As of Tuesday, 22 September, there are 127 days before the Kindergarten class of 2021 will begin their learning journey at ‘Big School’. For many of our future learners and their families, there are some big milestones and exciting events to look forward to over the next 127 days, such as Kindergarten transition and orientation programs.
With consideration of the current regulations regarding running Kindergarten transition programs in NSW, we re-imagined Let’s Explore, SMGS’ Kindergarten transition program for 2020.
Built around a collective desire to find a way to provide our future learners with an educational, meaningful and memorable transition program despite the current climate around COVID-19, a team of SMGS leadership, teaching and administration staff collaborated to create this year’s innovative Let’s Explore program.
Of the need to pivot the program, SMGS’ Director of Junior School, Heidi Shvetsoff, said, “We knew it was essential to find a way to deliver a program that was as close as possible to the on-campus experience. We acknowledge our Little Explorers need to connect with their future Kindergarten teacher and practise the school readiness skills that will assist in their transition to Term 1. We wanted to provide an inspiring Kindergarten transition that would excite children about their future classroom and teacher.”
The program will be delivered via our innovative hybrid model which includes the following elements:
- Virtual Reality (VR) Kindergarten experiences – each explorer will have the opportunity to experience a literacy and numeracy lesson, our specialist classes (art, music, STEM, German, gross motor skills), story time, and so much more, using immersive 360 degree virtual reality video.
- Video instructions for each of the three Let’s Explore sessions
- Hands-on tasks delivered by post to each explorer
- Interaction with SMGS Kindergarten teacher, Ms Rosheen Nikora, via SeeSaw
- The opportunity for parents to meet with Ms Nikora over Zoom to discuss your child’s school readiness.
Ms Nikora is also excited at what the program can provide future learners and their families, saying, “Our Virtual Let’s Explore program works towards the same outcomes presented within an on-campus experience. Children need to become familiar with the Junior School environment such as our classroom, playground and specialist classrooms and teachers, and we have presented this in our hybrid program. We deliver school readiness lessons, focusing on scissor handling and cutting, writing and numeracy, as well as lessons from our specialist teachers within each virtual lesson. The VR component is immersive in that it enables students to experience what it would be like to join a Kindergarten class at SMGS.”
As a provider of modern education, SMGS consistently looks for ways to improve and enrich the experience for its students and families. Of the creation of this program, SMGS Principal, Dr Andrew Bell, said, “Like many schools, we would have liked to have run our Kindergarten transition program face-to-face on campus this year and, if the regulations change again, we will adjust the delivery of our program. However, the immersive virtual program is a testament to not only the progressive expertise of our staff, but also to their ability to innovate and pivot in order to provide meaningful solutions during these challenging times.”
To learn more about the program or to register, please click on the button below: