Starting school is an important milestone for every child and their family. Every year between January and July we focus our efforts on preparing children for the next stage in their learning.
Starting school needs to be handled with sensitivity and the transition well prepared for to ensure every child gets the best start in life. Coronavirus lockdown has stopped this process and for some children they have missed out on the vitally important preparation process.
Did you know that you can delay your child’s place at school for up to two terms?
There are many benefits now more than ever for your child to remain with Busy Bees for an additional term, or even two terms. The government states that a child must start full-time education once they reach compulsory school age. This is on 31 December, 31 March or 31 August following their fifth birthday - whichever comes first. A delay in starting school may support a child’s emotional wellbeing by giving them the confidence to start reception when they are mentally and physically prepared.
Careful consideration needs to be given to children who may not be quite ready to be in a school environment just now. Maybe they need a little more time preparing or to be in a familiar environment to extend their independence skills or confidence building. They may just need a little extra time with their friends and to restart the relationship with other children. An extra term with us could help them to get to grips with the expectations of school life. The right preparation will enable children to integrate fully with their peers in the term they start and the additional confidence will enable them to adjust to school life better prepared.
How do Busy Bees support your decision to delay your place at school?
We are committed to supporting you and your family, so should you decide to delay your child’s school start date and stay at Busy Bees. We will work with you to source Local Authority funding and to confirm that your child’s place at school will be honoured. Staying with Busy Bees will mean that your child will have access to our exclusive enhanced school readiness programme developed by our academic experts to provide a comprehensive curriculum, ensuring your child is supported both with their academic skills and their emotional well-being.
Making the difficult decision to delay your child’s start date will not have an impact on the security of their school placement.
Busy Bees Programme to fast track your child to school readiness
A baseline assessment will be completed to identify the areas that are stronger for each child and the areas that need further support in school readiness. Following an initial assessment the key teacher will focus on teaching the key skills through a weekly learning timetable. These bespoke activities prepare and build each child for the types of activities that they would be offered in a school environment and span over the term from September to December and January to March. This would enable you to start your child at school in either January or after Easter half term.
At Busy Bees children will be working in smaller key groups so there will be more support from the child’s key person this will help to build their confidence within smaller key groups until they are ready to engage within the larger and less closely supported classroom of a school with a higher ratio of children to staff.
The timetable will cover all aspects of school readiness for a child of four and five years of age, a more enhanced experience for the older children within pre-school. This set curriculum will enable your child to have all the key skills required for their own ability in preparation for starting school with confidence. Research for this programme has included time spent in reception class and with reception teachers to establish the fundamental skills that a teacher requires a child to have when they enter their reception year.
Throughout the period there will be an ongoing assessment of the key skills your children will be working towards and achieving and at the end of the enhanced school readiness programme an overall assessment will be produced to inform your child’s school of the developments they have achieved which we be in line with the key milestones they would have a achieved if in a school environment. The advantage being that due to lower ratios the skills can be reinforced and become more embedded.
Transition to school
Whether you decide to start your child at school in January or Easter term, support will be given to fully transition your child into school ensuring communication is taking place with their teachers. Our Educators will make contact with the school and teacher and will work with you to give each child a full transitional period into school, giving them the emotional support needed to move on to their next stage of learning, starting their reception year when they are both mentally and physically ready and giving you peace of mind.
It is our aim to support you as parents when making these decisions whilst ensuring you have complete confidence that your child’s school readiness and learning will always be the most important focus.