Well, here we are again – the summer term; a time of transition, moving on from nursery and pre-school towards Reception year. We wrote about this very subject three years ago, and noted that there wasn’t an agreed national definition for the term ‘School Ready’, and guess what?! There still isn’t!
By not having an agreed, single definition of what ‘School Readiness’ really is makes it a lot harder for families to actually understand what is being prioritised, and how they can support their child move into the reception year.
Here at Boogie Mites, we have thought about this a lot, and our School Ready music programme is perfect for supporting that transition for families and settings. Boogie Mites recognises that although there is no one definition, every one we have come across incorporates these 5 areas:
- Social skills – group skills such as turn taking and co-operation
- Communication skills – confident to communicate their thoughts, ideas and needs
- Physical skills – active and healthy
- Literacy and Maths foundations – Practice with sequencing and patterns. Be able to hear the sounds in the order in which they occur throughout the word when they start in year R so that they are ready to start Year R phonics work. If they are behind they may never catch up.
- Parents empowered to support their child’s development
Our School Ready music programme fits into the ‘Letters and Sounds: Phase One strategy’ and is designed to include the children, families and schools together. This supports UNICEF’s description of School Readiness, which many organisations refer to whilst developing their understanding of the term. UNICEF identifies three pillars of school readiness: children’s readiness for school, school’s readiness for children and the family’s readiness for school, and recognises that they overlap and are all integral to the process. We also know that school readiness is not necessarily about the child possessing defined RAW skills (Reading, Arithmetic, Writing) before entering Reception, but about being socially and emotionally ready, whilst being enthused and excited to learn.
This is where parents and schools are vital in ensuring those broader skills are developed this term and over the summer. For many years, Boogie Mites programmes have been providing children, parents and Early Years settings with a platform for partnership working. Our sessions and structured courses have empowered parents and practitioners to use music to support children’s learning and development in an informal, fun and yet effective way, increasing confidence and skills ready for school. And we can prove it with evidence-based research through Chichester University.
Many of our customers use EYPP funding to purchase our School Ready music programme and run their own transition course for parents. Our parent workshop packs provide the resources and training video to support sharing of this knowledge and confidence with parents, encouraging home practice. What’s more, Boogie Mites Programmes do everything that EYPP funding should aim to do:
- Upskill your workforce (with music leading skills)
- Provide creative, multi-sensory, engaging, activities focused on strengthening literacy foundations, that can be practiced everyday (you won’t get bored of them)
- Involve parents to impact home learning (and develop relationships with parents)
You can also watch this video to see how a pre-school setting in West Sussex spent the EYPP budget to introduce Boogie Mites School Ready Literacy and Maths programmes in 2015 and got their children ready for school.
Transitions don’t have to be testing – they can be fun, informal, empowering and supportive for children, families and settings. You just need Boogie Mites to bring it all together!