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School Readiness as a concept

Australia | General information | Popularity - 0/10
As an educator in early education and care settings, I have always been fascinated by and read a lot into Reggio Emilia approach. I believe in viewing each child as capable, and planning an environment in view of that. I particularly love their work on the hundred languages which explores the important role of creativity in self expression for young children. I also believe in action research for educators, and I believe that children learn best through a collaborative approach where children, families and educators work together. This is my background and foundation in developing education program’s for Handprints ELC. Killara Preschool
But within an education program, school readiness is a complex term. We start preparing children for school in the youngest rooms, but it is discussed much more the older they get. This year, I’m a setting where I have been teaching in a 4-5years room, I completed a research project on the concept in terms of parent expectations, connections with local schools, and early childhood teacher perspectives.
What I found was that there was differences and similarities from all three. Each stakeholder working towards a child’s readiness for school had a different belief into what was important. This is not really acceptable for young children who need consistency!
So I began to develop goals for children based on the expectations of the teachers (year 1 at 2 schools nearby), myself, fellow educators, and parents. I then put them out to the families so we could work more collaboratively in preparing children for this transition.
Goal 1.
Children need a strong sense of identity, an understanding of self, and a belief in self. We want to send children to school with an understanding that they can do anything, that through hard work, practice and confidence, they will achieve their own goals!!
Goal 2.
Children will develop a lifelong love of learning. We need to teach the word ‘learn’ to children so they develop excitement about the concept of learning! There is so much excitement about finding out or doing something new and they need to know this is learning so they love the concept of learning.
Goal 3.
Children will develop a sense of wonder. We want to create children who ask questions and challenge ideas. Children who are not afraid to theorise, even if their theories are not always correct. To wonder and question the world is a commitment to ongoing learning!
Goal 4.
Children must develop self help skills. This includes emotional resilience, negotiation, care for their own belongings. There is so many smaller aspects of this that will actively assist with a transition from smaller to larger groups of peers. Killara Childcare
Goal 5.
A connection to the early years and school curriculums. Particularly in terms of childrens mathematical and literacy learning we need to connect our learning to best prepare children for what they are learning in school. Educators should have a complex understanding of what they will learn in the first year of school and teach the foundational skills to work towards this.
These are our 5 goals of school readiness I will be using at Handprints ELC! Interestingly they also have strong foundational links to the philosophy we developed based on the input from families and educators.
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