Is the admission process different for the Early Years than for the rest of the programs?
Generally no, the admission process is not much different when it comes to Early Years than the process for our other programs. What is different is the assessment of a child’s readiness to join a program, which will include the child being toilet trained (is this still the right term?) and independent in the bathroom. Westmont does require that all students have a mandatory visit so that teachers can get to know your child. This visit is a half day for the Early Primary program.
How do we determine whether a child is ready or not for the program?
The following are a few examples of behaviours a child must display to be developmentally ready to begin preschool:
- Able to communicate needs to the teacher and other children appropriately. Children who are too young will just cry when they need something, and will be very frustrated in an environment that is not meeting their needs.
- Able to be independent in the bathroom. See toileting policy.
- Able to sit quietly and complete an activity. Children who are too young for this type of classroom will take many activities out, work on them for only a short amount of time without completing anything, and then move on to something else without putting the previous activities away.
- Will take suggestions from a teacher of work s/he is ready for. A child who is not ready will pull away from the teacher, or will display unwillingness to go with the teacher by lying on the floor, running away, etc.
- Will allow teachers to show him/her how to use the activities on the shelf. A child who is developmentally too young will not be able to wait, watch or take in the process for doing the work.
- Is happy to sit at circle time and listen to stories and engage in activities. A child who is too young will not be able to attend to group situations, sit for stories, participate in games, etc.
- Able to follow simple directions for procedures like lining up, washing hands, putting on coat to go outside. The child does not have to be able to do these things perfectly but has to be willing to listen to and follow instructions.
- Able to stay with the group and participate to the best of their ability, following the teachers’ instructions, when on hikes, beach days and during morning outdoor exercise. This is to ensure their safety as well as that of the others in the class.