In Practice: Success story - Cool for School, Kent

Jo Stephenson
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What it is: A project to smooth transition to school

Cool for School
Cool for School

Goal: To help children settle in reception class and boost parents' skills and confidence

Contact: sarah.kehoe@kent.gov.uk or 01227 289 345

The move into school is a big step for all children but some find it harder than others. The Cool for School initiative in Kent is targeted at children who've had little or no experience of pre-school or nursery, giving families the chance to practice going to school, including regular early starts.

It's the brainchild of children's centre network manager Samantha Higgins and was developed by qualified early years teacher Sarah Kehoe.

The scheme was piloted at Poppy Children's Centre in Herne Bay and Joy Lane Children's Centre in Whitstable from June to September this year.

Children and parents attended weekly sessions, which included separate parent and child activities. A key element is boosting parents' skills and confidence, explains Kehoe. "It's about making parents more aware of what happens in school and how they can support their children," she says.

Children benefited from improved social skills and reduced separation anxiety while parents went on to access other children's centre services.

Organisers have now developed training so more practitioners can deliver Cool for School.

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