St Gerard’s Catholic School, Carlingford is giving local children a head start to a happy and successful school life with a fun, educational playgroup that helps children transition to school while also building knowledge and confidence for parents.
Catholic Schools Office Education Officer-Early Learning, Sally Harrison said there is growing evidence that early learning through play-based enquiry has a big impact on children’s education and can also ease the transition from pre-school into Kindergarten.
“Starting school is a major transition for all involved, the children, families and educators,” Ms Harrison said. “Children bring a wealth of prior to school experiences to formal schooling and it is the role of the whole school community to work in partnership in promoting continuity for the early learner. A positive start to school is linked to positive school outcomes.”
St Gerard’s is developing a playgroup, which not only engages pre-school children in fun, educational learning, but also assists parents.
“We recently had an expert guest speaker come into our ‘Gerry’s Playgroup’ and give a presentation on the importance of play and how it shapes and improves children’s potential for learning,” Principal Ann Milling said.
“That proved to be very successful and parents have been requesting another session,” she said.
“So next time, parents are going to bring their iPads and smart phones and other devices in to learn how to use technology in promoting quality and positive play with their children. It’s about ensuring that technology is adding to the quality of children’s learning, rather than just occupying them.
“All the evidence shows us that early learning through play is a very significant factor in how children transition to school.”