Transition to school

                            Early years practice procedures

                                 Prime times – Transition to school

Moving on to school is a major transition in a child’s life involving separation from familiar adults and children. Older children have a more secure understanding of ‘people permanence’ and are able to approach new experiences with confidence. However, they need preparation if they are to approach transition to school with confidence and an awareness of what to expect.

Partnership with schools

·         Details of the school that a child will be attending are recorded along with the name of the reception class teacher, if possible.

·         Every effort is made to forge and maintain strong links with all schools that children may attend. The setting manager will approach schools in order to open lines of communication where these have not previously existed. We may ask for spare uniform, photos of the school or staff etc.

·         We ask details of the school’s transition or settling in procedures so that members of staff are familiar with them and can support children and families with transitions.

·         Teachers are welcomed into the setting and sufficient time is made for them to spend both with the child, and with the key person, to discuss and share information that will support the child’s transition to school. The manager will contact the school if we haven’t heard from them.

·         A child’s transition assessment record is forwarded to the school along with other information that will aid transition and settling in. Parents receive a copy of this.

·         Any plans relating to a child’s additional needs are also shared, where this is in place.

·         Other formal documentation such as safeguarding information is prepared in line with procedure Transfer of records.

Partnership with parents

·         Key persons discuss transition to school with parents and set aside time to discuss learning and development summaries. Parents are encouraged to contribute to summaries.

·         Key persons will discuss with parents how they are preparing their child for school and will share information about how the setting is working in partnership with the school to aid transition.

·         Key persons will make clear to parents the information that will be shared with the school, for example, information regarding child protection and work that has taken place to ensure the child’s welfare.

·         Will give out a school ready leaflet to parents.

Increasing familiarity for children

·         This could be through videos, photographs or other information about the school that can be shown within the setting. Staff may borrow resources from the schools and will use these with the children.

·         We set up role play for schools with photo books of the schools/classrooms etc and use appropriate school uniform.

Preparing children for leaving

·         Children and parents form bonds with adults and children in the setting and will need preparation for separating from the relationships they have formed.

·         The child’s last day should be prepared for in advance and marked with a special celebration that acknowledges that the child is moving on. We invite parents in early to share some time with us.

·         Parents should not be discouraged from bringing the child for the occasional brief visit, as separations often take time to complete. Sometimes children need the reassurance that their nursery/pre-school is still there and that they are remembered.