The importance of providing time to settle

Lucy Riley, Head of Little Owls Nursery at Hatherop Castle, provides us with some insight into the importance of children hitting the ground running when they move from Pre-School to Reception.

Watching your little girl or boy trot eagerly into Reception for the first time can be emotional for even the most seasoned parent. It’s the start of an exciting new chapter in their lives, after all. 

But for Mrs Lucy Riley, Hatherop Prep’s Head of Nursery, this milestone is also a proud moment, for it marks the final step in a journey she’s shared with the children, carefully preparing them for a seamless transition from Pre-School to Reception.

“When I see the children arriving in September, dressed in their new and slightly oversized uniforms, it isn’t just the parents who feel a bit emotional,” she laughs. “They look so tiny, but it’s also lovely to see how eager and excited they are. They already feel confident, safe and secure here at Hatherop Castle, and that makes a huge difference when they start Reception.”

A large dose of that confidence comes down to months of careful planning and preparation by the Nursery staff. At Hatherop Castle Prep, the Pre-School year is all about building the right foundations, so the children are ready and fully prepared to hit the ground running, come September.  

“It’s so important to get it right at this early stage and it is all about feeling confident and familiar with the staff who are going to teach the children in the future”. says Mrs Riley. “Children learn so much in their first five years of life, from walking, to talking and developing listening skills but it is that confidence and self-assurance that makes all the difference.

Little children benefit hugely from their time in Nursery; they need the stimulation that comes with being around other children and adults who are devoting lots of time to them. Learning to share, to be kind to one another and to take turns are all part of their preparation for school.

“With the right input and influence, so much can be achieved, and our small class size means we’re able to promote children’s knowledge and understanding, as well as caring for them. If they are happy and willing to try hard they’ll get so much more out of school.” 

To find out more about what steps we have in place to ensure a smooth and happy transition for all our children, keep an eye out on our news page, more tips and information will be released each week.