The transition from nursery to primary school can be a challenging time for some children and families. Bookbug Sessions can help children, their families, early years settings and schools to navigate this big change.
Find out why it’s important to use songs and rhymes for transition and discover some top tips for your Bookbug Session. We’ve also created a special session plan to help you celebrate the transition from nursery to Primary 1.
Why are songs and rhymes important at this stage?
- Songs and rhymes are some of the building blocks to language and literacy skills. They encourage an awareness of sounds and how they work together. This is needed before children map sounds onto letters.
- They develop eye contact, turn taking, attention and listening skills which are crucial for good communication and being able to learn.
- Action songs and rhymes help children understand new words and concepts by highlighting keywords visually. They also encourage gross and fine motor development and coordination.
- Counting songs and rhymes help develop early numeracy.
- Singing can boost psychological wellbeing – singing together promotes a sense of belonging and endorphins ('happy hormones') are released when we sing!
- Songs and rhymes can help children understand routines and understand what is expected of them.
Ten top tips for your transition Bookbug Session
- Be flexible: The songs in the transition session plan are a guide for you to use. You can change the words to personalise the songs and rhymes, or you may feel like another song or rhyme might be better to use.
- Create a session plan playlist on the free Bookbug app to play for the children in your setting and share with the families to play at home.
- Think inclusively: Some children may need additional props and resources during the session to aid their understanding and engagement.
- Use symbols to support understanding (e.g. Boardmaker symbols in a visual session plan). Think about key word signing such as Makaton or Signalong. Our session plan includes the Makaton-signed Rainbow Song .
- You are your best resource: Use your voice, body language and your face to add expression.
- Incorporate actions others can copy, encourage the children to move their fingers independently of each other as you share Thumbkin Likes To Dance or to turn themselves into pirates as you share Pirate, Pirate Dressed in Blue.
- Vary it: You can be fast and slow, loud and quiet. This helps keep children interested but is also a way of demonstrating language concepts and linking to themes in the story.
- Use our book lists to choose a familiar book and signpost to families. There are lists on books for starting school and on books to share at times of change.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat! Repetition is the root of all learning. It helps everyone learn the words and actions and increases confidence and participation. Children love joining in when they know what is coming.
- Most of all – have fun! This will let children know that Primary 1 is full of fun learning experiences and will inspire parents and children to share songs, rhymes and stories at home again and again. . . and again.