How nursery helps your child's transition to school

By attending pre-school, your child will benefit from our efforts to ease the transition to primary school so that they start Reception eager to learn.  

Chloe Buddle is the Junior Deputy Manager and pre-school room leader at Alpha Kindergarten Fletton.  

The transition to primary school is one of the biggest moment’s of your child’s life and parents can understandably be anxious about such a big change. By attending pre-school, your child will benefit from our efforts to ease that transition so that they start school eager to learn. Here are some of the ways that nursery will help with your child’s school readiness.

1. Roleplay to prepare your child for life at school

In pre-school, we incorporate roleplay into the day to help your child get used to the things that will be different at school. For example, we work hard to try and source uniforms from all our feeder schools so that your child is familiar with them and has tried them on before they head to school. This roleplay is important in helping your child feel comfortable with the concept of uniforms in a familiar and supportive environment. 

We do register time during every nursery session so that your child can start their first day at school with a familiar activity. Your child will also have a tray to help them get used to how their belongings will be stored at school.

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2. Building your child's independence before school

At school, children are expected to be much more independent than at nursery because there are typically fewer members of staff in the classroom. So, we work to boost that independence before they leave nursery. For example, we will help to ensure that they can put on their coats and shoes by themselves, go to the toilet independently or eat their lunch without difficulty. 

Importantly, we also emphasise learning about how to ask for help when needed. This is particularly important for those children who might be reluctant to do this with an unfamiliar adult at their new school.

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3. Helping your child to make friends for their new school

Once we know where the pre-school children will be going to school, we will gently encourage those children who are going to the same school to play in group activities together. This will help to ensure that your child will have pre-existing relationships and friendships when they transition in September. 

However, there are always a small number of children who are going to primary schools that no-one else from nursery is attending. We will work hard with these children to help them grow their confidence in making new friends – for example, by encouraging them to play with children in pre-school who they wouldn’t normally play with.

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4. Helping your child to get used to the more structured school day

Life at primary school is more structured than at nursery, so we make this transition easier by helping your child to get used to a more structured day. While still focusing on learning through play and child-led play, we extend group activity times to get them used to concentrating on single activities for longer.

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5. Coordinating with the schools to give your child a running start

At nursery, we spend a lot of time learning about your child’s strengths, interests, needs and assessing their development. In the months before they go to school, we work with your child’s reception class teacher, teaching assistants and support staff to ensure that they aren’t starting this process again from scratch. They will get information about your child’s progress and any additional needs to help give them the best start at school. A member of your child’s reception team will also visit the children in nursery so that they recognise a familiar face when they start in September. 

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5. Supporting parents with the transition

The transition to school is a big event in your child’s life and we recognise that this can make parents very anxious. Therefore we work closely with parents to support them as September approaches. This starts by helping to guide parents through the school application process – explaining how the process works, ensuring that deadlines are met and answering any questions along the way. 

We also run school readiness events for parents, providing them with tools to help them prepare their children for the transition. At parents evenings, we will share the information that we send onto schools so that you will know what to expect in September.

Learn more about our partnership with parents

Rainbow Nursery in Birstall cares for children from 6 weeks old until school age. The longest running nursery in Birstall, we have been open for over 30 years. We are open all year around, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.

Contact us today!

We'd love to chat and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Give us a call today on 0116 267 1331 or email