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Nursery graduation: Why moving onto ‘big school’ is a big deal for children and parents

Moving onto ‘big school’ is a big deal for the thousands of UK nursery school pupils who, at roughly the same time every year, say a fond farewell to their early years’ education and a wide-eyed hello to the next 14 years of formal education.

Even for adults, the whole process can sound daunting, but with the right preparation, practice and support, nursery graduation can be a rewarding occasion to treasure for years to come.

Why are nursery graduations important?

Graduating from nursery is the final step in your child’s nursery education and development and an important rite of passage for everyone involved: your children, you as parents and carers, grandparents and our fabulous nursery staff who have diligently cared for and nurtured your young people day-in, day-out, many of them since they were babies.

While the more cynical amongst you may question the need for a graduation ceremony, especially for such young children, celebrating the end of pre-school with a bang has multiple benefits, as well as being an awful lot of fun!

Five benefits of a nursery graduation

Below are five reasons why we think nursery graduations are so important:

  1. An important milestone that all nursery children experience: Graduation marks the transition to primary education and the graduation ceremony itself helps your child to understand that this is a moment of change – but also that they are prepared for what comes next. Together with class activities and preparations for graduation, The Montessori People team explain to your children that their nursery education is coming to a natural end and that the time is right for all children of their age to move onto a new setting with a new routine, new children and new teachers. We explain that it’s OK to be sad, and emphasise that all of our young people possess the skills they need to move on to primary school.
  2. Timely confidence booster: taking part in the graduation ceremony in front of an audience – albeit a supportive one – requires a certain level of emotional and social confidence. Your children must cooperate, listen, follow instructions, and operate as part of a group, all skills they have developed during their time at The Montessori People Nursery. The ceremony is an opportunity for your child to practise and show off their social skills, which is a huge confidence booster.
  3. Celebrating your children’s achievements: graduation is a great way to remind your children just how far they have come. They should be proud of their achievements, and this public acknowledgment can be a huge boost for their self-esteem as they move onto the next chapter.
  4. A chance to say goodbye: Many of our children will be moving on to different primary schools, so graduation day is the perfect opportunity to say goodbye in a positive, supportive environment. It’s also a chance to say thank you to our staff who have been with your youngsters throughout their nursery journey.
  5. A day to remember: graduation ceremonies are a positive experience that you and your children will cherish for a lifetime. And if they – or you – do happen to forget the detail, our graduation photographer is always on hand to record those precious moments.

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