News & Events
WAS News News & Events
2022-11-04
Preparing children for the transition into kindergarten

As one school year comes to an end a new school year approaches. This is an important time for kindergarten. Parents are busy visiting different kindergartens and schools, comparing, and contrasting in the hope of finding the best environment for their child. It is during this time that I am often asked how to prepare a child for kindergarten.

Every child's experiences are different, 
therefore, every child's transition is different. 
 

For some the first day is exciting, they arrive happily, ready to embark on their educational journey. For others arriving at a new environment is scary, and suddenly being asked to say goodbye to mums, dads and grandparents is a sad moment, both are completely normal at this age.

What can parents and families do to support and prepare their child for this new adventure?

Routine

Routine and structure are highly important for young children. Going to bed and waking up at the same time and ensuring adequate sleep is essential for preparing a young child. A consistent routine helps young children to feel safe and secure as they know what to expect and when. Routines should be established before children start at kindergarten, as the familiarity of the home routine will help them to adjust to their new environment.

Independence

Starting Kindergarten is often the first time a child leaves their parents or family members. This can be challenging for some children, however, giving the children some independence when managing themselves can help to develop their self-confidence and gives them a sense of control in an unfamiliar situation.
 
You can do this by encouraging your child to put on and take off their shoes by themselves. Help your child to learn how to put on their coat by themselves. Encourage your child to be as independent as possible when going to the bathroom and eating.

We expect children to still require a little support with these things when they arrive in K1 but a little independence goes a long way.

Expectations

Young children can understand far more than we often assume. They have a strong understanding of their immediate world, and any changes can be challenging, therefore, it is essential that children know to expect change.
 

In the weeks before starting kindergarten it is important to talk about the new school. If possible, show your child some photos of the buildings, the classrooms and even the teachers. Talk about what your child might do at kindergarten, so they have some knowledge of what to expect.

Language

Many children joining our kindergarten are new to learning English. This can add to the anxiety for young children. In the weeks before the first day try to begin to introduce a few helpful words such as 'hello', 'goodbye', 'toilet', 'water'. These words will help your child to feel more comfortable when meeting their foreign teacher and will help them to express their needs.

What does WASHZ Kindergarten do to support the transition?
 
On the first day of school children are greeted by their new teachers, parents or family members accompany the children into the classroom to have a look around and find out where their new coat peg is. Children are shown where the bathrooms are, have an opportunity to explore the classroom and the outside area. Parents can meet the teachers in a relaxed environment and begin to build the parent-school partnership.

Routine

Throughout kindergarten we have a clear structure and timetable, and, with the exception of swimming lessons, most days follow the same structure. This means that children know what to expect each day and they are prepared for the next step.

Independence

From the first day at kindergarten, we encourage and support children to be independent. Teachers are always on hand to help but as much as possible we ask children to change their shoes, put their coats away and put their water bottles on the shelf by themselves.

Unique Child

At WASHZ Kindergarten our educational philosophy is underpinned by the knowledge that Every Child Can Excel. We support each child during their transition period as an individual and work closely with parents. 
 

Some children are encouraged to bring photos of family members, cuddly toys or comforters to help ease the transition, we are flexible and student-focused and always aim to find the best solution for each child.

Positive Relationships and Enabling Environments

Positive Relationships and Enabling Environments
 
Before children are ready to learn they must feel safe and secure in their new environment. At the beginning of the year, we spend a long time getting to know each child, forming positive relationships between teachers and child and familiarizing them with their new classroom. 
Only once children are truly settled and happy will they be ready to learn.


Every teacher is dedicated and committed to providing the best learning experience for all children in our care, not only during their transition period but throughout their time at kindergarten. 

Through our individualized approach we hope that every child will flourish.