Continuity between Toddlers Turf Childcare Centre and your child's primary school experience is very important to you and to us. We strive to ensure that your child arrives at school with a good foundation in the basic skills s/he will need. A strong foundation will enable your child to approach this new environment with confidence and enthusiasm.
At Toddlers Turf Childcare Centre this starts from the first day your child attends. Skills such as self-help, self-control and communication are vital skills that all children must learn in order to be a contributing member of society. These skills do not start when your child reaches a certain age and begins to attend a 'transition to school group'. These skills are developing from birth and need nurturing from that day forward.
We often get questions such as 'when will you teach my child to read', 'when will you teach my child to write his name', 'learn the alphabet', and other questions based upon academic achievement. These are the things parents are often most concerned about and consider to be the most important things a child must know before starting school.
If you ask a new entrance teacher what they consider to be the most important things a child needs to know before starting school, the list will be quite different. Teachers would like children to be able to open and close their school bags, to know how much food to eat at morning tea and how much to save for lunch. They want children to know how to use the toilet unsupervised, how to wipe their nose and keep themselves clean. How to make friends and work alongside others cooperatively.
Children do not need to know all the answers but they do need to be able to ask the questions. Paying attention, sitting still and concentrating on a task may not be easy for your child but these very skills will make up a big part of your child's school day. Being able to occupy his or herself in a class of twenty or more children is very important. If on top of those attributes your child can write his or her name, recognise the names and the sounds of some letters of the alphabet, know about colours, shapes and numbers that is the 'cherry on the top'.
A Toddlers Turf Childcare Centre we start practicing these skills from day one and continue up until the day your child waves us goodbye and starts school. We help develop that 'cherry on the top' with our transition to school activities. When your child participates in our transition to school activities many of the skills we aim to hone have already been developed in the preceding years.
So how do our transition to school activities help your child become even more ready for school? The children who participate in this programme have all turned four or thereabouts (if a younger child wants to join in they are very welcome). The activities happen when our younger children are sleeping so it is peaceful, calm and quiet. All that can be heard from our littlies is the gentle hum of z z z z z. Ahh bliss.
Our older children gather together and work alongside two teachers who provide activities that are a little bit different than what is available throughout the day. There may be cutting, drawing, creative writing, storytelling, matching games and sizing activities. They may be outside developing skills that will enable them to climb the monkey rings in a different way than usual, or they may be playing group games such as duck, duck goose, which teaches about turn taking.
The teachers have different expectations of the children involved in the transition to school activities. They encourage your child to take safe risks, to try something they perhaps would not normally want to and of course to practice writing their name, recognise the names and the sounds of some letters of the alphabet, know about colours, shapes and numbers so they will have the 'cherry on the top'.
Lunch box day is something else we offer, the children find this enormous fun and of course makes them feel very special. This is usually for the oldest eight children in the ‘transition to school group’. A wide array of bread, crackers, spreads, fillings and fruit and vegetables are provided. The children bring their lunch boxes, prepare and pack their own morning tea and lunch. This enables children to understand that when they go to school they have to learn to save some food for lunch and not eat it all for morning tea!
The choice is wide and varied far too much to write here. If you would like to know how your child will benefit from attending Toddlers Turf Childcare Centre and our transition to school activities please call us 09 263 9680 we will be happy to provide you with more information.