What is School Readiness?
There is lots of talk at the moment about children being school ready, however, there is no guidance or agreement nationally about what this actually means.
The EYFS defines school readiness as ‘the broad range of skills, knowledge and attitudes children need as foundations for good future progress.’ (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, page 4) and PACEY (Professional association for childcare and early years) say Nationally 97% of childcare professionals define it as, ‘ being curious about the World, having the desire to learn, can cope emotionally from being separated from their main carer and are relatively independent in their personal care’
UNICEF defines ‘school readiness’ as having three aspects that together bolster children’s likelihood of success:
- Children’s readiness for schools affects their learning and development
- Schools’ readiness for children ensures learning environments are child friendly and adapt to the diverse needs of young learners and their families.
- Families’ readiness for school promotes a positive and supportive approach to education, their children’s learning and the transition from home to school.
School Readiness at Wyndham Park Nursery School
At WPNS we believe that school readiness is about children becoming confident learners who don’t giving up when things get tricky, it’s about being happy to leave familiar grown ups and come into school willingly and be excited about what the day might entail.
We believe it’s about children being able to take care of their own needs at an appropriate level such as putting on a coat; washing their own hands and being able to go to the toilet by themselves.
Being school ready is also about children developing their language skills so that they can make their thoughts and feelings known to others. It is about making friends and being able to share. It is about being able to ask questions to find out how and why things happen and being curious about the world around them.
We believe that children should have a sound general knowledge about their world, they should be able to recognise and name colours and shapes. They should be able to say their number names in order and count objects carefully. They should develop a love of books and enjoy listening to stories and rhymes.
We also know that your child needs to be ready for some of the challenging, more formal learning that will come when they go to school, that’s why our highly qualified staff work carefully with each child to ensure they have the the essential skills in place to enable them make good progress. We work really hard on developing fine motor skills so that they are getting ready to write and can use scissors safely. We spend lots of time outdoors building up really strong core muscles that will help children be able to sit and develop shoulder strength for writing. We play lots of games and introduce phonics so that children are aware that words are made up of little sounds and are starting to recognise, hear and say them.
We hope that when children leave us ready to start at their next school they leave us as children that are happy, inquisitive and confident learners.
How do we help children to be school ready?
As well as making sure that we prepare the children emotionally, socially and academically we also work really hard at making the transition to school as smooth as possible. We work closely with the schools we feed to, ensuring that we have passed on information about how each child learns, their key skill development and shared their next steps. We invite schools to come and spend time at WPNS so they can see the children in an environment they are comfortable and secure in and understand the kind of activities the children enjoy and are used to doing.
How you can help your child to be school ready
There are lots of ways that you can help your child to be school ready too.
Here are a few ideas
- Having fun with your child: playing, talking and sharing together regularly and frequently.
- Doing familiar and different things together and showing your interest in discovering new things
- Singing songs, nursery and finger rhymes and making time for talk
- Supporting your child’s self-help skills so that they learn to do things for themselves
- Recognising and talking through your child’s feelings and different emotions
- Providing opportunities for your child to meet and relate to others including adults beyond close family and friends so that they positively experience socialising, sharing toys and turn taking
- Establishing a good sleep routine
- Reading with and to your child, everyday if you can.
- Involving your child in getting to know their school before starting
- Ensuring your child is as active and healthy as they can be
- Teaching your child how to use a knife and fork or open packets and bags ready for school lunches
Here is the link to the webpage where about applying for a primary school place in Lincolnshire can be found.