At Toddlers Inn, we start to prepare the children in many ways, from day one, ensuring they are ready for their first adventures at primary school.
School readiness is about your child being independent and emotionally ready to cope with a group of children! We encourage and support our children to become independent learners in an open-ended, child-led environment, valuing what the children say, thereby ensuring they become confident communicators.
Our children learn to hang up their own coats, put on their shoes and coats independently (we have a great trick!), serve their own lunch and help to clear up their plates afterwards. Independent self-care is promoted every day through great role-modelling praise and encouragement from supportive practitioners. Throughout the year, we support children as they learn to access the toilet confidently and wash their hands correctly, encouraging them to try to deal with their own clothing — including zips, buttons and poppers! In the summer term, the children have school clothes and PE kits in our role-play area to help them learn how to put these on and take these off with little support.
Although our setting is predominately child led, we do have routines and provide space for focus times, so the children can share time with adults, listen to instructions when necessary and concentrate for extended periods of time. We ensure the children have lots of open-ended opportunities to develop early-learning skills such as fine motor development, an ability to recognise their own names, make marks, and value and take care of books. Text is displayed throughout the nursery and we always encourage a love of books. We also encourage mathematical language throughout our day and encourage critical thinking and perseverance.
School Readiness doesn’t mean that children have to be able to write their own names — this should only be encouraged when the children themselves show signs that they are ready. But building confidence to make marks and form shapes and letters is a great start.
We have an Early Years Teacher, who ensures our team provide fantastic learning opportunities, and text-rich environments — both of which ensure the children receive all the necessary skills and language to prepare them for school. We allow the children time to access our enriching, enhanced activities — including Phonics and Science clubs. We also encourage them to take part in a programme we share with local primary schools and nurseries to promote a common language and love of familiar books, so they can share them confidently with new friends and teachers at the start of their primary school journey. This includes Owl Babies and You Choose, along with accompanying activities.
Here at Toddlers Inn, we know that children need to have time for fresh air and opportunities to explore the outside world, so they can learn to challenge ideas and develop independent thinking. We use our wonderful outside spaces to this advantage, so that as well as our children learning that the world around them needs to be cared for, they become naturally curious, confident and creative — which makes them more than ready for school!
Mighty Oaks from tiny acorns grow!