try to visit the schools the children will be attending, giving the children a chance to meet the teachers and see the school.
Some nurseries have created transition bags at their nursery. The bags have been introduced for parents to borrow to prepare their child for the transition to big school. The bags contain a school uniform, pencil case and activity booklets.
What children should learn before starting school
Let’s take a look at some of the skills Ofsted say children should learn before starting school
- Following simple instructions
- Being able to use the toilet
- Make themselves understood by others
- Have essential skills such as sitting still, listening and following commands
- To be aware of other peers
- Follow boundaries set for behaviour
- Ask an adult for help
- Undress themselves
- Talk in sentences
- Recognise their own name
Some of the above skills may be difficult for children to achieve and this can often leave parents and carers feeling anxious when it comes to their child starting school, some children may need some further support in order to help get them ready. Communicating with parents and carers is essential as many of these skills can be learnt and practised in the home environment as well as nursery e.g. undressing and dressing.
At Tops Day Nurseries, we have implemented a number of different activities to support with school readiness including self registration upon entering the nursery, potty training, tooth brushing and taking part in both child and adult led activities.
Before children leave to go to big school, the nursery sets up a school themed role play area, where children can practice reading and writing, along with trying on local school uniforms and PE kits.
When the time comes for children to leave Tops Day Nurseries before they start school in September, they are invited to attend a pre-school graduation. This event welcomes parents, friends and families to watch as their little ones are awarded with a graduation certificate wearing their gowns and hats.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page to see how Tops Day Nurseries ensure children have a smooth transition from nursery to school.