The purpose of this professional learning is to create an opportunity for teachers to view and discuss information provided on transition to school.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent in my community that there’s quite a significant gap for children as they transition from a Pre-Prep learning environment — a kindy environment such as ours — to the Prep environment at school. Obviously there are cycles of change in our education system with a goal to improving our education system. I believe that there’s, as I said, a bit of a gap there that we need to address as educators. Recently I’ve been meeting with other early childhood teachers, Prep teachers from my local schools to try and come up with some strategies that will support children and their families’ transition more effectively from kindy to school, and I guess put in place some support mechanisms that will aid that transition.
Some of the ideas that have emerged from these discussions with schools and Prep teachers is the idea that in order to support children and get children ready for school, we need to focus on supporting parents in understanding what changes and what experiences their children are about to undergo. In terms of preparing children, I like to think as part of my role as a kindy teacher I’m not just preparing children for school — though there is an element of that — I’m preparing them with skills to support them throughout their life.
If I’m thinking specifically school readiness, the things that we’ve identified in these discussions with other teachers, the things that we’re already focusing on: social/emotional development, good skills to cope with challenges at school, to cope with the changes, good skills in terms of fine motor control — being able to pick up and handle a pencil reasonably competently and with confidence. Independence. Being able to walk in and unpack your school bag when you arrive at school and help yourself to your lunch when the time is right and so forth.
So it’s more about a holistic approach to school readiness rather than saying you need to be able to write your name and count to 20, and educating parents about those factors as well.