Ready Steady Go Group Blog

Ready Steady Go Group Blog

Who is ready? Who is Ready Steady Go for School?

Thank you for the Music

Who is ready? Who is Ready Steady Go for School?

Week 1 of our new Primary 1 transition group and my colleague Kath and I are welcoming 7 children and their parents into the Green Room at Scottish Adoption.

Task 1 – finding your own super hero coat peg, putting away your shoes and depositing your water bottle into the tray. Following this, can we all “sit nicely on the floor” Sound tricky?

These uniform tasks are the starting block to most days in P1, but for some children, what may seem at first a simple request, actually requires a whole set of skills that not every child has developed before they start school.

For example:

  • Executive functioning skills that enable children to listen and respond to multi-part instructions.
  • Dexterity required to quickly change from outdoor to indoor shoes.
  • Emotional regulation to cope with separating from your parent.
  • Physical Regulation required to sit quietly on the floor following the excitement of all of the above.

Deep breath. It’s now 10 minutes into our 90 minute session. Things are happening with mixed results. However, it WILL be fine, as I have Kath, our Music Therapist, who I have now taken to affectionately referring to as My Music Lady with for this session.  Just as it’s about to look a little bit chaotic, cue the music.

The Collins English Dictionary defines an earworm as: “a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person’s mind”. Bear this in mind.

Kath begins playing the chorus from one of the 3 songs that form the scaffolding to our sessions. Songs that underpin our key messages about school. For example:

  • The hello/goodbye song (building resilience around separation/reunions).
  • The packing your bag Song (a cheerful little ditty – designed to help with executive functioning, specifically the battle against lost items).
  • The Ready Steady Go Song (a regulation song designed help kids to move from excited to calm).

Songs bring the structure, structure brings the safety” a wise woman once said. Like magic, children are now transfixed and we’re onto another weekly staple, a school themed story and some basic comprehension.

After consultation with colleagues from Education, we’ve chosen 4 weekly themes. For example, personal space, working together, turn taking and listening. A particular favourite of mine was teaching the kids the concept of the personal space bubble, the hard sell being that personal space awareness is in-fact a Super Hero power. Now we have 6 children charging around the room for a game of musical statues, finding their spot to stop within their own “space bubble”. Brilliant.

On top of the children’s element of this programme, we also offered parents a workshop. This session is aimed at providing a space for parents to discuss in detail any behaviour that the group has highlighted. If these issues can’t be resolved with advice, the group provides a platform for referring families onto one of the other multi-professional areas within the Scottish Adoption Therapy Centre.

So, thank you for the music and for the opportunity to spend time with 7 little Super Heroes, who I’m confident will all give school their very best shot and smash it.

Melanie Thomson
Children’s Worker Scottish Adoption