At a meeting today the subject of transition came up and one teacher said something along the lines of , “Transition is preparing yourself for the children you are receiving and not just preparing the children for where they are going.”
I think that is right; I’m not suggesting that children shouldn’t be given some preparation for their next steps especially if it is a “big” step e.g. starting school, Nursery to Reception, Y6 to Y7 as that would be cruel. It is though easy to forget that those Y3s you’ve just waved off to Y4 are a whole year further on than those Y2s who you are just receiving. It is easy to expect that their handwriting won’t be as fluent, you know that they won’t know your routines but I think, from experience, that it is possible to overlook quite how much younger they are, that year makes an enormous difference – and the difference is more marked the younger the child is as 1 year is a greater proportion of their life.
We are already starting to think about transitions for some of our children, when they go from KS1 to KS2 they go to a different building – a building they have all been into many times but now it will be where their classroom is. As an adult it’s no big deal but for a couple of our special children I can predict anxiety and worry off the scale. We can plan and prepare them, they will have their 1-1s go with them (hopefully), there will be time to go to their new classroom and spend time with their new teacher but still it will seem scary.
I have done transition work before but always with the children, the teacher’s comment tonight made me think far more about preparing the teachers for the children. We do a handover between staff, I hand up an SEN file, the teacher will have had time to meet the child but are they really prepared? I don’t know. Can you ever be totally prepared?
I’ll have a think. I may not change anything, perhaps we are already preparing ourselves and not expecting the children to change but it won’t hurt to check!