Dear PK Parents,
Can you believe it has been four weeks since your sons commenced their Trinity Prep journey! I marvel at how quickly they seem to have become part of our Trinity community. I hope you are all feeling the same way, and that despite the current COVID restrictions, you have found our community to be warm and welcoming.
The Importance of Reading Aloud to Young Learners
How many books have you read to your son this week? Reading aloud to young learners is, according to the landmark 1985 report Becoming a Nation of Readers, ‘the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.’
Reading aloud presents books as sources of pleasant, valuable and exciting experiences. Children who value books are motivated to read on their own. Reading aloud gives children background knowledge, which helps them make sense of what they see, hear and read. The more adults read aloud to children, the larger their vocabularies will grow and the more they will know about the world and their place in it. Reading aloud lets parents and teachers be role models for reading. Curling up in a comfortable place in your home with your son and reading a story to him each evening, is possibly the best gift you can give him at the end of each and every day.
Developing Your Son’s Social Skills
Building and establishing respectful relationships with a range of people is crucial for your son’s development. To develop healthy relationships, children learn the following important skills:
· Communication – using the right words for each situation, smiling, using eye contact and listening carefully
· Entry skills when playing – knowing how to initiate a conversation and join a group
· Skills for sharing – taking turns, following rules, cooperating, managing conflict, helping others
· Skills for being a good friend – thinking about how others might feel, being kind, helpful, gentle and humble
How do children learn social skills?
As a parent you have the most influence on how your son’s social skills develop. Your son also learns how to socialise with others from your extended family members. When a young learner is developing their social skills, they can find it challenging to take turns, negotiate difficult situations, and resolve conflict. Developing social skills is like any other skill. Children need to know what these skills look like and they need to practise them with your role modelling.
Tips for helping your son to develop his social skills:
- Show him what good social skills look like – model, listen when people talk to you, give eye contact when you are communicating with others, be respectful to others and do kind things for your own family and friends. Your son will model by your example.
- Encourage him to be aware of the feelings of others. For example,” Lucas has been waiting for a while to have a go. I wonder how you might feel if you had to wait that long? What would be a kind thing to do?”
- Encourage him to respond with ‘Yes, sure’, or ‘ok’ when you are requesting him to do something. Don’t tolerate “no”. Remind him that respectful family members are polite and courteous when asked to cooperate.
- Give him lots of opportunities for imaginary play, dress-ups, playing shop, acting out stories and rhymes, playing with other children, constructing things with bricks, cutting paper, playing with dough, and helping around the house with simple chores. This is a fun way to teach him how to be both responsible and cooperative.
There appears to be a number of boys that are being provided with ample amounts of food throughout the day. Some boys are having a lunch order and a fully packed lunch box. We have observed that the boys are simply not hungry enough to eat the amount of food that is being packed for them. Whilst we understand the uncertainty around how hungry your son may be during the day, there is a lot of food that is being wasted. Could we encourage you to monitor his consumption over the next few weeks? We will not throw food away if it’s not eaten. It will be left in his lunch box for you to view when he comes home at the end of the day. We do ensure that all boys are eating and drinking an adequate amount each day.
Reminders / Requests:
- Please remember to read the Prep News each week. In addition to my newsletter, every third week there will be an individualised PK newsletter that is written by the classroom teachers. This newsletter will give you a detailed insight into the learning that is occurring in the PK environment.
- Thank you for your wonderful feedback on the way in which your sons have settled into PK life at Trinity Prep. It’s been a very successful start for all of your boys.
- Please ensure that all of your son’s items are clearly labelled.
Kirsti Hitz-Morton | Director of Primary Curriculum and Early Learning
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