The transition from toddlers to preschool is a very important milestone for our children – they are given as much time as needed for them to be ‘preschool ready’.
Being a preschooler at our nursery means they are given the time and support they need to grow into confident, independent, happy children, and have the necessary skills to achieve their full potential while with us – being ready to conquer the transition to the ‘big school’.
If every child in our preschool can dress and undress themselves, can ask a teacher for help if needed, can ask a friend to join in if they want to play with, can use the toilet, can express their needs and their interests, can have a conversation with a peer and an adult, I think we have done our job.
As a Secondary maths teacher, I was teaching Maths at a secondary school for 10 years before I opened the nursery, I know how much these ‘little skills’ are taken for granted and how much the children, even at a secondary school, lack of these skills. Of course, we teach them maths and literacy, but we use play to also help them design and express their ideas and introduce them to different cultures within our community. All the daily activities aim to help them with their writing, their mathematical skills, problem solving, teamwork, making friends and the most important know how to love and care for themselves and each other.
How you build relationships with feeder schools?
The primary schools our children progress into depends more on the catchment area, however most of our children live local to the nursery so they will go to a few schools very close to us. Once the school places have been allocated, we contact the schools to find out more about the teachers our children will be meeting in the coming months. We then invite the teachers to visit the nursery, so they get to meet them in our environment first, where the children are confident. Once the children start school, we try to arrange visits with the schools to see how our children are settled and get feedback from them to see if we need to change/improve anything within our practise to support the transition.
Graduation is the ‘cherry’ on the cake for the children and for our staff.
The graduation is a very special event for our children, their families and of course our staff. We choose a theme depending on the preferences of most of the children, last year we had a dinosaur party and this year we have a few options, from princesses to unicorns or a hero’s theme, such as spiderman or ironman, our children love dressing up!
All the preschool children and their families are invited (not only the ones going to school) to the graduation party. Every year so far, we have had the honour of the local Mayor or the Deputy Mayor to hand in the certificates. In preparation for graduation, we organise different events such as a ‘movie’ day or an afternoon tea party, to support them consolidating their friendship and their confidence.
Parents also play such a big role on this and every year they have an after-party picnic in one of the local parks, and many of them have now made some friends for life through their children, which is wonderful to see.
Nursery Owner – Monkey Puzzle Surbiton
Vjollca is the Owner of Monkey Puzzle Surbiton. Vjollca is dedicated to providing every child who comes through her nursery the best possible start in life, from caring for their youngest baby to their preschoolers preparing to make their next steps into school life. With Monkey Puzzle Surbiton open since 2019, Vjollca and her team have guided countless children and families through their time in Early Years, making sure they are ready for each eventual educational step they take.