It’s ‘Big School’ Time!

Open door with a Welcome to Kindy Group poster.

Going to ‘big school’ can be a mixed bag of feelings for all involved – excitement, stress, anxiety – as children are met with new expectations, environments, as well as demands on their communication skills. It’s a significant milestone and transition for both little people + parents alike! In January 2022, two of our early intervention speechies, Jasleen and Rosie, ran a ‘Getting Ready for Kindy’ group. We held the 3-day intensive program in the Kindy rooms at Blacktown South Public School, which allowed the children to practise their skills in a ‘real life’ environment. It was a fantastic venue, and we are thankful for the school’s generosity!

In this group, we focused on four skill areas, all of which are super important for school readiness:

Four skill areas that we focus on in the Kindy group that are important for school readiness are Routine, Social Skills, Language, and Early Literacy
We use a two column chart to visualize a predictable routine. Activities "Whole Group" and "Morning Tea" in the To-Do column and "Free Play" in the Finished column.

The children engaged in big and small group activities where they were given opportunities to practise these skills. Predictable routines, explicit teaching, and modelling were key teaching strategies used to support the children to succeed.

Kindy group participants observe a peer draw.

Each day involved a mix of structured and less-structured activities. For example, structured activities included table-top language and early literacy games, as well as group book reading and discussion. These gave the children a chance to practise skills such as waiting their turn, asking and answering questions, and routines such as sitting on the floor or at a table.

Kindy group participants observing a peer draw on a box.

Less structured activities such as decorating a box in a small group or playing with hoops outside provided opportunities to practise tricky skills like suggesting a new idea, listening to other’s ideas, and negotiating.

Two Kindy group participants involved in an activity with Jasleen, one of our early intervention speech pathologists.

Throughout the group, Jasleen and Rosie made observations of the children, detailing their strengths and difficulties across the four focus areas. At the end of the group, this information was shared with parents in a short zoom discussion and a written progress summary.

How to participate in a future Kindy Group Session

Participants sitting and observing during an activity with one of our early intervention speech pathologists, Rosie.

A parent information night, via zoom, was also held the week after the intensive was completed. In this session, parents were given tips, ideas, and strategies to continue working on the focus area skills at home in preparation for ‘big school’.

Do you have a little person who will be starting ‘big school’ in 2023?

If you would like to know more about our “Getting Ready for Kindy” group, held each January, get in contact with us! You can DM on our socials (Instagram, Twitter), email, or call 9622 1616.

To learn more about our services, click here.

About the authors

Photo of Jasleen

Jasleen joined our team in September 2020 after completing her Bachelor Degree in Speech Pathology at the University of Sydney. She is also an active volunteer at her church and at ‘Alive Missions’. As a volunteer, Jasleen developed her skills in behaviour management of young children, as well as delivered children’s programs to small and large groups.

Photo of Rosie

Rosie joined WSSP as a Senior Speech Pathologist in January 2021. She has 10 years clinical experience across a variety of sectors including private practice, school-based, and not-for-profit services. In 2016, she completed her PhD focused on early speech and language skills in late talking toddlers. Since then, she has continued to engage in research examining both developmental and acquired speech and language disorders in children.

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