Transition to school and the impact of coronavirus
The summer term is usually when providers start preparing children for the transition to school. This summer, due to COVID-19 and the changes that you will have made to your practice, you will probably be facing the challenge of how you can now do this.
Top tips for preparing children
Here are some top tips for you to consider.
Children with SEN
Contact the Children’s Development Centre (CDC). The team are ready to support you, the child, their family and the school that they will be transitioning to. They can set up video meetings through Teams, so that you can all have a virtual meeting together and discuss:
- the child’s needs
- the support that they have been having
- the next steps for their development
- how they can be supported with the transition
Share information about the child with the school they are transitioning to.
The CDC Team have All About Me forms which can be completed and sent on to the transitioning school (with parents’ permission).
Also, in these challenging times, it will help to make sure that if there are staff changes at school, the information about your child will be available to be shared with the relevant staff who will be caring for them.
Children with speech and language delay
It is important that information is passed on to the transitioning school about any support that the child has accessed for speech and language. This might include:
- whether the child currently receiving Speech and Language support
- where the child receiving support NHS/SALT/ Early Help/ CL PEEP
- passing on the child’s ECAT monitoring form - be careful to mark the date on the top of the latest assessment
It may be useful for the school that the child is transitioning to, to know about whether the child has been accessing your provision (for most settings this will be from 1 June 2020). This might help them to be prepared for those children who may now find it more difficult to separate from their parents than usual, as they will have been constantly with them.
If the child has not been attending your provision, have you been able to stay in contact? For example, through video contact, dropping off resources and so on. Let the school know how this has gone.
Has there been any circumstances in the child’s family, that you think have or will affect them emotionally? For example, has a close family member been affected by COVID-19 or a bereavement? What have you been doing to help support the child and their family through this and anything that you feel has been working well?
Has the child been in a set group in your setting to limit social contacts? Have they made friends with any of the children in their group who will also be transitioning to the same school?
Anything that you do which has worked well to reassure the child if they become anxious.
Complete BFC Transition form (or similar) and attach termly tracker or similar assessments that you complete and ensure that they are received by the appropriate person at the transitioning school.
Sharing ideas with parents
These ideas might be useful to share with parents:
- if available, watch the virtual tour of the school your child will be going to
- be mindful not to impress on your child that they will have a named teacher, in case something happens to change this
- over the summer holidays, practice doing the school walk - be careful not to talk about specific arrangements in case something changes
- encourage their independence, for example, taking clothes off when changing into a swimming costume to paddle - show them how to put their clothes into a bag so that they are ready to put back on
make sure that you have a good routine in place so that your child is ready for when they start school
- it’s important that your child eats a healthy breakfast, gets some fresh air and exercise every day and gets a good nights’ sleep
- try limiting the amount of screen time they have in the evenings and turn off the television and other electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime
- read a bedtime story together
- talk positively about starting and being at school, even if you didn’t have a good experience yourself