In any school year there are many transitions that pupils experience-whether that be moving from lesson to lesson, being taught by different teachers or between different topics. Our staff team plan these well so that pupils’ routines naturally encompass change so that there is no impact on pupil progress or wellbeing. In the following information we focus on the transition into primary school from early years settings so that parents can understand the way in which we work.
For us there are several key factors to consider in this important change:
• Relationships between pupils, parents and staff
• Planned activity
Children’s transition into the primary phase must be an ongoing exposure over time in order for it to be most effective. Change must not be abrupt as this will cause distress to pupils. We plan for change that is gentle and allows the children to grow with new information and locations. We achieve this by including parents in our plans from an early stage, over a year in advance in most cases. Our pupils-to-be in will work with our primary staff in the pupils‘ own Early Years classrooms and visit the primary building on a number of occasions.
Relationships are paramount. Our primary team work closely with Early Years colleagues so that we can plan an approach that meets the needs of our pupils. We can then ensure parents know what is happening, how they can be involved and what they can do to help. Most importantly, our incoming primary pupils get to know our staff and develop positive trusting relationships from the outset.
We plan carefully to ensure that pupil’s transition is the best that it can be. Working with all our key staff we know the needs of all pupils so that we can accommodate every child. We plan inputs to build the children’s knowledge of the primary phase so that it feels natural to them to move through to the next phase of their education. We gather important information from staff that are handing over and from parents so that our picture is as full as possible.
Our collaborative approaches mean that pupils, parents and staff all know what is taking place. The experience is an adventure for the children and a known entity for parents. This means that our children are happy, confident and ready to begin their primary education. We see our parents as partners in the education of our pupils. From the outset, our home-school collaboration is so important to get right as the children spend the subsequent six years in the primary phase.
Our communication with parents in the build-up to the transition ensures that concepts and approaches are shared, our rationales are understood and key dates are scheduled.
All of this brings together the ultimate team around the child as they move into their primary education. Parents feel safe in the knowledge that their child is our shared and vested interest. Staff are confident that parents are partners in the pupils continued journey. The children, as a result of this, make a seamless transition into their primary years.
Transitions from Early Years to Primary Coffee Morning
Advice for parents as transition into a new phase approaches:
• Attend the events held by school- build your trust in the team working with your child
• Ask questions- all questions are good questions
• Speak to the staff team at every opportunity through direct conversation or via emails. We are very happy to help
• Share as much information as you can that you think will help the primary team to know your child well
• Share in your child’s experiences of their visits and inputs with the primary staff team
• Speak with your child about the changes- or transitions-as we call them. You have supported them in their young life- you are their natural support and care givers- they will feel secure in your confidence that the change is normal.