Preparations for going to school
It’s that time of the year when we need to think, reflect and start to prepare some of our Kornmehl children for going to Year K next year.
International research reveals two key factors that underpin learning success in the first years of school and beyond:
- Self-regulation – enables a child to control inappropriate behaviour, to pay attention and to respond positively to changing circumstances.
- Language development – enables a child to listen, participate in different conversations, interact socially with peers and grasp important information the teacher gives them.
Here are some ideas to start thinking about:
Each child responds differently to changes and each child will deal differently with the transition into school. Children need help to adjust to the rules and way of doing things that school offers. Some of these changes include:
- Physical environment is bigger with playgrounds that are shared with older children, facilities spread across a wide campus and with basic facilities, such as toilets, in unfamiliar places.
- Routines may be a lot more structured, with set times to eat, play, go to the library or to the toilet.
- Relationships may be more complicated than previously, where the child will have to learn to relate to different teachers, specialist teachers and lots of different children across many age groups.
Children who make a positive start to school are more likely to feel comfortable, relaxed and ready to learn, good about themselves as learners and social beings and develop a sense of belonging to the school community.
It is important for parents to talk positively about going to school, without building up unrealistic expectations.
Below are a few tips to think about:
- Personal skills include the ability to look after yourself and your belongings, to manage your time and get tasks done and understand that particular rules and routines apply in each situation.
- Relationship skills – include being able to join in games, take turns, make and maintain friends and learn how to talk with less familiar adults.
- Learning skills – include being able to keep going with a task, knowing how to ask and answer questions, how to listen to and follow instructions and having a positive disposition or attitude towards learning new things.
Parents are the safe base from which children can move out to explore the world, to learn and grow and become socially confident, responsible young people.
Things you can do to build your child’s personal, social and learning capacity:
- Gradually ask your child to take responsibility for organising their belongings e.g. setting out clothes for the next day.
- Give your child small manageable responsibilities at home, such as cleaning up, setting the table, clearing their plate, putting their toys away.
- Involve your child in family decisions according to their age and ability; offer them choices about what to wear, what they want to eat, or where the family could go on an outing.
- Talk about the different rules that apply for different situations e.g. wearing a seatbelt in the car, crossing a road, in the park, at the pool etc.
- Play games as a family and remind children about rules and turn taking.
- Invite children over to play and guide your child into joining in and making friends. It’s important for parents to model kindness and respect.
- Sit with your child doing small tasks, encouraging them to persist and solve problems.
- Read books and develop your child’s listening skills, concentration, comprehension, thinking and conversation.
- Encourage your child to explore, be curious, come up with questions and investigate how things work.
- Encourage your child to be independent, to believe in themselves and to take some risks in a protected way.
- Teach your child that things don’t always work out the way we want them to, but that we can learn from every situation and to keep trying until we succeed.
Things you can do to give your child confidence about starting school:
- Show your child how they will get to school each day and where they will be collected.
- Practise getting ready for school, dressing, packing the lunch, bag, sunhat, spare clothes.
- Make sure your child can manage things such as taking off jumpers and zipping up jackets.
- Use shoes with Velcro fasteners until your child can manage laces.
- Check that your child can open their lunch box and drink bottle and get them to help choose the contents.
- Make sure your child can go to the toilet independently or talk with the teacher about how to manage toilet problems.
- Label all belongings – including shoes! – and provide spare, labelled undies in case of accidents; putting labels on the outside of clothing minimises “accidental swaps”.
Your Child’s First Year at School – Getting off to a good start. A guide for parents – Jenni Connor and Pam Linke, 2012
First year at School – Essential Tips for Parents and Carers – Jenni Connor and Pam Linke, 2017
This week, the children walked to the post box to post their Rosh Hashanah cards. We hope families enjoy the excitement of receiving their cards in the post and opening them together with your child.
The Pre-school has been immersed in singing lots of Rosh Hashanah songs, exploring this rich festival through the creative arts and different mediums, such as clay, water colours, paper, drawing and exploring this festival through the senses – tasting apples dipped in honey, hearing the sound of the Shofar, touching and learning about all the symbols for Rosh Hashanah and smelling the delicious honey cake and round raisin challot on Friday.
A Rosh Hashanah message from the Dolphins
- On Rosh Hashanah we blow the shofar to let everyone know it’s Rosh Hashanah and to wake up people’s minds.
- The shofar has a very strong noise, so everyone knows it’s Rosh Hashanah And you think how to be on your best behaviour.
- We let everyone know it’s time to say sorry to people that we hurt.
- We dip apples in honey to have a Sweet New Year.
- The challah is round because the world is round, and the year goes round and round.
- We make the challah round and we sprinkle sugar on top to have a sweet New Year. We put sultanas in the challah.
- On Rosh Hashanah you think about what you want to get better at.
Farewell Ms Birrell
Sadly, we have to farewell our special Music teacher, Ms Birrel this week. Ms Birrell’s music lessons this year have been inspirational, fun and interactive. The children have looked forward to music every Thursday with enthusiasm. They have learnt so many beautiful new songs and Ms Birrel has known just exactly how to engage pre-schoolers in a meaningful and age-appropriate manner. Ms Birrell joined us on Friday for our weekly Shabbat celebration. She was our guest at the Shabbat table and the children gave her lots of messages from the heart and we sang lots of Shabbat songs to farewell her.
We will miss her very much and wish her much happiness and success in her new role. Thank you for making our music lessons such fun.
A thank you message from the Montefiore
Two weeks ago, we sent a special Shabbat video and special drawings and messages to the Montefiore to bring some joy and happiness into the lives of the residents who are very isolated at this difficult time. We feel very happy that we were able to reach out to others in our community to make a difference in their lives. A true example of Tikun Olam from our youngest members of the Emanuel Community.
The residents received our beautiful Shabbat pictures and got to watch our special Shabbat video in small groups.
We received this lovely letter of thanks and some photos of the residents enjoying them both:
Thank you so much for facilitating the Shabbat recording and drawings for our residents. The residents were delighted to watch the video and it really put a smile on their face. Please thank the students at The Kornmehl Centre Emanuel Preschool for brightening up our resident’s day.
We wish a very happy birthday to Phoebe Glikin (5) and Finn Zurnamer (5). We also wish a very happy birthday to our special educator, Renee Schneider, who celebrates her birthday in the first week of the school holidays. We hope you all have a lovely day.
We wish all our Kornmehl families a Shanah Tovah u’metuka – a sweet and happy New Year and well over the fast.