Early Years Group Lead
Early Years Class Teacher
This time of year is when significant changes indirectly affect our children and the world around them. We have just entered into official summertime and can hear beautiful bird songs in the trees surrounding our nursery. We have exciting insects, caterpillars and butterflies beginning to fill our gardens, flying and crawling amongst the beautiful flowers that are blossoming after the children have planted them in Spring. The air is filled with inquisitive children who no longer have to cover themselves in raincoats and boots, ask questions, discover moments, and interact with the world around them with thoughtful discussions and insightful viewpoints.
As adults, these are changes we recognise every year. But these moments, for our children, are some of their earliest memories which they are forming here and now. We are part of and often at the forefront of those memories. So it is essential that, as our children's support network, we recognise and register the changes around the children and support them appropriately and sensitively where needed.
Many of our children are noticing the changes in the environment around them. This is a prime opportunity for you to support, stretch and challenge their thinking and support our children in developing an extensive language to describe and question.
What can you see happening?
How do you think it works?
Questions like these encourage the children to stop and think about what they can see and not just use single-word answers but build on their thoughts and extend their speaking.
Can you describe the process to me?
What do you think will happen next?
These will prompt the children to predict, imagine and process their thoughts. Questions like these can translate into fantastic tools in developing literacy as it supports the children in creating ideas that can later be drawn upon for stories and other forms of writing.
Preparing for personal changes
Over the coming weeks, the children will start to talk about the changes in school as they begin to find out new teachers and process what it means to go into the next year's group. Some children will naturally feel anxious about this process, and we want to gently reassure them and help them manage their thoughts and emotions.
How do you feel about moving into the new year group?
What can I do to support you?
What can you do, and who can you speak to at school to ask any questions you have?
We don't want to put any emotions onto our children. We want them to feel the way they feel. However, we must be just 'there' and present for our children as they begin to process these changes.
Growing up and all the changes that happen can be daunting for both adults and children, but by supporting our children, we can help them develop the resilience they need to succeed in the modern world.