The end of term is busy, in fact it’s manic!! But finding the time to have a high quality and gentle transition process eases anxiety for everyone! Here’s my top tips for getting the most out of your new reception class’ move up days.
Transition to Reception is a process and not a single event
We all know that the “starting school” day in September is the big event that we’re all aiming for. However, we need to take the time to prepare children for this event, building familiarity with their new environment, the new adults within it and some of the basic expectations and routines. By taking the time to allow children multiple play visits and opportunities to meet the Reception class staff, all stakeholders feel far more at ease with the first day in September.
Get to know your children
Talk to preschools, nurseries and childminders before the initial visits or reception move up days, to get to know a little bit about children including their needs, interests and any extra bits of information that may be important. Try to visit children in a familiar environment before they visit you in your environment e.g. at home or a preschool setting. Try to spend time interacting with the children and use the common ground (such as their interests) or a toy/ puppet from school to engage them and provide a talking point.
Take photos to use in displays in September, such as for peg labels, an achievements board or a Birthday display. This will help children feel more relaxed and an ownership of the environment when they begin in their class on the first day.
Use Circle Time
If you want to have short adult led sessions, then circle time is a great place to start. Ensure carpet times are short, but a circle time is great for introducing everyone. Introduce yourself and share a fun fact or something about you and encourage other staff working in the class to do them same. Then ask children to say their name and share something about them. This is an ideal opportunity to introduce a few rules and expectations linked to listening to others and turn taking.
In the same way as Circle Time, stories are a great way to establish a good relationship with your children. Find out some of their favourites, let them choose or select some of your favourite books about starting school like, Lauren Child’s “I am too absolutely small for school” and “The Colour Monster goes to School” by Anna Llenas.
Set out familiar activities
Don’t overcomplicate things! However free flow you are in your setting, the children will be unfamiliar in the environment and need some guidance about where things are. Try setting out a few activities that will be familiar to the children in each area of learning initially to help to familiarise children with where things are and where they go away.
Play, play, PLAY!
I cannot emphasise this enough- play, play and play! Interact with the children, engage in the activities and show them what a fun place Reception is to be!
I hope you make the most of your move up days for your new reception class and are ready for a seamless start to September!
If you’re after some activity ideas for Move Up Days then you can download them here…
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