Starting in ‘big school’ as it is often called, can be a very daunting time and the transition from preschool to primary school has been identified as a key stage of a child’s life. Early Years Educators, Primary School teachers and parents all play an important role in ensuring continuity of care for each individual child at this time. Transitions can be stressful for some children and they need to be supported during the process. Blue Skies Initiative Ready Steady School Programme was created to help support children in their transition from early years to primary school. In April eleven early years’ services across Clondalkin received their bright, fun filled Ready Steady School Transition boxes. This box contained a selection of uniforms to play dress up with, jigsaws and books about school.
In the box was also a Photobook, created by Blue Skies, with pictures of various participating schools in Clondalkin. The book was created to give the children an opportunity to see their new schools, which in turn, would spark excitement and curiosity and lessen anxiety around this transition and new adventure. In addition to all of this each child receives a Ready Steady School transition pack. The transition document encourages each child to communicate with their parents/guardians and Early Years Educator, the information, they want to share with their new Primary School Teacher during their transition process. The pack is filled out with lots of information about the child, their photo, which is then passed on to their new school. There is also a helpful reusable morning time checklist to bring home for getting ready to go to school which proved a very popular addition. 340 children all over Clondalkin have now received these packs.

Blue Skies Initiative, which is an area based childhood programme in Clondalkin, recently launched this ‘Ready Steady School’ programme at Rowlagh Parish preschool and what a fun launch it was. Children and staff from both Rowlagh Parish preschool and Blue Skies Initiative explored the box and played lots of games. Parents came along to take part in the fun. The Early Years Educators commented on how excited the children were on the day and how much they loved dressing up in the uniforms and finding their new school in the book.  The children loved showing the Blue Skies team all of the exciting games that they play at Rowlagh Parish Preschool.

‘Thank you to all the staff from Blue Skies who gave us a very special morning when they arrived to Rowlagh Preschool with the Transition Box for Primary School. A very exciting morning shared with parents, children and staff. Children were very excited to put on their school jumpers and ties. The children really enjoyed the book with pictures of all the different schools they will attend. They recognised buildings/rooms and play areas from their sibling’s and cousin’s school. They made comparisons of toys/activities in the photos and what we have in our preschool. ‘

Quotes from children included Sarah who said ‘she was really excited to go to her new school’.

Layla said ‘her favourite part was eating the goodies’.

Savannah said ‘she loved doing the puzzles’.

Pic: Sarah Treacy