Parents is your child commencing Toftwood School in September 2019?
We are currently looking around schools and Elijah has been looking around with wonder, itching to go but I know him, and it takes him a while to settle into somewhere new, with new people.
He is a fan of routine and we have to talk about something lots before he is fully comfortable as he then knows what to expect.
I have had friends that have children who have started school this year, and know that when it comes for them to start they are eased in slowly, but these normally occur the first couple of weeks of the school term.
Settling in sessions
I remember vividly Elijah coming to Little Owls for settling in sessions and how important they were for him to get used to his keyworkers, the other children and the setting as well.
There is something that Little Owls offers, that I don’t believe other nurseries do to help those starting school next year transition. Little Owls offers a school visit to Toftwood Infant School whereby all children who will be attending Toftwood school the following September will get the opportunity to attend an activity morning every term from October for those starting school next year.
As many will know Little Owls and in particular Hoots After School and Holiday Club work very closely with Toftwood Infant School and are part of the Toftwood Nursery and Pre-School Partnership.
Along with other nearby nurseries and preschools the children will go along with their key workers to explore a different class room on each visit, as well as beginning to see that the school routine is similar to Barn Owls which is play, free flow outside play, snack (which I was told was some very nice apples by Elijah!) story time and some more free flow play.
I believe it is important for them children to gain confidence and get used to the school routine with their nursery peers and key workers whom they are comfortable with, and have built a strong bond with.
From looking around the schools, Elijah has become very excited, and he had been looking forward to his visit.
The children had been asked to wear their Little Owls uniform so they were easily indefinable from the other settings which attended which were; Toftwood Nursery Pre-School and William Cowper Pre-School and Nursery. We (parents) had been asked to sign a permission slip beforehand too.
Despite being tad under the weather Elijah was determined to make it on his school visit on Monday and hasn’t stopped talking about it!
Barn Owl staff took the children across whereby they had to each hold onto a rope from Little Owls to the walk to Toftwood Infant School. Upon the walk, they were encouraged to think about road safety and look left and right when they crossed the road.
Elijah was as I predicted a little shy to begin with, and stuck to his keyworker quite closely but this is why I think the visits are so important. He was able to gain confidence, and get comfortable in the new
setting with someone he knew and trusted and by the end of the morning had thrown himself in, and even made some new friends!
There were lots of activities on offer such as peg boards, a dinosaur world, a large sand pit (there was evidence of this in Elijah’s ears), a kitchen area and outside building area. The activity mornings are a great way for the children to learn and engage in a school setting together.
Elijah has already asked when he gets to go to school next!
These visits put my mind a rest somewhat as I know that they are a great way for him to begin the transition from nursery to school which is a big change for him (and me!) and I believe he will settle in better when he starts school next year.
To see how excited Elijah was to tell me about school, what they had, what he did and that he played chase with some new friends is enough proof that these activity mornings are so beneficial to the children.
One thing that I think sets Little Owls apart is their experience. The knowledge they have for running nurseries for many years and knowing what helps, and benefits the children such as introducing them to school now in a comfortable and interactive way for the children.
As a parent, I am so grateful for these visits, to hear how he found being there, how he interacted with others provides me with some reassurance that come September he will be okay.
Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog, founded and runs The NICU Parent Partnership Organisation and co-hosts @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club. You can contact her via her blog or social media; Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn