Children can join the Pre-School as ‘Rising threes’ during the term of their third birthday and families sometimes use this term as a gentle introduction to Pre-School life. In the term after the child is three, you can claim the 15 hours universal childcare funding or, for qualifying families, the 30 hours extended funding.
As well as being an important time in its own right, Pre-School is a place where we support the development of children’s ‘school readiness.’ Being able to manage self-care independently; listen to others; take turns in play and in conversation; manage and talk about feelings; and take an active role as part of a group, are essential skills, not just for school but for all aspects of life. It is also essential that children are supported to develop their pre-reading and pre-writing skills. They need the core strength to be able to sit still, the gross and fine motor skills that enable them to use a pencil effectively and comfortably, visual and auditory discrimination skills and a genuine interest in books, numbers and learning. By the end of their time in Pre-School, we expect all children to understand that they are capable learners and that they can achieve anything if they keep trying!
In St Teresa’s EYFS, we ensure there is a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. During child initiated learning, our dedicated and experienced staff interact with the children, supporting and extending their learning. We take time to observe children so that we can identify interests, and understand their current levels of development. This focus enables us to quickly identify any barriers to learning and plan opportunities that will enable children to make further progress. As children mature, they become more able to participate in adult led activities and the balance of child initiated and adult led learning changes accordingly.
As children become interested in the sounds in words, it is important that we talk to them using the ‘pure’ (or shortest) sound. The links below explain this further:
Our Reception Class Teacher Mrs McLarty and Teaching Assistant Mrs Trott visit the Pre-School regularly to work with the children. This, as well as the close proximity of the two classes and the shared areas, ensures that the transition process is as smooth as possible so that when the children start Reception, they are ready to learn and can ‘hit the ground running.’