Entering a new situation, whatever it may be, can be an anxious time for children and adults alike. At East Borough, we have carefully thought through the different challenges that our pupils and parents face at each stage of their transition into school, through school and on to Year 7.
Not only does our Personal Development curriculum build our pupils' resilience but also develops their understanding of the transition process. Additionally, we put in place a number of measures to ensure that the move to a different year group is as smooth as possible for all involved.
Please read more about the support we give parents and pupils in the transition sections below.
EYFS to Year 1
We know that the transition from EYFS to Year One can be a daunting one. At East Borough, we have a carefully planned transition programme which allows for a smooth transition into Year One and for this to have a positive impact on the children.
Below are some of our shared aims and principles that guide this transition process:
- Ensure that we retain the best of EYFS practice while recognising that Year One is different.
- Making the change from EYFS to Year One practice at a pace that is not too quick so that children continue to feel confident, secure, and successful.
- Supporting a gradual change in teaching styles from more informal to more adult-led teaching and independent learning.
- Taking account of all information that is shared between teachers so that children’s needs are understood, particularly vulnerable children or those with additional needs.
- Engaging parents in the process so that they know what to expect and can support their children by talking to them about the changes.
Below are some of the organisational strategies which we have in place to support transition:
- Develop shared outside space for Year One.
- Develop similar routines and timetables in Y1 to EYFS for Term 1.
- The same drawer and resource labelling is used in both Year group classrooms.
- Shared used of resources across both Year groups to support learning in key subjects such as Maths and English.
- The same language is used when teaching and on learning displays.
- Year One Class Teachers and TAs visit the children in EYFS during Discovery Time in Term Six to get to know the children.
- Year One class teachers come for story-time sessions in EYFS during Term Six.
- Children visit the Year One classrooms as part of transition days and complete fun activities.
- Staff information pages are provided for children and parents so that they can become familiar with the new adults that will be in their Year One classroom.
- Classroom booklets are available on the school website so that parents can share them with the children to help them become more familiar with their new classroom.
- Meet the teacher sessions and reading support sessions for parents take place so that parents are aware of the new expectations of Year One.
Years 1 to 5 - In-school transitions
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Year 6 transition to secondary school
Here at Valley Invicta Primary School at East Borough, we ensure that we prepare our Year 6 pupils for the next stage of their academic journey through an ambitious transition programme, planned in conjunction with the STLS (Specialist Teacher and Learning Service) as well as our own VIAT Transition approach; our children are – by the end of Year 6 – ready to move on to the secondary school as a result of our considered and tailored design.
There are some practical elements that we have introduced to prepare the children for what to expect. At the beginning of the academic year, the pupils are each given their own planner, in a similar style to the one they will receive at secondary school, and are expected to use it with independence, noting down important events or things they need to remember. Additionally, they are provided with their own locker to keep their coats and bags in, ensuring they know how to manage the space and keep it tidy.
As the year progresses, the children become more ‘secondary ready’ through a slight shift in approach and expectation from the Year 6 staff members. There is a more robust approach to the handing in of home work and staff encourage pupils to prepare themselves for learning by making sure they have everything they need.
Over the course of the year, our Personal Development curriculum covers content about relationships and peer pressure; helping our pupils to have strategies to support them when they go to a much larger environment with children they don’t know. In addition to this, the pupils undertake the completion of a ‘Transition Booklet’ in school, which includes things such as becoming familiar with a two-week timetable or researching their new destination. The school and Trust also support parents by holding meetings and sending weekly tips and activities that their children can do at home.
As part of our transition approach at VIPS at East Borough, we also ensure the children engage with enrichment activities which, in the past, have included: experience days (doing water sports or attending a ‘Safety in Action’ event, for example), supporting the pupils to develop their independence, confidence and knowledge. We take part in a range of challenge events – such as Maths-based or debate competitions – at the local secondary schools, thus enabling the children to understand the expectation and approach of a new setting. Pupils also have the opportunity to attend transition days at their new school, which they are encouraged to go to in order to familiarise themselves with the school grounds, routines and get to know their future classmates and teachers.
Our thorough and ambitious transition approach is well-received by pupils and parents alike as we ensure that it is tailored to each cohort, understanding which areas the children may need more support in and review our programme on a yearly basis to ensure that we are providing the children with the skills they require for the next phase of their education.
Our weekly transition tips will start after Easter.