Supporting Lilli's school ready transition
Sue Smith is an Outstanding Childminder and PACEY Local facilitator in Cambridgeshire. She has cared for Lilli since she was just 8 months old. Sue’s supporting Lilli as she leaves nursery and prepares for school.
Today was Lilli’s last day at nursery. I went in with Lilli and her mummy to chat with her nursery teacher. We completed the final pages of Lilli's learning journal together, recording her journey through nursery. I’ll then be able to pass this learning journal to her reception teacher when she starts there in September.
These transitions affect everyone. Mummy cried on Lilli’s last day at nursery – she was sad to be saying goodbye to the nursery as Lilli had received such wonderful care and support during her time there.
We have been to Tesco today for our first of three Farm to Fork educational visits, and I used this as an opportunity to buy Lilli a journal to track her time with me over the summer holidays and record all the lovely things we do. The idea is for her to take this into her new Reception class in September, full of her memories to recall. It will be passed to Mummy and Daddy for their input as well as Lilli’s, and we will be adding photos memories as well as written pieces too.
When I suggested making a book with all her memories of the holidays with me and the lovely times she will have with Mummy and Daddy over the summer holiday time, Lilli said “do you mean a diary?” She is one step ahead of me!
Being a Princess is one of Lilli’s interests. She will play for sustained periods of time either in role play being a Princess herself or with small figurines as they engage in communication and make-believe play.
I asked Lilli's Mummy if Lilli would like to come dressed as a Princess for this particular day, to which she replied to her Mummy: “I don't need to wear a pretty dress to be a Princess!”...so she arrived in a dress with a pretty tiara!
We talked lots about Lilli's interest in Princesses, engaging her in a subject which is clearly very much close to her heart! This links very well to her time at nursery as her interests were noted there as role play, playing Princess and animals.
Following these interests ensures continuity for Lilli as we talk further about her new class and new friends she will make, reassuring her with positive communication and how they will love to join Lilli in role play. This links to Understanding the World as we talked about what Princesses would wear and where they would live.
Lilli engaged fully in the making of her Princess hat, and told me she was like Rapunzel. Her communication skills are very good at being able to remember key events in stories which interest her, and talk about these at length! The making of the lovely hat met outcomes within Expressive Art and Design, that Lilli enjoys very much.
Lilli’s holiday started with a visit to the Zoo. Lilli loved looking at all the animals especially monkeys, pointing to features like fingers and nails!
The Zoo celebrated Year of the Bear playing all the familiar songs that Lilli learnt at the nursery, reminding her of the performance she did before the end of the term.
Lilli misses her nursery teachers, asking me if they could come to her birthday party but she is very excited to go to 'Big School'! She understands the fact that she is not coming back to the nursery. She knows she is having holiday now and then she starts going to school.
We had a nice walk to the town to get some books from the library. Lilli found a lovely book about sharing and when we started reading it she made a comment that "it's fun to share with friends". I notice that Lilli started to recognise simple words like 'no' and 'yes'.
Lilli had a fantastic day playing with her older friend Jessica. The girls also talked about school. Jessica talked about moving from Infant School to Junior School and Lilli talked about her new class. She showed Jessica the school booklet with the photo of her new class teacher.
We had our second visit to Tesco for the Farm to Fork activity session where children learned more about the food they eat, their health benefits as well as their origins.
Fruits were offered to the children that they may not have tasted before. Lilli was fairly withdrawn and although she will eat lots of different fruits from her lunch bag she did not want to taste these during our morning.
We turned this into a game to try and get Lilli to try the fruits, by sequencing three various fruits which I know she enjoys – blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.
I asked Lilli to 'help me' to sequence these in any way she would like. She completely understood the instruction to 'sequence' and proceeded to place a set of three fruits in a line, repeating the pattern until all the fruit was used.
I then made a joke with Lilli, saying “don't eat the fruit Lilli!” She did just this, which was the whole point of the exercise and had a very big smile on her face after too.
Thursday was another busy morning as we joined with childminders and children in our local library for a lovely story time session with our local book shop owner.
Lilli was enthralled with the stories, many of which she knew from her nursery class and she could recite the words as well as the actions of stories such as The Grufallo.
Lilli loved decorating sunglasses with stickers and counted the stickers of the same type and design before applying them to her project.
This was a great morning for Lilli to show her listening and doing skills. From the sitting still at story time to listening to the instructions for the activity, Lilli did really well. As the photo shows, Lilli showed great empathy to her younger friend who was not very interested in decorating her own glasses until Lilli offered to help. A lovely offer of friendship!
This morning Lilli was able to express her art and design as she made her choice of animal to decorate at our Crackpots ceramic painting session.
Working independently, and matching the numbers on top of the paint bottles to the numbers on the tile which showed the finished colours, Lilli carefully made her choices of colours to paint her duck.
This shows a fun side to mark making with paint and exploring numbers as Lilli understood the relevance of numbers in this activity and their importance of representing a colour.
First fortnight at school!
Lilli was taken into school by her Mummy for her first day in reception class. Here she would mix with some familiar faces of children who attended the nursery class which is situated within the same school, and some faces would be new to Lilli so it was very reassuring for her Mummy to see how quickly she settled. The Reception teacher is also known to Lilli as I have provided childcare for her own little girl for the last 12 months and so Lilli has seen the teacher when she arrives at the setting for collection of her daughter; I think this familiar face of her new teacher as also given her some reassurance in the first few weeks.
I collect Lilli from her class each day after school and it is just lovely to see how settled and happy she is. Lilli has made some new friends, and after a conversation with her class teacher, it is so rewarding to hear how she has settled so well, is coping with the new routines including lunchtime as well as the longer week, now being in school for five days compared to the two and a half days of Nursery. Having said this, Lilli did ask to sit in the buggy when we had stopped at the park for a play after school on the Friday afternoon of her first full week, and consequently was asleep within 5 minutes!
Lilli is making new friends and is confident in class, and on a Thursday and Friday evening after school she will spend time in my setting until 6pm when collected by her Mummy and Daddy. This has been a really good chance to talk with Lilli and reflect on the first two full weeks of her time in her new class. She has shared some lovely experiences, bringing some of these back to the setting.