Foundations for success built on play

Making the transition from preschool to “big school” is traditionally a huge step for children and parents alike, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

When kindergarten students arrive at Holy Name Primary School, Forster, they’re invited to take part in an innovative learning project, Successful Foundations, which provides an opportunity for young learners to showcase the breadth of their abilities through play.

Successful Foundations was developed by the Catholic Schools Office on the back of years of research. It assists teachers to understand each student’s unique learning style and with this knowledge, form collaborative relationships with the child and their family.

Holy Name kindergarten teacher, Suzie Monks, regularly invites students to take part in a variety of open-ended, play-based learning scenarios, particularly in the first few months of school.

“As part of Successful Foundations we’ve created all types of scenarios for students- from florist shops, to vet surgeries, building sites and more… by encouraging them to play it helps them to transition to school and allows us to take a step back and see all their capability.  Not just through literacy and numeracy, but also their social skills and abilities in areas such as problem-solving, collaborating and creativity.

“The Kindy kids love it.”

The principal of Holy Name Primary School, Brooke Stephens, says that Successful Foundations has also been well-received by parents.

“At Holy Name, we prioritise early learning and the successful transition of students from preschool to kindergarten and through to Year 2. We believe our learning support processes are the best in the region.

“Successful Foundations aides our mission to build relationships with our newest students and understand their unique needs. When we speak to parents, they tell us how much they appreciate the time we take to form a connection with them and their children.”

Ms Stephens said the school’s personalised approach to teaching and learning is what sets Holy Name Primary apart.

“From the point of enrolment, we gather as much information as we can about each child. This is to ensure that when they first arrive at Holy Name for Kindergarten, we can begin to nurture their entire being. Helping a child to reach their academic potential is a priority, but so too is supporting their social and emotional wellbeing - and encouraging their interests in other pursuits such as sports, music and creative arts.”

To find out more about Holy Name, Forster or to enrol your child, please click here. 

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Lizzie Watkin Image
Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.