The move up to Reception is an important time for both children and parents.
As they leave the familiarity of the Montessori Nursery on Munster Road to enter reception, it is common for the children to be anxious. We endeavour to manage this change through careful integration of both learning and activities in the Early Years, so that the transition is as seamless as possible.
We maintain small class sizes throughout the School, and many of the Nursery children are already familiar with Preparatory School pupils through joint events and activities, and participating in lessons taught at the Prep, such as music and gym.
Though the SHS Nursery is separated from the Upper School spatially, the two sites are united by the common ground of our holistic ethos, and the shared whole-school activities that all pupils participate in: House Events, Charity Fundraisers, Community Engagement Activities, and Christmas and Summer Concerts.
MANAGING THE TRANSITION
We begin working to settle the children into Reception while they are still in the Upper Nursery, and regular music, art and gym lessons at the Preparatory school help to familiarise them with this environment, as well as staff, easing the transition up to big school.
The children also have the opportunity to meet with their new class teachers while they are in comfortable surroundings of their Nursery classroom, then later visit the reception classrooms in small groups with one of their Nursery teachers.
This enables them to experience their new classrooms, see the activities that the Reception students undertake, meet their older peers, and play in the playground!
During this “settling-in” time, we focus on personal, social and emotional development, and the children are encouraged to explore their environment, join in to classroom activities and build relationships with their peers and staff.
Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum planning and progress mapping is integrated across the Nursery and Reception classes, so that Reception teachers have a holistic picture of each child’s development and how to support them both academically and socially as they move up the classes.
Our Reception classes maintain a Montessori teaching method which focuses on “whole-child” development and uses Montessori materials. This also helps to link the Early Years classes and bridge the gap between Upper Nursery and the reception class.