Supporting transition at different stages
From early years to primary school
- Share relevant documents and information during two-way transition visits, for example: − families visiting the school − the school carrying out home visits − primary staff visiting early years settings − staff from early years settings visiting the school.
- Give children an opportunity to visit their new school, accompanied by a familiar adult, and to join in a variety of sessions, including playtimes and lunchtimes.
- Make an 'All about my new school' booklet for each child, with lots of pictures, and discuss it regularly with the child.
- Use stories to explain new situations.
- Give children opportunities to meet key staff, such as their teacher, teaching assistants and any other support staff who will work with them.
From primary to secondary school
- Give young people an opportunity to visit their new school, accompanied by a family member or a friend. Individuals with mobility or visual difficulties may wish to visit several times to familiarise themselves with the layout. Pupils with learning difficulties may like to take photographs to help them remember and think about their new setting. Some schools provide opportunities during Year 6 for pupils to visit and experience some classes in their new school.
- Provide pupils with a map of their new school building(s) – colour code subject rooms and highlight important areas such as the cafeteria, toilets, assembly hall and form rooms.
- Create daily checklists so that the correct items are taken to and from school for each day's activities, and use diaries for organising homework.
- Raise pupils' awareness and understanding about particular special needs and disabilities, especially those that are not visible, such as autism. This needs to be done sensitively. With appropriate support and preparation, some pupils may be willing to talk to their peers about their strengths and needs.
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