Transition – Making the Unfamiliar, Familiar.

Alistair Bryce-CleggConferences, Transition, Uncategorized6 Comments

When I first started to teach, transition never really struck me as being an issue. Children just move on to the next year group, the next classroom and the next teacher.

Lots of times I was that ‘next teacher’ and I knew how lovely I was (!), so it never occurred to me that my lack of preparation for that transition could have been detrimental to children’s development.

The greatest inhibitor to attainment in schools is children’s self-confidence and level of anxiety. When children feel comfortable and ‘at home’ in their environment they are far more likely to succeed. When they are subjected to significant change, it can take many children a long time to adjust to their new situation. During this period of adjustment their potential for maximum attainment is drastically reduced.

G-3 copy

Grayrigg Primary

Now that I have worked with a number of schools looking closely at the impact of wellbeing on self esteem, attainment and progress I know that you cannot really over prepare for any transition. It is all about making as many aspects as possible of the unfamiliar, familiar.

In schools where the transition process has been successfully planned and executed, more children achieve on a much higher level both socially and academically.

IMG_4640

Rockferry Primary

Far from Year One being a time for ‘the work to start’. It is time for ‘the work to continue’ in a developmentally appropriate way that children can identify with and access.

Good transition definitely makes a significant difference.

I have seen such a positive impact when effective transition is in place that I ended up writing a book and a days training to give practitioners an idea of what good transition can look like and some ideas they can use to create their own individual plan of action.

IMG_3576

The Friars Primary 

An often overused (especially by me) but true statement is that transition is process not an event. It should run across the the whole year and is for both adults and children.

Here is a brief  yearly overview from ‘EffectveTransition into Year One

A transition diary – Year One

This transition diary is meant to be a starting point to help you to plan your transition from Reception to Year One. You can of course amend it and add to it all of the unique and individual things that you do to make sure you get the most effective transition possible.

 September

  • After the discussed transition procedures, settle in your new children. Establish rules and routines for the new way of working. Keep tissues handy for anyone who cries (children and staff!). Make a concerted effort not to get frustrated when the children ask a) if they can go and play now, b) when outside will be open, c) if it is mummy time yet.
  • If possible, arrange to take some transition staff from Reception (permanently or temporarily) into Year One. This could be as simple as just having a familiar face from Reception to welcome the children to teaching or support staff moving into Year One for the academic year.
  • Have a period of ‘drop in’ at the end of the day for Year One parents to help them to adjust to the transition.
  • After about three weeks carry out Leuven Scale assessment on the six children that were identified as a representative group in Reception.
  • Send home information to parents about the transition and how it is working and curriculum coverage.
  • Ensure at least one staff meeting is given over to EYFS training for Year One staff this term.

October

  • Make your first visit to Reception to ‘experience’ next year’s cohortit is a really important part of the transition process that Year One teachers can get to see first hand the level that children enter Reception.
  • Share your point of entry assessment of your Year One children with the Reception staff – in Year One you will have had your data from Reception to use as a starting point. Although accurate at the time, children have had a long period away from school and it may take them a while to get back up to speed. By October half term, Year One staff can give feedback to Reception staff about how their children are settling emotionally and academically.
  • Reception staff to share their baseline assessment of their new cohort with Year One staff so that everyone is aware of the priorities for progress and you can share advice.
  • Reception staff to share their first Gap and Strength Analysis (GSA) with Year One and talk them through their environment plan.
  • Reception staff should be able to talk to Year One about their focus for direct teaching and how they have planned their continuous provision in relation to common play behaviours.
  • Arrange a story swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.

November

  • Arrange your first official adult share or swap. This will be your first of three (minimum) adult shares or swaps.
  • If you can arrange to be released from your class for the day then go and spend it working alongside your Reception colleague. Have a meeting to talk about the planning process first, e.g. discuss how the continuous provision has been enhanced, etc. Make sure you have time to discuss and feedback at the end of the day (before you have a lie down in a darkened room!).
  • It is important that Year One adults get the chance to visit Reception for this process, but equally as important that Reception staff get to do the same in Year One. Not only is it important for Reception staff to be aware of the demands of the Year One curriculum, it is also brilliant for them to see what their old class is up to! This initiative is not just about teachers, support staff will benefit equally as well from this type of share or swap.
  • Arrange a story swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.
  • Reception children visit and spend some time in the Year One space.
  • Send home information to parents about the transition, how it is working and curriculum coverage.

December

  • Hold on tight, Christmas is coming!
  • Reception staff are probably carrying out their second summative assessment – make sure that you make the time to share the results of that assessment, look at how it translates into GSA and how that in turn affects the continuous provision as well as the direct teaching.
  • Try and fit in another couple of brief visits to Reception to get a ‘feel’ for how it works and get to know your children. Come and sit in their snack area during your playtime or come and be their ‘secret’ storyteller at the end of the day.
  • Arrange a story swap/activity swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.

January

  • Carry out Leuven scale assessment on the six identified children to assess current wellbeing and involvement.
  • Arrange a story swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.
  • Ensure at least one staff meeting is given over to EYFS training for Year One staff this term.
  • Send home information to parents about the transition, how it is working and curriculum coverage.

February

  • Reception may be carrying out another summative assessment. If so, make sure that you make the time to share the results of that assessment, look at how it translates into GSA and how that in turn affects the continuous provision as well as the direct teaching.
  • Arrange a joint moderation meeting between Reception and Year One to share and validate judgements.
  • Think about arranging a joint ‘event’ with Reception and Year One. Anything from a special class assembly to a trip or experience.
  • Arrange a story swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.

March

  • Plan in your second share or swap to observe how practice and progress have moved on.
  • Arrange a story swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.
  • Reception children visit and spend time in the Year One space.
  • Send home information to parents about the transition, how it is working and curriculum coverage.

April

  • Reception staff are probably carrying out another summative assessment. Make sure that you make the time to share the results of that assessment, look at how it translates into GSA and how that in turn affects the continuous provision as well as the direct teaching.
  • Arrange a story swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.
  • Send home information to parents about the transition, how it is working and curriculum coverage.
  • Ensure at least one staff meeting is given over to EYFS training for Year One staff this term.

May

  • Arrange a joint moderation meeting between Reception and Year One to share and validate judgements.
  • Arrange a story swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.
  • Send home information to parents about the transition, how it is working and curriculum coverage.

June

  • Plan in your final share or swap to observe how practice and progress have moved on.
  • Arrange a story swap (or similar activity) so you go to Reception to work with them or they come to you.
  • Reception children visit and spend time in the Year One space.
  • Invite parents to a curriculum evening about transition and expectations in Year One.

July

  • Invite the parents of next year’s intake to come in and have a look at the Year One environment. Set it up as it will be on point of entry to Year One. Have lots of examples of Year One children’s work to share to celebrate progress and attainment.
  • Take copies of Reception’s final GSA as well as their common play behaviours for continuous provision. This is your ready-made map for your areas of provision and resources for September.
  • Strip your classroom and prepare your transition display. Invite the Reception children to bring you the piece of work they are most proud of to be displayed on your wall.
  • Choose six children from Reception to take part in a Leuven Scale assessment now and again in September once they have entered Year One.

There is SO much more that you can add into this plan – but it has proven to be a great place to start for lots of schools.

If you are interested in finding out more about approaches to effective transition into Year One then you can catch up with me in Birmingham, London or Manchester for a full day jam packed with all things ‘transition’. More info and booking form  here

Alistair

TRANSITION copy

 

6 Comments on “Transition – Making the Unfamiliar, Familiar.”

  1. Hi,
    Will you be running any more of the conferences on transition next year? I missed them this year!
    Thanks,
    Amy

  2. I teach in a special school in Sheffield and transition is always hard from year group to year group as well as reception to year 1 and KS1 to KS2.
    I would love to know your thoughts and if the course you run is relevant.

  3. Would this transition model work for Nursery to Reception as well, especially bearing in mind the children mostly go from morning only to being full-time? Any thoughts?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.