‘A successful transition means children settle quickly into school, learning and developing from day one.’ Anna Ephgrave
Starting Reception is one of the biggest transitions a child will encounter, but here at St Joseph’s College Prep School we focus on this as a continuation rather than a ‘big’ new start.
Many of the children beginning Reception have attended Nursery with us and are already familiar to some extent with the faces and places belonging to St Jo’s. Without doubt, that aids a seamless move into Reception and beyond.
However, we also welcome children from a variety of alternative settings and provide a range of opportunities for families to bridge the gap happily, by engaging with the staff – most importantly the class teacher – and by getting to know the families of their child’s classmates.
Starting school should be a positive process for both children and their parents and St Jo’s tries hard to support families in every way it can.
Our transition process includes:
- Regular ‘drop ins’ – As Reception class teacher, I regularly call by to see the Nursery children, thereby providing a sense of familiarity and beginning a relationship with them during the year before Reception.
- Transition Tuesdays with Mrs Taylor – The step across to spend the first lesson of the day interacting with the Reception girls and boys is always popular with Nursery and Reception children alike. They engage in age-appropriate activities that are guided by Early Years Foundation Stage principles.
- Transition Day – Children spend the whole day in school with their new teacher and classmates. They play, explore, ask questions and have fun!
- Nursery Colour Run – This is a fun-filled occasion, when the children experience a mini version of the ‘big school’s’ event.
- Moving Up Day – All of the Nursery children and new starters spend the day with their classmates and their new teacher. They explore the classroom and are introduced to their new routines.
How to support your child with their transition into Reception:
It can be a rush, but do allow extra time in the morning so children can ‘have a go’ at getting themselves dressed. This is key to supporting their independence. Buttons and zips can be tricky but will become easier with practice as their fine motor skills develop.
- Talk to them
Answer questions and ask them. By creating a dialogue as often as possible you will stretch your child by using vocabulary they may not know yet! ‘Remember the brain is a muscle that you are exercising and growing’ (Carol Dweck)
- Play games that involve sharing and taking turns
In Reception we work very much as a team. Support your child at home as they come to understand that they have to consider other people’s feelings and viewpoints. This is an important lesson to learn; so, too, is recognising their own emotions and becoming able to self-regulate.
- Healthy eating and cooking
Ensure your child understands the importance of a varied diet. They will enjoy a snack of fruit and milk in the morning in Reception and bring in their own healthy snack for the afternoon break.
- Number recognition and counting
Listen to stories, songs and rhymes that include counting or numbers. A fantastic way to learn numbers up to 10 and then 20 is through song.
- Literacy skills
Sharing stories at home pays into a child’s vocabulary bank and also creates a love of reading. Being able to write their name on their work is more exciting than it sounds! Children have a huge sense of achievement when they can form the letters that spell their name.
- Social skills
Modelling their manners – saying please and thank you, greeting new people by saying ‘Hello!’ and playing alongside others are great skills to acquire.
Reception Class Teacher