Monday, 20 February 2012

Transition to School

Starting school is a very important and exciting part of turning five. Transitioning to school with school visits supports your child to become familiar with all of the new things happening at school. We call our visitors in our transition to school program 'Mountaineers'. Each Wednesday our Mountaineers visit for a Discovery session, click on the 'Mountaineers' or 'Discovery' label in the Labels Cloud to find out more about what we do for Discovery.

You can use your school visits to help your child become more familiar with:
  • The routine of the school day.
  • Layout of the school and classrooms.
  • Their teacher and classmates.
  • Expectations of them at school.
  • Where to put their belongings.
  • What happens at morning tea and lunch time.
  • What to do when the bell rings.

Transition to school will allow you as a parent to become more familiar with:
  • Your child's teacher.
  • School and office procedures.
  • Establishing routines and reinforcing these at home.
  • Ways to communicate with the school.
  • How homework works.
  • Vocabulary of the school day.

(Thanks to Special Education Services for these thoughts.)

Why I love transition to school visits:
  • I want to know how to say your child's name correctly so I can greet them.
  • I like to develop an understanding of your child's temperament and attitude to learning.
  • I love getting to know your child's likes and dislikes, and finding out about their lives outside school.
  • I want to find out how to calm your child if they are upset or need comforting.

Think about:
  • How many visits you want to have, at my school you can have up to 10 visits before starting school, with the last few visits lasting longer. But each school is different.
  • Visiting the classroom before or after school (this is always easier with elder siblings already at school).
  • Visiting the playground outside school hours or even walking past the school together to familiarise your child with their school.
  • Taking photos of your child's visit, capturing their classmates, classroom, and teacher (check with the teacher first if this is okay). You can use these photos to share with other family members.
  • Role playing school at home.
  • Making play-dates with children that your child may know at school.
  • Making sure your child can open any packets and containers in their lunch box.
  • Sending your child with a change of clothes and everything else they may need (school bag, lunch box, stationery). 
Check out my 'Starting School' page for more ideas.

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