One of the most important steps that your child will ever take happens at the age of 3. This is when they enter school in FS1. This sounds incredibly daunting for parents but I can guarantee in my experience in EYFS it is always more difficult for the parents than the children.
It is our job at Regent to work with parents to make sure that this transition is smooth and supportive for both children and parents. We have parent and teacher meetings with the child present in order to show them the classroom environment and meet the teacher without any other children. This gives the child ownership, importance and security for when they finally come into school on the first day of term.
In the coming weeks and months there will also be the opportunity to attend presentations by myself and the EYFS team to help you to get an understanding of the daily structure and the curriculum. These are great opportunities to meet the teachers and to voice any questions that you may have.
When thinking of your child starting FS1 it is important to understand the differences between this setting and their daily home or Nursery routine. From the very start of term the children will be taught using the learning objectives given in the British EYFS curriculum. This includes mark making, counting, shapes, gross motor skills, movement, art, creativity, communication and health and self-care. As well as these curriculum aspects the children are taught Arabic and have weekly music, swimming and PE sessions. These are very busy and engaging days for our children and do not be surprised if they are tired at the end of the day and they cannot recall what they have done at school.
There are many ways to help your child make the transition to school (e.g. toileting, teaching them to feel themselves, sharing and playing with others) but of the above aspects mentioned I believe that communication is the most important. Without communication the children will not be able to discuss their needs, wants and interests which can be huge barriers to learning.
There are many ways that we at RIS assist in this matter. The first way is the initial assessment- this allows the assessor to understand issues (such as difficulty separating from parents, nervousness, difficulty when talking to strangers) that are very normal and not a problem as long as we are aware of them. Once we have the information from the initial assessment we then discuss this with the teacher so that he or she is aware on the first day that they have to be sensitive to the needs of the child.
At RIS we believe strongly at following the passions and interests of children and we have seen the impact that acknowledging these can have on a child’s progress and communication skills. To enable this further from the start of the next academic year children will be bringing in a ‘chatterbox’ these are shoe boxes that the children work with their parents in order to fill them full of things that the child likes or is interested in. The idea behind this is that it will lead to an instant connection between teacher and pupil and it should lead to conversations that the child wants to have therefore enhancing communication opportunities.
At RIS we aim to create innovative, creative, confident learners who can work both independently and collaboratively in a range of situations. We believe this will help to create the imaginative innovators and entrepreneurs of the future and beginning FS1 is the start of that incredible journey.