Children thrive with a successful transition to school program
Faced with challenges due to COVID-19 in 2021, Mountain Preschool Lowanna Inc. was still able to maintain their Transition to School program, enabling each child to feel ready for Kindergarten.
21 February 2022
Located on Gumbaynggirr land on the far North Coast of NSW, Mountain Preschool focuses on each child having a positive transition to school through a range of in-service activities and building the child’s connection, understanding and belonging to their new school.
Mountain Preschool Director Donna Shrimpton said the transition from the service to school involves the educational leader, staff, family, children, early intervention and the school teacher all working together to discuss children’s strengths and abilities.
“Our Transition to School policy includes regular educational practices throughout the year, including specific strategies we practice daily with the children during their last term,” she said.
“We explore which school they’ll be attending and use photographs of children wearing the different school uniforms, pictures of the schools and school emblems, along with the 'Daisy's First Day book' and other transition to school resources.
“Through these activities and experiences, we help all children to feel confident and positive about school, which offers them a smooth, supported and exciting transition.
"We have strong connections and open communication with our local school principals, and from Term 3 we begin talking with them about the children who will be transitioning.
Mountain Preschool educators also compile a Transition to School Statement for the Kindergarten teachers to have knowledge of the child’s interests, strengths and abilities, as well as familiar strategies to support their self-regulation. This has resulted in principals and teachers providing positive feedback on how the document is used to support the child's effective transition.
The educators also use the EYLF Developmental Milestones document to provide information to families seeking specialist support, and to support children's participation in the program.
Despite COVID-19 impacting several planned excursions in 2021, children were still able to participate in some school activities including in-person orientation days, with one local school offering 5-year-old children the opportunity to attend one day a week throughout the year.
Both educators and children at Mountain Preschool are excited to return to their pre-COVID routine of excursions this year.
“We incorporate year-round school visits with the children participating in assembly and transition to class activities such as reading and art, allowing them the opportunity to build an understanding of school, with the security of having their familiar educator with them,” Donna said.
“We have fantastic relationships with the school principals and our families, and have heard the children are having a wonderful time since starting Kindergarten this year”.