“Nowadays, children can start school as young as 4 years and one day. From being the biggest child in a peer group of 8 in the care of an Early Years- trained Key Worker, a child moves into a class most often of more than 20 with a teacher and Classroom Assistant. Accustomed to being one of the biggest children, playing in a garden in the care of several well-known Nursery staff she/he has to cope with being one of the smallest in a playground supervised by a teacher. At mealtimes, instead of eating with a small group of peers served by his Key Worker, she/he has to cope with eating in a big hall. Pre School staff at Oaklands work towards preparing every child to make starting school a happy and confident experience.
Communication skills and language development are vital and we regard every activity as an opportunity to develop language, vocabulary and good, clear speech. Story telling, nursery rhymes, singing songs, telling “news” to staff and peers at Circle Time all play an important part in our work. It is vital that children hear clear, correct speech from adults. If a child makes a mistake we do not say it is wrong, rather staff are trained to repeat using the correct grammar.
In order to start children towards Reading Readiness we use “Jolly Phonics” the same system as the schools. We sing the songs in Pre School every day. We often ask parents to help by e.g. pointing out objects at home which start with the “weekly letter” or ask for the loan of objects to display on the e.g.”t for table”
There are countless opportunities to develop mathematical skills..e.g.counting when climbing stairs, when buttoning up a coat, when counting out sweets to share, “how many 250ml. bottles of water to fill a 500ml. bottle?” half full, quarter full etc.
Meal times provide an opportunity for sharing/dividing.”.how many children would like…”.
To develop self -confidence and a good self-image we believe one of the greatest gifts we can give a child is our time and our attention