The Ready for Learning Kindergarten Program is an innovative initiative of Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst designed to help students begin school well.
Program designers felt a change to the first five weeks of schooling for Kindergarten students was necessary to help prepare children for learning. The program teaches Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills to Kindergarten children and program developers found that if these skills are missing, students are not working at an optimal level.
The Kindergarten Program is designed to:
- Increase the amount of time students work in their optimal learning zone
- Augment age-appropriate independent learning
- Enhance age-appropriate student social skills in the classroom and on the playground
- Help students to age-appropriately self-regulate emotions and behaviours
- Develop fine and gross motor strength
- Identify those students who are not working at an appropriate age level once training was complete.
- Explicitly teaches the skills for emotion regulation
- Uses three Occupational Therapy programs to promote core strength, correct pencil grip and body awareness
- Teaches Mindfulness to calm bodies and minds ready for learning
- Explicitly teaches social and emotional skills to strengthen relationships and build strong friendships
Research (Zin, Weissberg, Wang & Walberg, 2004) shows increased social and emotional skills leads to improved academic performance.