For many years, Mansion House ran ‘Rising Stars’ on a Tuesday and Friday afternoon for those children preparing to start school at Corsham Primary (both sites) and St. Patrick’s school. However, with the changes in Ofsted guidance and with support from our Childcare Officer from Wiltshire County Council, we have decided not to offer the formal approach to Rising Stars this year.
At Mansion House we believe strongly that the skills required for children to be ready for school should not be limited to one afternoon session a week at a set time determined by which school you had gained a place at. Instead, we like to work on embedding those skills within all areas of the curriculum and work closely with their key workers to ensure that school readiness is not a prescribed task, but built into all activities. This enables all children to prepare for school together and not feel separated or excluded from any sessions, as we had experienced in the past. Therefore our new approach focuses heavily on building upon developing skills within their Personal, Social and Emotional Development, throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.
We recognise the importance of skills, such as getting changed independently, are important for school readiness and have our In2sports sessions every Wednesday and Friday afternoons. In the summer term we actively encourage you to send your child in with a change of clothes to practice the skill of getting changed during this session. We also use other opportunities, like changing shoes to wellies for outdoor play, and putting on coats or jumpers, as a chance for children to develop their independence before they leave our setting for school.
We also understand that recognising their own name, holding a pencil correctly and knowing some basic sounds are areas that children should have confidence in before starting school. These are activities that the children are already developing on and working towards during the time that they are at Mansion House. Our staff are continually improving their practice to ensure that these skills are embedded into the children’s daily routine in activities such as the sound box, mark making and developing a sense of ownership.
Following the success of last years leavers we will still strive to provide an excellent transition onto school, regardless of where you child is admitted. This includes liaising with and working alongside reception teachers and schools within the local area.