Transition to school: Part 2

Following on from our previous post about supporting your child in the transition to school, below are some ways that as parents you can really help your child for this big change in their life.

Some of the social skills we want to develop in children are:

  • Independence
  • Managing conflict
  • Following rules and respecting others
  • Seeking help
  • Showing empathy
  • Participation in group activities
  • Generosity
  • Helpfulness
  • Communication with others
  • Negotiating
  • Problem solving
  • Listening

On discussion with some of the local Primary Schools they have identified the most important dispositions that they would value in children as they transition into school are: independence, resilience and a “give it a go” attitude.

How we support your children in the lead up to their transition

  • Openly talk about school in a positive manner
  • Encourage responsibility, independence and leadership
  • Encourage participation during group and mat times
  • Support each child’s emotional development
  • Eating together at tables, encouraging children to eat their most substantial lunch first and saving snacks to the end
  • Teacher times, where we focus on areas that many of our children would not choose on their own. We try to notice where children show some gaps in their experiences and encourage wider experience
  • Literacy and numeracy experiences are readily available and encouraged when children show an interest in them through the kindy day. These areas are often a focus for teacher time.
  • A few weeks before they leave to go to school, each child is given a book bag to use with some special reading books they can take home. When they are done with the books they can change them and the out some new ones.
  • The school ladder is in a prominent place and a reminder about who is moving to school next and a comfort in the reminder who is already at their school
  • As each child leaves for school we have a special goodbye mat time for them and celebrate their time with us and they get to wear our special korowai. They get to move their picture from the top of the going to school ladder and onto the photo of the school they are going to

Supporting the transition at home :

  • Your child will read how you are feeling about them going to school so try to be relaxed and confident about it.
  • Communication is key, communicate with us about how you and your child are feeling and with your child how they are feeling and also talk to the school about any worries.
  • It may be a good idea to start using their school bag at kindy so they are familiar with it by the time they start school.

Think about

  • the routine in the mornings and afternoons.
  • what time they need to wake up how your child
  • what time the bell rings
  • Who their teacher is
  • Who they might know at their new school
  • what do they need to do when they get to school
  • How your child is feeling. Are they nervous, happy or excited?

Are you a busy family? You may need to slow down the extra curricular activities over this time of transition because children get really tired when they start school. This weariness may show in regression in behaviour, anger, tantrums and clinginess. This may be a time for extra understanding.

Remember that the transition to school is a journey not an event on one day! The Children’s Ark team and the staff at your child’s new school would all like the process to be a happy one, and we want to work with you for the best transition for all of the whanau!