This week we are holding a School Readiness evening for our parents. We hope we will have some good discussion time about how we can work together to best prepare the children for the next big phase in their life. This is not a short process but one that begins when children start kindy.
School readiness is often confused with the transitioning to school process. School readiness is not a checklist of developmental milestones or achievements, rather the behaviour required to learn: perseverance, courage, curiosity, trust, playfulness and responsibility. We refer to these as dispositions. “Dispositions are combinations of children’s emerging knowledge, skills and attitudes to learning… Te Whariki encourages early childhood teachers to help children develop dispositions that help them learn.” (ERO National Report April 2015) A large proportion of school readiness is early childhood is about developing social skills. In the NZ Curriculum this is known as the ability to “relate to others” and is one of the key competencies.
It is important for children to have the foundations of their basic movement and development in place before they are ready to learn. Some ideas for developing these physical abilities:
- Finger rhymes
- Sing action songs
- Practice the monkey bars
- Lots of opportunities to practice on climbing frames
- Use pegs to hang washing
- Set up an obstacle course inside or outside which encourages drawing through tunnels, climbing over things, balancing on a line, weaving in between cones etc
- Throwing lightweight scarves into the air and catching them, dancing with scarves
- Throwing and catching balls
- Rolling from one end of the room to the other
- Washing windows
- Painting large wall spaces with paintbrushes dipped in water- encourage crossing the midline
- Use shaving foam on a plastic table top or on the bath wall- play music and encourage them to use large arm movements as they move their hands in the foam
We will be learning more about how to prepare children for school over the next few weeks.