Why transition to school is important
Practice and research show that starting school is a significant milestone for children and their families. Educational transitions bring new routines and challenges, and can impact a child’s future approach to their education journey. There are many tips to support children experiencing transition so it helps to explore and identify the best approach for your family.
Parents and schools can collaborate to support transitions through good communication and respectful relationships.
While there are practical preschool matters such as clothing, shoes, lunchboxes, contact lists and policies to consider, there are also important matters around both parent and child wellbeing including new friendships, new teachers, new expectations, and changing settings. Parent wellbeing is often overlooked yet is intrinsic to the wellbeing of children.
Preparation including friendships, positivity, wellbeing and reading with children were highlighted for happy transitions.
Transition to School – Parent Forum
TIPS FOR TRANSITIONS:
Dr Kathryn Hopps, Adjunct Research Fellow, Charles Sturt University, BeYou Consultant ECA
Michele Foley, ACT Education Directorate
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SCHOOL:
Linda Francis, ACT Education Directorate
SUPPORT AT PRESCHOOL, DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY AND DISABILITY:
Elizabeth Lea, ACT Education Directorate
BOOKS ON STARTING SCHOOL
We cannot overemphasise the importance of reading with children! These quiet moments in time are so important for bonding, exploring, conversing, early literacy, creating memories and instilling a love of books and reading. We've provided a list of books available on starting school and there are many in your local library so visit your library and become a member, it's free to join, free to borrow books and if you can't get to the library they can come to you.
These links will give you some great tips on how you can start gently preparing your child now for the transitions ahead.
Starting early education or childcare? Starting Blocks is an excellent resource for exploring the vast options available for children under five years old.
This is a great clip to watch with your child - school children telling other children what a day at Kindergarten might look like. Watching this together will help start conversations about what may happen at preschool or school.
Early Childhood Australia ECA
Fresh Tastes helps teach students about how to make healthy food and drink choices. Information about what to pack in the lunchbox. For support with mental health Healthy Families from Beyond Blue is a brilliant resource all about providing you with the information, knowledge and confidence to support the young people in your life. Resources about physical activity and screen time to help make healthy choices are here Kids at Play Active Play, Ride or Walk to School
Family and parenting education programs
This link to NSW Government provides an overview of a range of parent courses and resources: Parenting Resources. Many of the programs are available online or face-to-face including Triple P Positive Parenting Programs and the Circle of Security resources for parents.
Uplifting Australia Parent resource.
Online resources for parents. If you have a child who is very cautious about starting preschool, some great tips are here. Subscribe to the online newsletter for your child’s age group.
From the ACT Education Directorate, resources for families starting school. Guides and factsheets for parents.
Parent resources on alternatives to smacking, listening to children and babies, being a dad, keeping kids safe and family and domestic violence.
There are over 50 playgroups across the ACT for children 0-5 years and their parents/carers. Playgroup is a great way to meet other parents with young children, build community relationships and facilitate transitions.
ACT Child and Family Centres
Child and Family Centres provide services for ACT families. Parents are invited to visit their local Centre to chat with a trained professional about parenting.
ACT Down Syndrome Association
Providing support and information to families with a member who has Down syndrome.
Upon completion of this savings education program, participants' savings are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $500 which can be spent on educational expenses including computers, text books, uniforms, excursions , music and sports costs.
Be You - Transitions Webinar
This webinar discusses how children and young people adapt to new circumstances and the impact change can have on their mental health and wellbeing.