Program helps children learn school skills
A program aimed at ensuring children are ready to take on the new challenges of school has been rolled out at Goodstart Morwell
The program, run in conjunction with the Victorian State Government, focuses on improving the transition from early learning to the first year of school, and has involved four primary schools, all of the area’s public preschools and two other early learning centres.
Goodstart Morwell educator Alexandra Lovell said the Transitions to School Project had so far been a great success for the area.
“What I’ve found really great with the reciprocal visits project is forming relationships with the primary school teachers in the area as well as the early childhood teachers,” Ms Lovell said.
"Forming those relationships has been essential in understanding what schools in our area are doing so we’re able to bring that to the early year settings.”
She said the early learning centre had enjoyed visits to the primary school where the children had taken part in investigations and activities that were relevant to the early years setting.
Ms Lovell said she had taken concepts taught in the first years context back to Goodstart to create positive and exciting programs for the kindergarten
“Having been involved, the next step is organising a buddy program because the school is just across the road. It would be good for the children to make friends so they have someone they know before they go over there.
“It helps the school children improve their reading and helps the prep children as well,” she said.
“I think one of the most important aspects of the program so far has been the change in the way in which we talk about the children going to school. We often say ‘well you won’t be able to do that at big school’.
“But now our focus is on ensuring the children know that school will be an interesting, fun place for them to go. We explain things like how the bubblers work, how the toilets are different.”
Research shows children attending a kindergarten develop the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in school and life. And if these skills are highlighted and developed, the transition to school can be greatly improved.
Parents can also help with the getting children ready for school by reading books together, singing songs, giving simple instructions, such as how to pack their bag. Parents can also practise drawing and writing, learning to say their name and phone number, making them aware of the rules and the reasons for them.