What School Readiness Looks Like in the Brilliant Bees

What does “School Readiness” look like in the Brilliant Bees room? In preparing children to make the transition to “big school”, it is our aim, to support, encourage and inspire children to acquire the skills they need to be successful, enthusiastic, self-motivated, life-long learners- to develop the attributes that will not only make their transition to school a successful one, but will also carry them through life. The NSW Department of Education and most Kindergarten teachers will tell you, that it is not academic knowledge that tells us if a child is ready for school or not- rather, it is a child’s social and emotional wellbeing, their self-esteem and resilience, their self-help skills and their enthusiasm for learning, that are the bigger predictors for a successful transition to school. Click on the link for the DET guide for preparing your child for Kindergarten.

The National Quality Framework and Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) guide our practices at Mother Goose Day Nursery. The EYLF recognises that children learn best through play-based experiences that are meaningful to them. “The (EYLF) conveys the highest expectations for all children’s learning from birth to five years and through the transitions to school. It communicates these expectations through the following five Learning Outcomes:

1.       Children have a strong sense of identity

2.       Children are connected with and contribute to their world

3.       Children have a strong sense of wellbeing

4.       Children are confident and involved learners

5.       Children are effective communicators”

By providing opportunities for learning that allow children to develop skills and learning objectives that are set out in each outcome, children will become “successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens.” (Goal 2 of the Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians). Click on the link: Ten things to know about play!

Aside from play, educators also use “intentional teaching” to provide for and enrich children’s learning opportunities. Intentional teaching “involves educators being deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in their decisions and actions. Intentional teaching is the opposite of teaching by rote or continuing with traditions simply because thingshave ‘always’ been done that way.” We deliberately structure our day to provide children with the time they need to explore, investigate, hypothesise and problem solve (or, in other words, play). We provide children with a variety of media to invent, construct, make and express meaning- also building their motor skills. We allow children the opportunities to direct their own learning, whilst ensuring that we are available to support and guide them where necessary. We deliberately provide opportunities to come together as a group/community of learners and explore stories, music and movement opportunities- not in an attempt for children to learn how to “sit still” for a certain period of time (although this may assist them at school), but in order for children to develop an appreciation for learning together, to hear and respect the ideas of others in group conversations and build on their ideas and knowledge.

We provide opportunities for children to explore their interests over a period of time- providing opportunities to gain deeper understandings about the world they live in, becoming researchers and of course becoming confident in their literacy skills at the same time. We provide literacy and numeracy activities that relate to real life experiences, creating rich and meaningful learning opportunities that are not limited to just learning how to count form 1 to 20, but involve learning about measurement, size, capacity, addition, subtraction, money and more!

We are:

·       Accepting new challenges

·       Managing our own risks

·       Developing hand eye coordination

·       Displaying persistence as we miss the nail and try and again. We persevere when one hit is not enough. We keep going, complete the task we have set ourselves and experience the satisfaction of success!

·       We are innovative! Nash created an aeroplane with his pieces of wood!

·       We are powerful! We are learning about how much force we need to place on the nail to drive it in to the wood. We are learning about our bodies.

“Risky play is an important type of play, where children acquire better motor control learn about what is dangerous and what isn’t”

(Sandsetter, Child links magazine, 2007)

“Children are competent, confident and capable learners, able to make choices and decisions.”(EYLF LOC 1&4))

We are writers!

As we explore our environment and engage in play arising from our own interests, we are motivated to record our thoughts, ideas, interests and experiences. We are learning that:

·       Writing has a purpose! It is a useful and practical way to record! We use it to keep score in our games of football and Ten Pin bowling! We sign our own name on cards we make, on our artwork and to say that we have eaten our morning tea. We write about our favourite things- animals for some and create labels for our creations to display proudly, so everyone knows what we have done!

·       Symbols have meaning. Letters come together to make words. Letters make sounds- and these sounds make up words. Numbers can be represented in print.

·       We need strong muscles in our hands to write. We are learning how to hold various writing tools to make marks effectively.

By Kasie Moffitt

We are becoming effective communicators!

We invite you to come and have a look at our photo board to see all the skills we have been learning while at Mother Goose Day Nursery!