Starting school is one of the major transitions individuals make throughout their lives. Some children may be eager and excited for the changes, whilst others may have some anxiety and concerns. When children, families, communities and schools work in partnership it helps to ensure a successful transition for each individual child. Working together to support each child and family with the transition to school is something that we work hard on.
At this time of year, the formal transition to school may have already begun with some children and families having visited schools for tours or information nights. Some children may have also been to orientation visits or have joined their schools’ Ready for School Program if that is available. Families have also likely made their decision on whether or not their child will start school, or if not are coming close to that decision.
At Learn and Laugh the transition-to-school process is developed with each individual child’s interests, needs, strengths and skills in mind. We focus on building strong relationships with children, families, community and local schools so that we are able to support all children with this next part of their school journey.
As children enter their final year of preschool, we begin deeper discussions about Kindergarten, and transition to school. We arrange informative and relevant school readiness & transition to school information evenings for families to attend. This allows families to gain an understanding of what to expect when their child starts Kindergarten and also offer advice on how to further prepare for the transition to school.
As part of our programs we engage children in discussions about starting kindergarten and share their thoughts and ideas about what it will be like. We weave specific transition to school plans throughout the program for children, which are play based and allow for open ended exploration. The Early Years Learning Framework encourages us to use practices which provide for continuity in experiences and enabling children to have successful transition. Our dramatic play spaces are provisioned with school uniforms, bags and other items, we add books to our library and books shelves about school for children and families. We arrange excursions to visit local schools to help develop greater familiarity and to build community connections. We also have fun weeks and events such as lunch box weeks, this gives children some practice opening their lunch boxes, and managing their own food needs.
A photo of an open play area which includes some school uniforms on hangers.
As a parent a few tips that may be helpful for you when preparing to move from any kind of early learning centre / program (such as long day care or preschool).
- Download the app from the school your child will be attending. This will help you to get a feel of information and events you need to be aware of. It will also give you some great insight into the school.
- Check that you have covered your before and after school care needs, this includes ensuring that you have enrolled your child and provided all of the necessary details to be able to claim child care subsidy.
- Talk with your child about school, and what they could expect, keep it honest and factual – For example there will be cubicle toilets and you may need to practice using the turning locks, there will be bubblers for drinking water, you will have a lunch break and may visit the library within the school.
Saying goodbye is an important part of the transition process, at the end of the year we hold celebrations for the children leaving to start kindergarten and remember the wonderful times we have shared together.
A photo from one of our graduating ceremonies for the class of 2018. The class of 2019 will have their ceremony later on this year.