Readiness for School
Welcome to our two-part article on the importance of being school ready. Using our combined 50 years of nursery industry knowledge, we have seen many children move on from nursery and preschool care onto school in our time. This can be an anxious time for many parents and the process of school readiness can be confusing to others but we hope that the information we share with you in this article will give you some reassurance that we understand the dilemmas faced by parents and how we can help make that journey an easier one.
Moving up to school is a big step, for a child and parents. It is the first time a child tastes independence, mixing in larger groups and, of course, an anxious time for parents, knowing the challenges of making friends, fitting in and generally feeling ready for the start of a long educational journey.
What is school readiness?
School readiness is an indication of how prepared a child is to succeed in school, and whether they are ready cognitively, socially and emotionally.
When does readiness begin?
As a minimum, the Government recommends that a child from the age of 3 years receive as minimum 15 free hours per week nursery education before starting school. This is an absolute minimum to, at least, engage a child in some degree to socialization and offering new experiences that may not be accessible in the home environment. In reality, the real objective of school readiness should be to allow children to develop their personalities through socialization and play in a group environment, so that children can develop their individual characteristics, giving a child the ability to shape and positively interact with the world around them. This takes longer than 6 months and forms the objectives of early years education and what parents should really be looking when searching for good early years nursery care.
What does research suggest?
Research suggests that children as young as 18 months begin to fall behind in vocabulary development and other critical development skills for school success if not exposed to a nurturing and educating environment.
Children who are unprepared for school start without the core readiness skills that help them to understand the basics foundation knowledge required for school. This un-readiness can see children struggle to positively engage with school and can see children falling behind in reading and cognitive development, leaving them unable to read or problem solve throughout the Prep-school years.
Parents applying for school places, where their children have had little or no pre-school care and education will typically struggle to get their child into mainstream competitive international schools and are left perplexed and stressed as to why?
Research shows that learning begins long before a child starts Reception Class (also known as Foundation Stage 2). Children absorb information whether it is words, smiles, gestures, rhymes, songs, images or experiences. Children store this information and use it later when they feel comfortable and confident enough to apply it.
Why does being ready for school matter?
Catching up is not what starting school should be about. Starting school should be about moving forward on the solid foundation a child already has. As successful childcare providers and with over 50 years combined industry knowledge and experience amongst our staff, The Tiffin Day Nursery believe that a foundational early year’s nursery education is the best investment a parent can give for a young school experience.
So how can parents and carers improve a child’s readiness for school?
For a pre-school education to be effective for school readiness, a parent should consider enrolling their child for a minimum of 12 months pre-school education and care.
What is the value of an Early Years Education?
The Tiffin provides children with the opportunities to build a child’s core skills – children are able to develop their cognitive skills, their social skills and develop their emotional regulation skills.
Exposing children to a pre-school environment gives a child opportunities to explore, discover and invent ideas. This cannot always be achieved by staying at home. The opportunities and experiences children are given at The Tiffin will allow them to build the confidence they need to function alongside other children and also allows them to develop respectful and understanding relationships with their peers and the caring adults around them.
Children learn valuable lessons through a pre-school environment where they are able to explore their ideas and enquiring minds. They are able to deal with social problem solving situations they may not normally experience in the protected havens of their home communities.
Pre-school life allows children to build their confidence in a safe environment alongside other little similar people, creating a social environment they become accepted and familiar with, that they will experience when they start BIG school.
The world of school is an exciting thought for many parents and some children. But for many children, being thrusted into the overwhelming world of SCHOOL, with the hustle and bustle of unfamiliar people and routines and the anxieties of the unknown can be seem more like a nightmare than an adventure.
We will help take you along a journey to school readiness. We will explain that sending your child to nursery is always about having a great time – but is also about ‘Learning through Play’, whilst having a great time. It’s about giving children an opportunity to experience their full potential within a safe learning environment. It’s about giving children the space to learn and experiment. It’s an environment where we share information and we don’t underestimate the capabilities of every child.