- What does the Government mean by school readiness?
- Discover how music supports school readiness
- Read evidence that music is the key at this stage of development
- Boogie Mites Resources to support school readiness – for practitioners and parents
What does ‘school ready’ mean?
Although we are not keen on the term ‘school readiness’, we are stuck using it as the Government use it to refer to the skills that a child needs to prosper (cope with the curriculum) in the Reception year at school (age 4-5 years). These skills include behavioural, social, mathematical and literate capabilities. All of which, when supported and practised in early years, can help close the attainment gap.
Studies have shown that this attainment gap occurs when children of more deprived backgrounds do not have the same opportunities as their peers to fulfil their school ready potential. The focus tends to be on readiness for phonics because children who are not ready by September the year they turn four, will fall behind with phonics -the foundations needed for strong literacy skills- and may never catch up. This results in under-achievement throughout their education.
What is the problem?
In the recent School Ready Report, published by the NAHT and the Family and Childcare Trust, 97% of the 780 respondents said that speech, language, and communication issues were a significant problem for school readiness. This is huge!
So the current strategies are not working, it is time to change the approach and look at the research. Music practice is a scientifically proven means of improving language and communication skills (and many other areas of school ready development). However, music is not currently covered in early years training. In fact, recognised qualifications and studies show that there has been a decline in music practice in early year’s settings over the last 10 years. Which is crazy!
How can we change this?
Boogie Mites are passionate about education through music. There is a wealth of studies from neuroscience that prove the link between music and literacy skills. In a very recent study of 3-6 year olds, it was identified that “early childhood music training can lead to associated improvements in both musical skills and language skills, strengthening the evidence for a developmental link between these two abilities.” Furthermore, an article on the Music Education Works website determined that “the earlier the exposure to active participation in music-making, and the greater the length of that participation, the greater the impact.”
A study also took place in the Department of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University, USA, in which the results “point[ed] to a unique role for temporal regularity processing in the association between musical rhythm and literacy in young children.”
What can you do now to aid the transition to school?
It’s simple. Music holds the key! Boogie Mites can help.
Boogie Mites School Ready Literacy & Maths Programmes are specifically designed for this stage of early years, developing strong foundations for literacy and maths at school, while also supporting social, emotional and physical development (and it’s great fun!)
Getting guardians involved with our parent packs is also key, as the added practise at home over the summer will maximise the benefits that music practice brings to school readiness.
How can I access it?
The Government’s EYPP funding gives extra money to early year’s settings with children from poorer backgrounds. This intends to help them boost children’s key skills, narrow the attainment gap and avoid the tragedy of children who do not fulfil their potential. At Boogie Mites, we work with many nurseries and preschools who have been spending their EYPP funding on up-skilling their practitioners and parents in creative, active music making.
But whether or not you are eligible for government funding, an investment in our music packs, which includes a training DVD, not only makes the day to day planning, leading and engagement easy but also accessible -what with online and physical products available- and effective.
Take a look at testimonials from practitioners using Boogie Mites
Our setting recently invested in the Boogie Mites training CD/DVD. I cannot express how thrilled everyone is with the programme. It is practical, easy to use and follow, informative and supportive. We particularly love the way it is presented in a setting, making it realistic to the viewer. It is also an investment as any new staff can easily have access to the training.
We cannot believe the positive results we have had already! Listening and attention skills have really improved and even the more reserved of children are joining in with singing and music making.
Boogie Mites is now permanently scheduled into our daily planning and we are looking at extending the training to our parents. It’s such an easy and fun way of re-enforcing the delivery of the EYFS and the benefits are numerous.
Jo Lovegrove (Manager), Little Smilers, Cranmer Primary School, Mitcham, Surrey
I am a huge fan of your materials, finding you through the fabulous ICAN website. I now have the School Ready CD/DVD and have been using it with my pre-schoolers. As a primary teacher and early years specialist as well as the setting’s SENCO, I recognise high-quality resources when I see them and can’t thank you enough for the great learning and fun we have using your materials, particularly as I am not gifted musically one iota!!!!!!
Faye Flude, Bolnore Village Pre-School, Haywards Heath
The nursery class staff and children love the Boogie Mites songs and we include at least one per day, mainly in our phonics, but they fit in into other parts of our learning very well too. Reception class children are also keen to join in when they hear any of the songs during free-flow. I found the training video useful for demonstrating the songs and for understanding how they linked to the different aspects of Letters & sounds.
Louise Waldram, St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Caddington, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
You can find out more about Boogie Mites School Ready Programmes for use in your pre-school, child-minding setting or Year R here.
Contact Boogie Mites for information about discounts on bulk purchases of CDs/downloads to give out at transition workshops to your parents for home use.
Look out for our next blog post which will have practical ideas for incorporating school ready music practice into your transition activities and involving parents this summer.
For enquiries, contact Sue Newman, Boogie Mites Director on 023 92 817274 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org