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SEVEN WAYS A GOOD PRESCHOOL PROGRAM CAN HELP YOUR CHILD PREPARE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL

There is absolutely no doubt that attending a high-quality preschool program is essential for preparing your child to enter primary schooling. In fact, research has shown a significant benefit in children attending at least 600 hours of an early childhood education program in the year prior to school. Newer research has also indicated there is a significant benefit in enrolling children in a preschool program for the two years prior to starting school. Children who have attended a preschool program to prepare for school benefit from enhanced early language development, literacy and overall school achievement. The preschool program at Heritage House focuses on seven key areas to prepare children for school success.





Social Independence


Social independence is critical in the transition to formal school, so children can be seen and heard by peers and teachers. Young children usually rely heavily on a caregiver in order to communicate their needs and navigate new environments. At Heritage House, we gently and gradually develop increasing social independence in our children by teaching them how to speak up in a group, advocate for their own needs and navigate a classroom environment. By the time they are transitioning to primary school, our students have the necessary social confidence to enter a group classroom setting all by themselves. What’s more, attending preschool equips children with the skills of making new friends, cooperating with their peers, listening and following instructions and conducting conversations with peers and teachers. These are all essential skills for children attending school and will ensure they thrive socially as well as academically.





Communication Skills


At Heritage House, we focus on advancing pre-schoolers' communication skills, building a school-ready level of vocabulary as well as skills in expressing empathy, exercising self-control and high-level listening skills. By exposing children to the kind of language and vocabulary they will experience at school, we ensure that children are ready to fully participate in primary school programs without feeling left out or confused about what their teacher is trying to communicate to them. We also practice the skill of active listening (including exercising self-control in terms of sitting still, not talking while others are talking etc) which is absolutely essential to school success. We practice communication skills in fun and engaging ways including reading books aloud, taking turns acting out stories, singing and other activities where children must cooperate as a group.





Numeracy


A good preschool program will help children integrate mathematic concepts and reasoning in order to solve real-life problems or answer questions that come up during their play and exploration. Skilled preschool educators are very experienced at harnessing spontaneous learning opportunities in order to integrate numeracy into a play-based syllabus. Without even knowing they are actively learning, children will begin to establish basic numeracy skills such as understanding numbers, counting, measuring, noticing patterns and simple addition and subtraction. Developing these concepts in pre-schoolers will allow them to excel in numeracy during their schooling years.





Emotional Intelligence


The transition to big school is a major life event for children and they will need to have emotional resilience and plenty of strategies to manage their big emotions in this new and sometimes intimidating context. At Heritage House, we provide the support and guidance for our pre-schoolers to understand and manage their emotions in positive ways. This involves both identifying emotions as they arise and understanding strategies to deal with emotions in ways that are healthy, developmentally appropriate and not disruptive or harmful to others.





Literacy


One of the most notable benefits of preschool education is a clear advantage in literacy achievement at school. While many people think of literacy as simply learning to read and write, early literacy is more about learning sounds, words and language and a good preschool environment encourage the development of literacy in a number of fun and imaginative ways. The constant communication between educators and children is one of the most subtle but effective ways of developing early literacy, while activities such as reading, singing, rhyming and even joking and playing games can also help develop foundational literacy skills. At Heritage House our educators meet each child at their individual level, tailoring their approach in order to optimally support their literacy development.





STEAM


Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics may sound like advanced and complicated subjects for pre-schoolers but in reality, pre-schoolers have a natural disposition towards these topics due to their innate sense of creativity, curiosity and persistence. A good preschool environment harnesses children’s natural desire to understand how the world works by providing the right environment for exploring, collaborating and communicating in order to find solutions, design and create. Practising these skills in preschool lays the essential foundation for children to excel in STEAM subjects once they reach school age.





General School Readiness


Of course, even if a child has all the necessary skills and competencies to start primary school, taking the first steps into a completely new environment can still be an intimidating and daunting event for any child. That’s why we incorporate a number of specific activities and resources aimed at helping children feel comfortable and familiar with the new school environment. At Heritage House, we have our own tried and tested preschool program which includes our very own Heritage House School Readiness Books. We also work closely with local schools to ensure that our program and practice follows the recommendations of formal schooling.





Sending your child to a preschool you trust can help to ensure they enter primary school with all the foundational skills they need to succeed, as well as the confidence and competence to navigate a new environment and make new friendships and connections. At Heritage House Childcare & Early Learning Centres, we ensure that the transition to school is as smooth and seamless as possible, giving your child the best chance to succeed both academically and socially. Contact us today to talk about enrolling your child in our high-quality preschool program.



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