Transition to school
New transition guidelines to support school planning, current advice for the 2021 Kindy cohort and updated information on the Transition to school statement.
Strong and successful start to school
Address from the Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC – Minister for Education and Early Childhood learning
The Minister encourages strong commitment in planning transition to school, and launches the Strong and successful start to school - Transition guidelines.
Education is one of the greatest gifts we can give. And it's our job as a public school system to ensure that all our students receive the best education possible.
One of the most crucial moments in education is the transition period from preschool to kindergarten. And as teachers, you have the privilege and responsibility to set students up for success from an early age. And that starts here with every learning activity you provide, with every book you read, and with every positive interaction you have with students and their families. Your work is vital in supporting young learners to make a successful transition to school.
That's why we've released strong and successful start to school transition guidelines for all primary principals and teachers. Additionally, the transition to school webpage contains resources that will assist schools to plan, implement, and evaluate the transition practices.
I hope that the use of those resources will ensure all children experience a successful transition into school. Finally, can I thank you all for your commitment to the children of New South Wales, and everything that you do to support their futures.
1. Transition guidelines
The Strong and successful start to school Transition guidelines (PDF KB) are aimed at principals, leadership teams and Early Stage 1 teachers. The guidelines and supporting resources can be used to support planning, implementation and evaluation of transition practices.
Professional learning has been developed to support the release of the guidelines. Enrol in Beginning school strong and successfully: Part 1 and Beginning school strong and successfully: Parts 2, 3 and 4 via MyPL.
2. Supporting transition during COVID restrictions – Term 4 2020 guidance
See the current advice on how schools can be supporting transition to school in Term 4, 2020.
To support schools at this time, there are a range of resources to help you adapt transition practices this year. The Strong start to school 2021 resource package includes school stories, social stories, professional learning and podcasts.
3. Transition to school statement – Sharing important information
This Transition to school statement is an important tool to support effective transition. In 2020 a digital version of the Transition to school statement is being trialled. The digitisation of the statement is the first step to increasing access to and usefulness of the statement for schools. Schools should be aware that the trial of the Transition to school digital statement means some schools will receive statements via an email to the school administration inbox. Schools that will receive an email will be contacted separately with further information about accessing those.
Professional learning is available to support early childhood services and schools in their use of the Transition to school statement.
Transition to school Is an active process of continuity of change as children move into the first year of school. The process of transition occurs over time, beginning well before children start school and extending to the point where children and families feel a sense of belonging at school and when educators recognise this sense of belonging.
A strong and successful start to school for all children depends on everyone working together to make it happen – family, community, early childhood service and schools. This is particularly important for children in identified equity groups and experiencing disadvantage.
The Early learning professional learning catalogue offers a range of professional learning for teachers and leaders to best support a strong and successful transition to school for all children.
Continuity of learning
Continuity of learning supports successful transitions and is crucial for optimising improved outcomes for children. Educators in both the school space and the early childhood space need to place children and their experience in the education continuum at the centre of their practice, particularly at points of transition. This involves knowing what and how children learn in each other’s spaces and occurs when there is a focus on engaging, connecting and building relationships with local early childhood services.
School readiness should focus on more than a child’s age and academic knowledge. Holistically, school readiness refers to ready children and ready schools, as well as the family and community’s readiness to promote and support the child’s transition.
Effective transition is about the whole school engaging to make sure children are well supported through the process. It involves collaborative partnerships with early childhood services, families and other professionals, including the transfer of information from one setting to another through the Transition to school statement. Effective transition practices also better inform teachers to assess children through Best Start Kindergarten Assessment.
Further information for parents is available at NESA’s transition to school page for parents.
Transition to school practices link to social justice, human rights, ethical behaviour and equal opportunity. All children should enjoy educational opportunities that support them to access, engage and participate in school and to achieve socially and academically.
Highly collaborative and more detailed transition planning is important for children with a disability and/or learning support need.
It is important that schools take action to support children and their families in identified equity groups during transition. These can include children who are EAL/D, High potential and gifted children, children from a refugee background or low socio-economic area, as well as children in out of home care.
High expectations are particularly important for Aboriginal children. An environment where Aboriginal children are able to feel strong and proud in their cultural identity is important to support a positive transition to school. Supporting connections with families, caregivers and community is especially important for Aboriginal people and crucial when planning transition.
- Belonging, Being & Becoming - the Early Years Learning Framework of Australia – the framework for all early childhood services across Australia. Its aim is to extend and enrich children's learning from birth to five years and through the transition to school.
- The National Quality Framework – includes a National Quality Standard for early childhood services around transition to school. Standard 6 focuses on collaborative relationships between early childhood settings and schools to support the continuity of learning and transitions for each child.
- Transition to school statement – NSW Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate is completed by a child’s early childhood educator and is sent to their new school.
- The transition to school paper – CESE examines the existing literature on the transition from home and/or early childhood settings to primary school.
- Transition to school, communication and relationships – Kathryn Hopps, ECA unpacks a communication and relationship-based approach to transition to school
- The Continuity of Learning: a resource to support effective transition to school and school-aged care – Charles Sturt University's Educational Transitions: Continuity and Change Research team
- Starting school: a strength-based approach towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children ACER – provides an overview of the role of ‘resilience’ in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strengths‐based early learning context.