Transitions - Make Connections!

A fundamental goal of a school- start transition is to help young children have a feeling of well- being and belonging.

Rather than fear of the unknown, ignorance of school rules, culture and unhappiness over separation, which creates long-term insecurities and barriers to learning.

Transition is a recognised characteristic of human life and was often marked by rituals and ceremonies, these developmental changes shape all our lives. In modern complex societies such events are more frequent yet less regarded. Many of our children in our schools and settings have lived through huge transitions e.g. arriving as a refugee. The discontinuities such children have experienced in their earliest years may be greater than their professional caregivers have experienced in the course of their lives. This means transitions are more important than ever.

Well supported transitions serve to strengthen children’s resilience and resourcefulness, and enhance their reciprocity, so that they are better equipped for the changing future ahead of them. In our changing world these dispositions are crucial.

Listening skills do not make children listen and reading skills do not make children read: children need also to feel disposed to listen and read. The question to ask is not ‘do they know it or don’t they?’ But are they able to apply their knowledge in this setting? Transitions are an opportunity to strengthen positive learning dispositions therefore the ‘Characteristics of effective learning’ in the EYFS are an important feature during the transition phase.

How can we use the characteristics to enhance the transition process?