A nursery school, also known as preschool, pre-primary school, or playschool, is an educational institution or learning space that offers early childhood education to children well before they start compulsory education at the primary school level. A playschool may be privately or publicly operated and may be subsidized by public funds. It is generally for kids aged 4-6.
Terminology Associated with Early Childhood Education
Terminology regarding nursery school varies from one country to another. In some European countries, the term kindergarten refers to the formal education of children who are classified as ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) Level 0 after which they begin primary school at ISCED Level 1. The terms used for educational institutions for this age group are as follows:
Pre-primary school is a term that is often used to refer to an educational institution where students in the age bracket of 6 weeks old to 6 years old study. It is an educational childcare service where a child can enroll well before primary school. This can also be used to define services for children younger than kindergarten age, especially in countries where kindergarten is compulsory. The pre-primary program takes place in a nursery school.
A term used extensively in the UK and US, it refers to an educational institution where students from 0 months to 5 years of age study. It is a pre-primary educational childcare institution that includes Preschool as well.
Students from the age of 0 months to 2½ years study at daycare centers. It is typically held in a Nursery School but is also referred to as a child care service or a crèche.
Containing students from 2 to 5 years old, a preschool is held in a nursery school. Potty training at such a stage is a big factor, so a child needs to start preschool as early as 2 years old. Preschool education is beneficial because it gives the child a head start with the help of social interactions. Through psychosocial, physical, and cognitive development-based learning, a child in preschool might learn about their environment and how to effectively communicate with others verbally. Children attending Preschool learn about the world around them through play and communication.
This stage ranges from 4 to 5 years of age. It is an initiative to improve access to pre-primary schools for children in the USA. There is much more than teaching here - children are introduced to colors, numbers, shapes, and so on.
This stage is from 5 to 6 years of age and refers to the final stage of early childhood education. It is often viewed as the beginning stage of actual formal education.
Tips for Teachers
Dealing with nursery students can be tough at times, but not to worry - here are 5 tips that can help make it easier for teachers to take on this task.
Fixing a Routine
Staying organized in the classroom is one of the most vital things to keep in mind in nursery school. What this means is that the teacher should be ready with all the materials necessary for the class and associated activities beforehand so that the class can go on smoothly. It also means being mindful of and having contingencies in place in the event of mishaps such as spills, accidents, or illness. The teacher should keep the sanitary and safety conditions in the classroom in mind. In the paradigm of online teaching, staying organized in nursery school refers to fixing a routine for the students and sticking to it religiously. This makes sure that the students know what to expect, and a huge part of staying organized is making students aware of what to expect, especially when it comes to nursery students.
Suggested Read - Nursery Teacher Training - All You Need to Know
Experiment with different teaching styles, as different students react differently to different teaching methods, which changes drastically with the batch. What works for one batch may not work for another, and so, the teacher should be flexible and open enough to try different methods and modes of teaching so that most students in the class can benefit from it without comprehension fatigue or confusion.
Better Relations With Parents
Since most nursery classes are becoming increasingly online, there is an increasing demand for a close partnership between teachers and parents for the close monitoring and observation of students. The teachers should be able to contact the parents without any difficulty so that there is seamless communication between the two in case of any emergency. Other than that, the teachers will also need to keep in touch with the parents constantly to give them suggestions regarding their children and update them about important events and deadlines that are coming up.
Giving Students a Break
As it is, nursery students have short attention spans, which get even shorter when it comes to online classes. Even though online classes are effective, they require a different approach when it comes to grabbing and maintaining attention, and one of them is giving students a break. In the absence of the traditional classroom environment, students can feel bored if the class keeps going on for a long period of time, so the teacher can leave strategic time gaps during the class so that the students do not feel bored, keeping the class as attentive as possible.
Use Visual Aids Whenever Possible
In an online education setting, the most effective way to teach is by using as many visual aids as possible. This can be in the form of pictures, animations, graphics, charts, videos, and so on. This can be especially useful for nursery students because it can help capture their attention and maintain it for a sustained period of time. So, more information can be relayed to them in a way that will keep them interested for longer periods of time.
Suggested Read - 5 Activities for Teachers to Make Online School Life Fun
Teaching nursery students can be quite a tricky task, but with technology and innovative teaching strategies, those can be overcome irrespective of whether the class is being taught offline or online. The only thing to be kept in mind is that whatever method the teacher adopts for the class must have a direct positive effect on the way the student views the class and pays attention to it because it is being conducted for the optimal understanding of the student, not the convenience of the teacher.