GETTING READY FOR FOUNDATION 3

By Krystyna Smolenski, head of Foundation Years, and Angie Candial, Nursery Coordinator

Following pedagogical reflection in our Foundation Years Team, we have prepared a new Adaptation Programme for our Nursery 2 learners transitioning to Foundation 3. From next Monday, N2 children will be spending time in small groups in F3 classrooms to start getting to know the space, the teachers and the teaching assistants.

They will also be spending some afternoons at the boat playground with their prospective teachers to start building first bonds with them. In June, N2 parents will be invited to a meeting with the F3 teachers to clarify any initial doubts and fears surrounding the transition from Nursery. All children in F3 will have an option to ease into their September school routine with shorter days, after agreeing with the class teachers on their family preferences for the adaptation period.

School adaptation is usually known as the transition that children go through when they attend kindergarten for the first time. In a narrow view, the idea behind adaptation is that children should not go to kindergarten for the length of agreed-upon timetable until they have had a chance to adapt to their surroundings.

However, in a divergent, wider view this is far from the truth. Children are not the only ones who have to go through this adaptation as also educators and families do. During this process, these active agents will readjust to the changes that are taking place in their closest context. Even though children are known for their resilience and adjustment skills, when they attend school for the first time, a separation between the main attachment figure and the child takes place. From this moment on, the microsystems of the infant (themselves, their family and their school) will have to collaborate to help the child to develop a subsidiary attachment with their new educator. Children will transition from their home, which is their safe haven, to a new and unknown environment with new peers and adults. And as most of you know, building a close relationship takes time and this is no different for children. This is the main reason why our school plans and collaborates with our new families to design an adaptation proposal that promotes both child and family well-being.

Our Adaptation Programme will be:

  • Targeting learners’ motivation to come to school cheerfully
  • Stimulating learners’ social skills to enable them to integrate into the new classroom community and find a suitable position (to eliminate exclusion in the future)
  • Creating an inclusive environment (respecting the possibilities and abilities of each child, creating individual conditions)
  • Encouraging teamwork of teachers, parents, educators
  • Flexible (teachers can adapt it or be inspired by family and child input).

We are looking forward to seeing the benefits of this Adaptation Programme in September 2022.