Transition to School

A positive start to school is important and depends on everyone working together to make it happen – family, community, early childhood service and the school team. Many states have now given the go ahead for school orientation to commence/resume in Term 4 assuming correct COVID safety guidelines are followed.

The pandemic this year has most likely changed your child’s final year of pre-school and prep for big school and this may be concerning for you. However, there are things you can do at to ensure your children get the best start to school possible.

Know your child’s school Each school community is unique. It’s a good idea to attend available transition, orientation or information sessions. Check out their website or subscribe to their newsletters, follow their social media pages. Show your child pictures and videos of the school they will attend. Locate their school on a map and draw a route to your house. Where possible meet the Principal or ask staff at the school office for information. Connect with other parents who have children at the school.

Literacy Literacy is a key foundation for learning. Talking and an awareness of word sounds form a strong base for reading success. Read, rhyme and draw, sing, listen and talk with your child regularly. This develops literacy skills needed to understand information and communicate ideas. If English is not your first language, continue using your strongest language as well as English to promote multilingual skills and maintain cultural identity.

Numeracy Numeracy is all around us and used throughout life. Your child uses numeracy when measuring ingredients, counting stairs as they climb, sorting buttons or matching socks. When children play with blocks and containers they think ‘mathematically’ about size, shape and space. Talk about positions such as behind, next to and above, and inquire ‘how many?’ ‘which way?’ or ‘is there enough?’

Friendships Making friends can be challenging for your child. You can help by prompting them to think about games to play, where to play them and how to include others. Your child will develop these skills by watching you – the way you start conversations, handle issues and accept others’ perspectives. Encouraging play provides opportunities for your child to ‘read’ faces and body language, furthering their social skills.

Managing feelings Starting school can produce a broad range of emotions in your child, and understanding how to manage them can take a long time. Give support by listening, acknowledging and accepting their feelings. Help your child to label those feelings and to find appropriate ways to manage them if needed. Your child will learn to manage their emotions by watching those around them.

Good learning behaviours.

1. Exploring interests Your child learns when they are interested, asking questions and exploring possibilities. This helps them to be creative and involved.
2. Problem solving Encourage your child to persist with activities, even when it gets tricky. You can help them come up with their own ways to solve problems.
3. Acknowledge efforts Acknowledge your child’s effort when you see them trying, regardless of the result.

You are your child’s first and most significant teacher. Being positively involved in your child’s learning helps them become successful at school. You can find out more helpful school transition tips by following the link below.

Article Source – Connect – Child and Family Services (2020) My child is starting school: A guide for parents and caregivers.