In recent years there has been much discussion in Early Years about the importance of “school readiness” and preparation for school. Bishop Challoner School is an all through Catholic Independent school from 3-18 years, welcoming all faiths. We pride ourselves on our smooth transitions throughout the school.
So how can transition best be supported? At Bishop Challoner we use a “multi-pronged” approach, consisting of 3 main aspects – Supporting knowledge and understanding; promoting life-skills by encouraging school readiness; and, Pastoral support for the individual child.
For children who stay on at Bishop Challoner, their preparation starts from the moment they enter the nursery.
The children are aware from the start that they are part of a much bigger environment and share all the same resources as the main school – trim trail, gymnasium and stage, dining hall and sports field.
Using these facilities and joining in whole school events such as, assemblies and enrichment opportunities with our sixth formers allows the children to acknowledge they are part of a whole school.
Preparation for transition is not a “one size fits all” affair.
The EYFS embraces the ‘Unique’ child and never is this more important than when the child/family move on. It is essential each child receives the care, support and preparation they require to facilitate secure, happy and lasting relationships.
PHONICS SUCCESS IN JUNIOR SCHOOL
Since 2018, Bishop Challoner has successfully implemented Read Write Inc., a programme that helps children learn synthetic phonics. Across Reception to Year 3, pupils are grouped according to phonic ability which ensures that all phonics lessons are pitched at the correct level and every child is challenged and able to make clear and rapid progress. Read Write Inc. has five underlying principles (the 5Ps) – Pace, Purpose, Passion, Participation and Praise.
Phonics is an important tool to develop reading fluency and confidence, and is essential to all other areas of the curriculum. Teachers and pupils have noticed improvements in spelling, handwriting, grammar and comprehension.
“My spellings have got much better!” – Year 1 pupil
“It has made the children more secure in their sounds which they can apply to their other work.” – Year 3 teacher
In Read Write Inc. lessons, pupils read lively and attractive books, which tailored to the sounds and words they are learning. They re-read stories to develop fluency and expression, which makes them confident readers.