Preparing for school: why literacy and numeracy isn’t enough
Learning literacy and numeracy is an essential part of any child’s development – but they’re not the only skills they’ll need.
Children are entering a world of rapid and constant change. Preparing them for this means social-emotional skills are not only vital, but central to their capacity to learn and adapt.
It’s all about developing a lifelong love of learning in all contexts, not just focussing on a handful of hard skills. Teaching children to form positive relationships, solve problems, think creatively and cope with change before they start school gives them a great foundation.
High quality early learning environments help children to develop these skills and the fact is, they’re more likely to do better at school
as a result.
Play based learning: a proven approach
To ensure children are growing these skills as they enter the school environment, we’ve developed a unique approach to the way we work. We call this The Goodstart Way
Our approach is led by the Goodstart Practice Guide
, which brings together the latest international evidence of what works best for children and guides what our educators do in their everyday professional practice.
Every educator in every centre across our network has a copy of the practice guide, although the way in which it’s implemented will be unique to their local context, and the children and families in their centre.
Our practice guide recognises the importance of play, as research evidence consistently shows that children learn best through play-based learning programs which allow them to explore new ideas and test their skills.
Play expands children’s thinking, encourages exploration and risk taking (in a safe environment) and enhances their desire to know and learn. And most importantly it’s fun! So as well as being taught numeracy and literacy – they’re also learning how to operate in the world.
What does a good program look like?
We’ve draw on research from some of the world’s most respected thinking on early childhood education to create our program.
As a parent or carer there are several concepts you can expect to see woven into our daily programs, like:
- Thinking, exploring and questioning
- Language, literacy, numeracy and communication skills
- Problem solving and reasoning
- Relating well to children and adults
- Resolving conflicts, playing co-operatively and being assertive
- Developing independence, self-esteem and self-confidence
- Understanding the world around them
- Belonging, being part of a community, and connecting with others
- Developing a love of learning, discovery and new experiences through play and activity
Our evidence-informed learning environments build on children’s curiosity, growing abilities, and their inclination to engage with each other and the world around them.
Kindergarten and preschool is a crucial year
Different states use different terminology, but when we talk about kindergarten and preschool at Goodstart we simply mean the year before school. It’s all about children’s individual development and equipping them to make the transition to school.
Our kindergarten and preschool programs are all led by teachers with university qualifications in Early Childhood Teaching, as well as plenty of practical experience. Your child will be in good hands!
At the end of the year, you’ll receive a formal school transition statement to take to your child’s school. It helps the school build an accurate picture of your child’s development and makes for a smooth transition and a great start to primary education.
Learn more about our approach to early learning here, and find a centre near you.