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Stories: Children, Community, Future

Supporting students’ jump to primary school

A mix of excitement, nerves and sometimes tears – for many parents, schools and students, it can be hard to navigate the transition from preschool to primary school. However, for My, a new 1st grader in Hoa Binh province, the transition to primary school was much smoother after My and her mother participated in activities organised by the project “Ready for Primary School”.

“Last school year, my preschool teachers took us to a primary school where I got to meet the teachers and upperclassmen. I visited their classrooms and library, and also participated in a musical performance with older students. Now that I am in grade 1 like them, I don’t feel unfamiliar at all”, My said.

Loc – a 2nd grader in My’s primary school also said he has enjoyed helping younger children prepare for primary school: “My teacher took me to visit my old preschool. My favourite part was guiding preschool students on how to hold a pen and colour. I like that I get to go back and have preschool students call me ‘big brother'”.

Primary and preschoolers students take part in a colouring session together in Vietnam

Previously, Thuong Tien preschool had limited skills in organising care and educational activities for students, as well as difficulties in coordinating with primary school teachers. Phuong, the preschool’s principal shared: “I used to only support teachers with basic knowledge and skills such as how to teach children to recognise and pronounce 24 letters and 10 numbers correctly, how to hold a pen, how to colour, and some other skills such as combing and tying up hair and putting on clothes. I honestly did not spend much time coordinating with primary schools to support children during the transition period”.

Since the end of 2021, Phuong started participating in trainings to support children during the transition period with ChildFund. After two years of hard work from teachers, parents, and students, Thuong Tien preschool has seen positive changes. Students get to regularly participate in activities at elementary schools such as performing, decorating classrooms, making toys, participating in extracurricular activities such as competitions on elementary schools, etc. Teachers at the school have been equipped with additional skills to effectively integrate content to support children during the transition period into daily school activities. Through various formats, teachers have also given parents more knowledge to support their children during the transition period.

Phuong speaking at a provincial level workshop for teachers on supporting preschool students during the transition period

Thanh, My’s mother shared: “My used to be shy, but now she seems happy and more confident. From what I have learned from ChildFund’s training and a workshop at school, I have supported my daughter to grow her confidence and become more independent, to improve her language skills and get familiar with physical exercises. I always spend at least two hours each night to study with her. I do not pressure her and compliment her when she does something well”.

In the 2022 – 2023 school year, Thuong Tien preschool was awarded a coveted ‘Level 1 Standard’ by the People’s Committee of Hoa Binh province. To achieve success in supporting children during the transition period, according to Phuong, we need three elements to work in harmony: “Schools can create an effective learning environment while families help support children’s learning and development at home, and naturally we want children to feel happy going to school and eager to learn”.

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