For parents and children, the months before your little one moves from child care to school are a time of great excitement but also can be fraught with anxiety.
That’s why at Sesame Lane Kippa-Ring Regency Street in Queensland, they’ve facilitated a relationship with the local primary school, to help set the children up for a positive start to formal education.
Toddle spoke with Stacey Clough and Karen Rhodes, the Service Managers at this child care centre, to find out more about their transition to school program.
Is the year before school starts a pivotal time for children?
‘Yes, it's an extremely important time,’ says Stacey. ‘Our Kindergarten programs allow children the opportunity to learn basic literacy and numeracy in a play-based context, and build on and develop their agency in preparation for them attending school.’
How does your centre support children who are about to start school?
‘We have various family evenings held throughout the year,’ explains Karen. ‘These include an information evening where we invite local schools in to communicate with our families about what their school offers.
We also hold parent-teacher evenings where families have the opportunity to meet with their child's teacher and discuss their child's development and goals in preparation for their child commencing school.
During the last term of the year, we engage in a transition to school program.’
What does the transition to school program involve?
Karen explains some of the elements of the program:
- ‘The children are encouraged to bring in a lunch box,
- We discuss what items they need to take daily to school,
- We group children by their attending school so that they have the opportunity to develop relationships, and finally
- We discuss what their school uniform looks like.’
‘We have also built strong relationships with our local schools,’ explains Stacey. ‘In particular Hercules Road State School as it is very close to our centre.’
What happens when the children visit the local primary school?
‘Before COVID, the children would spend a few hours at the school in term four, visiting the classrooms, the outdoor play areas and the library,’ explains Karen.
‘The children would then have the opportunity to engage in activities and explore the classroom. The children also have the opportunity to meet and build relationships with the teachers and staff at the school.’
What do the children get out of the experience?
‘It gives the children a sense of belonging,’ shares Stacey. ‘It allows a positive experience to occur which prepares the children for school.
The children can explore the environments in a relaxed atmosphere which then bridges the gap and supports the transition from the early education setting to school.’
What do the parents and children think about the visits to the school?
‘Our families are extremely happy with the transition to school program,’ says Karen.
‘It allows their child to develop their sense of agency and encourages a smooth transition to school.’
‘The children absolutely love attending excursions and thoroughly enjoy their time exploring the school environment,’ shares Stacey.
‘The children particularly enjoy walking to the school with the backpacks on!’
Find out more about Sesame Lane Kippa-Ring Regency Street here, or to find child care in your area with Toddle simply type your postcode in the search box at the top of the page.
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