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Getting Ready For School


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when we return after easter i will be taking the children who are preparing to go to school once a week and would love to know if anyone has any good activities/circle time ideas that i could do with them??

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Every year I find that a few children show emotional stress, they are aware that a big change is about to happen but are anxcious because they don't know how it will really affect them.

They are out with parents buying school uniforms and other resources and the build up ican be quite exciting but scary too. I hear parents start to use the phrase " When you go to school you will have to do....."

When you go to school you will have to behave like.....""When you go to school you won't be able to ....." to the point that nearly every comment begins with "When you go to school...." I try to remind parents to discourage this as we see the change in behaviour do to this subtle ( and not intentioned) pressure that builds and builds throughout the summer Term. Understandably, some parents are anxious for their children and this is felt by the chidren too.

 

We have lots of news time as the focus of circle, encouraging children to bring up the subject of "I've got a new uniform" rather than us asking them, lots of questions about When you go to school. We spend a lot of time looking at the childrens achievement files, so they can look back on their preschool time with a sense of pride and achievement and thus building confidence of what they can do now. We do mini surveys on graphs, what activities do you enjoy, we subtely add that they will also be able to enjoy these at school, during these conversations .

We arrange visits to the school and the teachers come to visit the preschool. I always visit the school prior to taking the children so that I can plan the visit with the reception teacher. Before I go I tell the children I am going to visit the teacher, have they got any questions they would like me to ask her. Last year some of the questions were: "Can I take my lunchbox?" ( actually no, you are starting part time at first), " What toys have you got?. Will I have to sit? ( maybe this child had heard the repeated phrase when you go to school you will have to....). "Can I play with...friends name?

We read lots of "going to school stories", I role play "being teacher and have a register time ( we don't normally do this) the children call us by 1st names normally, so they think it is quite good fun to answer the register calling me Mrs ....., instead of Peggy. :D

 

We mainly try to stay as normal as possible, but give children opportunities to voice their queries and concerns, when we talk about school it is always in a positive light, to help them look forward to the transition. I would like to be able to do more visits than we can but this is not practicable.

 

We promote independence, dressing and undressing skills throughout their time with us, and only practice this more during Summer Term with individual children who need it. We don't start anything to do with saying goodbyes until the last week of term.

Some of my staff get tearful ( although they try not to show it) I, on the other hand, promote the sense of pride in what the children have achieved so far and embrace the fact that they have been given the foundations to now move on.

 

Peggy

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Wise words as always Peggy - these poor children are always being told they are going to big school and this and that is going to happen to them. The end of term comes, they finish and then nothing happens for 6 weeks. All a bit confusing for them. Like Peggy we have visits from and to the schools. We always try and make them feel comfortable by ensuring they are aware of the similarities and not the differences. As I am only a sessional group, I am also going to do a couple of lunch time sessions in the summer term to make them feel more comfortable with lunch times which reminds me must book the hall.

Nikki

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Hi Nikki.

 

In the past, to prepare children for 'big school' we have invited the children to wear their new school uniform to nursery so they can show all their friends and so we can talk about the new school (we ask that parents bring in spare clothes so we can encourage the children to change before their uniforms get mucky!). We have also asked parents to allow their children to bring in packed lunches and tried to recreate a school lunchtime.

 

The most successful activity we have used however, is to use puppets. One is excited about going to school and talks about all the new experiences, friends, teachers, routines etc, whilst the other one is more nervous about the change and whispers to the adult about their fears. We encourage the children to talk about the change using the puppets. The adult relays the fears of the nervous puppet and asks the children how we could make the puppet feel better about going to school.

 

This is all in addition to planned visits to the new school or visits from teachers (where possible).

 

Hope this helps.

 

Clare

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Yes I agree with Peggy this term is the most stressfull for the children going onto school. I ask parents not to keep saying "when your at big school......." You find that they can start wetting again and generally being very nervous. so anything you can do to help them not feel afraid is what I would suggest.

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