With the end of the year fast approaching and many children attending school transition programs, it is a timely reminder of just how important a child’s social and emotional development is, in readiness for more formal schooling. We know that young children grow and develop at an incredible rate during the kindergarten years, and a high quality early childhood program delivered by exceptionally qualified and experienced teachers will ensure that they are well prepared for school. It is essential however, that we do not lose sight of just how significant these early years are in laying the foundations for the rest of the child’s learning journey.
“Strong, loving and nurturing relationships continue to be a high priority as children begin to develop a sense of competency, self-efficacy and positive self regard” (Marbina, Mashford-Scott, Church and Tayler, 2015)
At the very core of Preshil’s philosophy in the Kindergarten are the relationships that staff develop with the children and their families. It is central to the building of secure attachments with caregivers and allows the children to flourish in their learning environment as they navigate friendships, routines and the acquisition of new skills necessary for life long learning.
Social and emotional wellbeing is viewed as one of the most important components to a successful transition into school. Whilst we acknowledge that there are many other skills that will support a smooth and positive start to school, at Preshil we place great importance of how well our children can develop loving relationships that are going to help them to feel secure, safe and connected to their surroundings.
These relationships will give them the confidence to take risks and be an active participant in their learning. We want our children to be curious and to ask questions, in order to deepen their understanding of the world around them. We want our children to be resilient and motivated by their own desire for learning, rather than by a reward or fear of a consequence. We want our children to be open to new possibilities and eager to contribute their ideas and opinions.
All of these dispositions for learning provide a strong foundation for school readiness. The Victorian Early Years Learning Development Framework (VEYLDF) identifies the importance of developing a strong sense of wellbeing (Outcome 3) and recognises the child’s need to be able to self-regulate and manage emotions as essential components of social and emotional wellbeing.
Term 4 is such a lovely time of the year, with warmer weather, more time outdoors in nature and the opportunity for so many celebrations of learning.