Pre-schools are well placed to develop children’s emotional and social skills. Research has highlighted the difference pre- schools can make to children’s emotional and social skills and ultimately school readiness. The role of pre-schools………
Is your child ready for school? Social & Emotional maturity is more important than Academic ability (Ability to cope in different social situations and emotional steadiness) Can they play simple games with other children, share and take turns Every child is different but in general maturity is directly linked to age Remember, they are moving from a small, more intimate group to one that is larger
Is your child ready for school ?..... By law children can start school if they are four on or before September 30 th. In a typical class there could be an age difference of 18 months The older child has over 20 % more ‘life experience’ The younger child is always competing with children who are older that them. As they mature, the older child also matures, so they have difficulty catching up Consider the long term implications – 12 going to secondary school, 17 going to college …
Being ‘five or nearly five’ Your child is bigger than when they were four and being bigger nearly always helps !!! They generally have - Greater language usage, allowing them to be better understood by their teacher and friends Developed better hand-eye co-ordination and motor skills – opening schoolbags, beakers, holding a pencil etc Greater emotional steadiness and concentration
Younger children (Generally) - Have a shorter concentration span Slower to complete tasks Aren’t as competent at expressing their thoughts Sometimes difficult to understand & be understood Get upset more easily Get tired quickly Find it difficult to negotiate They can be easily dominated and will often accept minor roles in games ………………………………………………
Oral language The language curriculum emphasises developing listening and speaking skills in preparation for beginning of reading and writing It is essential for the social development of children. Children need language to perform common social functions- introducing oneself to others, greeting others and saying goodbye, asking and answering questions, giving and receiving messages, interacting with others and negotiating It is also necessary for their emotional development. They need language to express their thoughts and feelings
Use ‘Descriptive Commentary’ In developing language skills children should be encouraged to Listen Explain Tell Talk Question Retell Play provides an ideal opportunity for children to use language, build their vocabulary and to acquire a variety of linguistic skills. Don’t economise with language. …………………………………………
Children are enabled to Listen to, enjoy and respond to stories, nursery rhymes, poems and songs Become familiar with a wide range of environmental print Learn to recognise and name the letters of the alphabet. Emphasis on the lower case in junior infants Develop an awareness of letter sound relationships and to fuse the sounds of letters into words Build up a sight vocabulary of common words and start reading graded reading books
Read to your child. Story time encourages a love of books and creates an interest in reading. Predict what the story will be about, ask questions about the story and let your child retell the story Pay attention to the mechanics of reading i.e. Holding a book, turning the page, let your finger go under the words as you read from left to right Provide children with an opportunity to handle books Preparation for reading
Say rhymes and riddles Reading is essentially about recognising similar, written and individual sounds and rhymes, the more highly developed childrens ears are the better e.g wall, fall Singing and saying the alphabet. Emphasis on the lower case. Point to each letter. Allow children to handle magnetic letters, soft letters etc.. ………………………………………… Preparation for reading continued ……
Children are enabled to Develop a satisfactory grip of writing elements – pencil, crayon Learn to form individual lower case letters Understand the left, right orientation of writing Copy letters and write words as part of class activities Write his or her name
‘Primary schools do not expect children to be able to write when they come to school. It is far more important that small children have had plenty of opportunity to build up the control in their hands. When the teacher begins to teach formal writing children with well developed muscles will learn to write with ease.’ (‘Ready For School – M. Horan & G O’Brien’ )
The assembly and pulling apart of construction toys Playing with dolls – dressing & undressing. ( Buttons, laces & zips) Manipulating pliable materials such as playdough and marla. ( Pushing, pulling & rolling) Scribbling using thick crayons Painting Cutting ………………………………… How to develop muscles for writing …
Content for Junior infants Early mathematical activities – including matching, classifying, comparing and ordering. Number – including counting (0-10), comparing ( sets of 0-5) and ordering (0-5). Read and write numerals 0-5, combine sets of objects, totals to 5. Algebra – including copying and adding to patterns of colour, shape, size and number. Measurement – including working with length, weight, capacity, time and money. Shape and space – including working with 2-D and 3-D shapes. Data- including sorting objects and understanding and making charts and graphs.
Early mathematical activities Matching - snap, matching pairs of objects! Classifying - putting similar objects in groups e.g same colour, shape, texture, animals, birds etc Comparing – according to length, width, height, quantity e.g The 3 Bears Ordering – ordering objects by length or height. Build towers, use cut outs. Number Counting rhymes and songs – 5 little ducks etc. Birthdays for teddies, play shop ( 2 apples etc), count objects.
Algebra Make simple patterns using beads, pegs, shapes and printing Measurement Length – long/short, tall/short, wide/narrow, longer/shorter Weight – heavy/light, balance, sort objects into heavy or light objects Capacity – full/empty, holds more/holds less Time – morning/evening, night/day,lunchtime, bedtime, early/late, days of the week, yesterday, today, tomorrow, seasons, birthdays Money – recognise and use coins up to 5 cents
Sample Routine Infant day - 9:00- 1.40 Small break-10:50-11:00 Big lunch- 12:30-1:00 First week - 9:00-12:00 Early to bed.... 12 hours sleep ! Tired children - Get upset easily Are irritable Have a shorter concentration span
Punctuality Morning Children can be intimidated walking into a class already in progress Children who are late miss out on activities It interrupts the class Evening Children become anxious if they see other children being collected & they are left behind Attendance 183 days in school year. 20 days unexplained, school must notify the National Education Board.
First Day If you’re feeling upset, don’t show it!!! Don’t arrive too early on the first day... Settle them at a desk with toys. On signal, say ‘see you later! If they’re upset, use distraction e.g start playing with the toys on their desk Don’t peek in the window/door!!
Toilet Training Your child should be fully toilet trained Children should know how to wipe, flush & wash. Hygiene is extremely important as they share toys, crayons, paintbrushes etc.. Provide them with opportunities to use ‘cubicles’ Practice at home with uniform on Accidents at school Headlice
Coats: Independence (Labels) Shoes: Velcro shoes or buckles are best Tracksuit: Worn on P.E. days. Policies vary. Boys trousers: Elasticated waistlines. Weather: The joys of the changes to Irish weather!! School Uniform
Zip bags are easiest to open and close. Clips, drawstrings are difficult to manage Wheelie bags Independence Key rings Check size of books first. School Bag
Lunchbag and box: -Water proof fabric zip up.its -Box that fits in easily Drink: -Bottle / easy to open carton. Avoid beakers -Fits easily into lunchbox / side pocket. Contents: - Sandwich/wrap, fruit (easy to eat e.g peel oranges, berries, bananas, cheese strings, yoghurts. - Spoons for yoghurts. - Easy to open containers. Healthy Eating: - Check School Policy Lunches
Pencil cases Style: Side zip works best. Contents: - Twistables - Triangular junior grip pencils - Rubber -Topper Books: Transparent covers Labels:Label everything your child brings in to avoid upset.
Play pretend school Have a trial run or ten !! with their school bag, lunch box, uniform & coat at home. Children cannot become independent if they cannot manage the equipment you provide Nothing succeeds like success!!
No distractions Writing before colouring Oral homework is equally important Should take around 10 - 15 minutes Realistic expectations Homework
Finally…. Treat it as a natural step in your child’s life Children take their outlook on school from you so if your experience was not a happy one, your child does not need to know !!! Make it up…Their’s will be different..
QUESTIONS? Thank you all for your attention. Lorraine Fitzpatrick