Reflecting on "school readiness" and transitions to school
Transitions to school and school readiness
We have a long way to go in Australia to apply emerging research about early years appropriate pedagogy to teaching and learning in Kindergarten, pre-school, and preparatory years. There is still massive pressure for early years teachers to 'get children ready for school' in the year before they enter formal schooling. This push down often creates a push back from children who are not developmentally ready to learn in this way. At Phoenix Support for Educators, we strongly advocate for age appropriate pedagogy and believe that there is absolutely no need for a preparatory preparatory (pre-prep) year. We need to give children one last year of childhood, to allow them to grow and develop physically, socially, and emotionally, before attempting to 'institutionalise them' with listening at large group times, sitting for extended periods of time with large groups of children, and learning to write and read before they're ready. It is important for your opinion on this topic to be an informed one - consider the below links then develop your own statement around how you support healthy and successful transition to school and push back on the push down for school readiness.
Australian government links and resources
Foundation paper summary - Age-appropriate pedagogies for the early years of schooling
The Supporting successful transitions: School decision-making tool is a framework to reflect on your school's current transition practices. It can help you work with community partners to identify, plan and implement targeted, evidence-based actions. The framework guides you through a 4-step inquiry process to assess current practices, then develop (and measure the effectiveness of) your transition to school strategies and practices. Use it to maximise your school's readiness to meet the needs of all children and families.