There are many opinions on what makes a child 'school ready' can they do this, that and the other. Parents and carers worry, stress and compare. Well at Sheffield Woodland Kindergarten we have a different approach. Our opinion of whether a child is ready for the next step in their educational journey is all about them being an individual small human with a blossoming personality. We work hard every day through the experiences and activities we provide to give them a sense of self; for more about the kind of things we do check out the 'How we learn' page.
Are they able to express their needs, likes, dislikes and opinions verbally, with value and respect for others? Such as joining in and taking turns in games or conversations.
Are they able to risk assess small dangers and follow simple rules? This is a huge life skill one day they are deciding whether a wall is too high or not to jump off and the next they are assessing what career leap to take!
Are they independent with a thirst for learning? We want children to enjoy learning and feel empowered and driven to ask questions, find out more and be inquisitive.
There are many options available including delayed school start, flexi-schooling and home education. Each child and family is different so what works for you may not work for another family. The council website has all you need know about school admissions and what choices you have.
This is what some of our families have said upon departure from the setting, to be honest they've put into words what we do much better than I ever can...
"You are all so wonderful! Thank you so much for all you've done for D these last couple of years. We could not have asked for a better pre-school experience for her. You have helped her learn so much about the world around her, friendships and herself. I'm constantly amazed at some of the things she comes out with, its totally min blowing. J thanks for being so gentle and understanding with D. Best key worker ever! Thank you all for your love, care, attnetion and dedication. We love you!"
"A huge massive THANK YOU to all the amazing staff at woodland kindy A has really blossomed with your help."
"Thank you SO much for all your support and brilliant work this year. You have made E feel so confident and supported - you're amazing!"
"I just wanted to personally thank you for the wonderful time that D has had at kindy. It has been the highlight of my week to come and pick her up and to witness the wonderful work you all do there (and to hear the call Grannies here!) It is an amazing place for nurturing independence, imagination and self control as well as encouraging exploration, leadership and personalities to shine through."
"You all do a fantastic job and we realise how hard you work to make each day special for the kids."
"We are really happy we made the decision to have him in a forest school setting. You have all been amazing with him and we are so glad that he has been at a setting where he can really explore and develop his love and nature and act out his mummy animal games! We have loved picking him up covered in mud and hearing about what inspiring and creative things he has done that day. Sheffield Woodland Kindergarten is a very special place and we will miss coming here."
"You have gone out of your way to make him smile and what makes him sad, the respect you have for each individual child in your care is so obviously at the heart of everything you do, and M has felt safe and secure and listened to since the first day he came along...We are really going to miss hearing all his stories about what he has built, where he has been...the moon...a race track...at sea, all grubby faced and full of smiles! We will miss you too such a warm and unique bunch of people. We hope woodland kindergarten continues to thrive and grow!"