The Little Whales Kindergarten Transition Program (LW) is a partnership between families and Scotts Head Public School (SHPS) that aims to support and nurture the best possible start for Kindergarten students in their first year of school. The program provides a holistic, flexible, play-based, early learning program that seeks to build on the strengths of families, children and their immediate environment.
The Lifetime Connect (LTC) Ready-Set-Go (RSG) programme introduced the Little Whales Transition to School Programme to support families to engage their children in school. SHPS Kindergarten Transition has a yearly framework that begins in Term 1. These connections with families set up a positive partnership between school and family that is inclusive and powerful.
Children who are starting Kindergarten the following year attend our Little Whales Transition Program for two terms, one day a week. The Term 3 program is a play-based program which is run by the LTC staff, which is now one of the activities that is allowed back to start this term in school. In Term 4 our orientation and school transition program begins which is run by Bu Bettina, our Kindergarten teacher.
To ensure that this is a quality program, we get feedback from parents which is done before and after our Little Whales Transition Program. To ensure our parents have a voice, we adjust our program to meet their needs.
We have had an overwhelming positive response from families who have found the LW Transition Program such a supportive program giving their child confidence and a sense of ownership and belonging when they begin Kindergarten.
What is good about Little Whales?
Below are summaries of the feedback we received.
1) “Gives time, more independence, happier, looks forward to next year, he is ready. Engagement levels good”
2) “Everything the staff, the buddy system, familiarity of the classroom for next year. Sense of belonging already established”
3) “Familiarises with the environment - comfort and routine”
4) “The buddy system”
5) “Best thing ever!” Really helps them get ready for school. Being able to come to something like this means they are settled and happy and looking forward to next year. Best transition - not just an orientation - fully immersed in the classroom - get to feel sense of place - really works for school readiness.
What affect has Little Whales had on your child?
1) “Engaged long term. Social space and ready socially for school as already has some connections”.
2) “Confident for big school, looking forward to coming”
3) “They are keen to come, they like it”
4) “My favourite thing is seeing [Buddy]”.
5) “Like the activities, he is comfortable. Recommends the playgroup the familiarity then best friends at whales or school can see them and are familiar with the school. Helps them to know that while they are at big school, mum will be at playgroup” Parents can see them in each area.