Transition to School
Starting school is a big milestone for children and their families. The transition between learning environments can be both challenging and exciting. This page has research and case studies that families, early childhood education and care services, and schools can use to help children transition to school.
Importance of transition to school
The importance of a positive transition to school experience has been consistently emphasised in research around the world. A large body of evidence suggests a successful transition helps improve children’s educational and social outcomes.
Transition to School Statement
The Transition to School Statement is completed by a child’s early childhood teacher or educator and is sent to their new school. The statement:
- summarises a child’s strengths, interests and approaches to learning
- passes this information between families, early childhood teachers and educators
- gives children a voice in the process of meeting new people in the school environment
- helps link the Early Years Learning Framework to the Early Stage 1 Syllabus.
The importance of transition is reflected in the National Quality Standard (NQS). The standards require early childhood education and care services to collaborate with service providers and families to achieve quality outcomes for children. It also recognises that continuity of learning is supported by the sharing of information and the clarifying of responsibilities.
The Transition to School Digital Statement is now available for all Department of Education preschools, community preschools and long day care centres. Other service types will continue to use the PDF Transition to School Statement however, they will be provided with access to use the Digital Statement in future years. Click here to access the Transition to School Digital Statement for your service.
Professional learning on Transition to School Statements
The Transition to School session from the 2022 Roadshows supports teachers and educators in early childhood services to provide meaningful information in the Transition to School Statement and for teachers and educators in schools to use the information effectively to support transition to school.
- [Kate] Welcome to everybody who's joining us today for the Transition to School: The Digital Statement, what it is and how you can make it work for your service and families. We're just waiting for people to join us. We've got quite a few people joining us today, so we'll give it a few minutes and then we'll get started. Good morning everyone. I can see we've still got a few people joining us, so we'll just give it a minute or so more and then we'll get started. Okay, good morning everyone. I can see the numbers are still going up, but it is 10:02 and we've got a lot to get through today. so we'll get started. Welcome to today's session, which is Transition to School: The Digital Statement, what is it and how can you make it work for your service and families. Very pleased to have everyone here today. I'm going to begin with an acknowledgement of country. We've got a short video to play for you which has been prepared by some children from Toukley, a preschool in Toukley. which I'm just about to play for you. Okay, wonderful. And with that I'd just like to go into a bit of housekeeping. As you'll have noticed, the microphone, video, and chat functions will be disabled during the presentation. You can ask us questions in the Q&A section, which is at the bottom of your screen. We will be using Menti during this session, so if you can have a device handy, we'll get you to scan a QR code or go to a website address and enter a code. And this session is being recorded and will be made available. I'm now going to hand over to Linda Augusto who manages our transition to school program. Thanks Linda.
- Thanks Kate. Hi everyone. I'm Linda and I'm a Wajarri woman. So before we get started, I to wanna acknowledge the lands that we're all on and today I come from come to you from Duray country, which is very, very close to the Georges River where our aboriginal people have fished and used the river to resource us and sustain life, before, well and still do today. I was going say before us, but still do today. I also would just like to acknowledge the ancestors that are here with us and with you guys and hope that that gives us a successful transition to school statement session today, while they're sitting with us. I'm an early childhood teacher. I've worked in the profession since I was 17 and yes, that means a very long time. Some of my colleagues will be on this call today. So I just want to say hi to those of you who I have worked with, but I also want to acknowledge all of you as early childhood education and care professionals and the work that you do. I'm going to try and say this without getting emotional because those of you who know me, know I'm a crier. But I do want to say that the work that you do every day and the work of early childhood professionals is incredibly valuable and it's such heart work as in, from our heart as well as being very hard work. But what I did want to say is I know for myself, I still carry every single one of those little children I've worked with in my heart with me today and think of them often. And what a difference they, that you are making to their life. And I know that they make to yours. I'm also acknowledging that it's tough right now and that we know that here in the department and my colleagues here in the department are very supportive of the work that happens and very, hold a lot of admiration for all of you, and the work that you're doing, when you show up every day. And there is a deep respect from me and for the work of the profession, in the work that we do here at the department. I just really want to acknowledge that and say thank you from me and my colleagues. Not just on the call today, but in the wider department for the amazing things that you do. Okay, let's get started. So in this session we are going to provide an overview of the transition to school statement and share what's new. We're going to go through some common facts from questions that arise regularly around the statement. We're going to go through a guide and I'll take you through a guide to completing the statement. We're going to share some stories from an early childhood education and care service, who's been part of a pilot that has happened here for transition to school digital statement from the very beginning. We're also going to hear from our digital team who are going to do a demonstration for us. And at the end, if time permits, we'll have a live question and answer session as well. Because we've no doubt there'll be some questions that arise. I also just want to acknowledge that, I was going to say something , there and I've forgotten, oh if, if when we start going through, if there's questions that arise for you or things that you want us to spend a little bit more time on or you feel like we haven't actually answered something that you really need to know, just pop it in the chat and my colleagues are there waiting for those and will let me know. Okay, so let's move to the next slide. The transition to school statement is an opportunity for early childhood professionals to share their knowledge of the, of a child's learning, and their development, and a picture of who they are. And so this is shared and, and collated with families and is sent off to schools. It also is designed to give the child a voice in their transition experience and to help link the EYLF to the early stage one syllables, syllabus. So for teachers that is important as well. That's the feedback that we've received from them. To get started, we're going to do a Menti. So we'll go to the next slide and I'll get you all to get your phones ready. So if you can scan the QR code, we're conducting a poll to find out what organisation you're joining us from today. And this will be shown on the screen, so you can all get a bit of a sense of who's here and who our colleagues are that are with us. So I'll give you some time to scan this or if you're on a computer you can go to menti.com and enter the code, which has just been put in the chat. We've got lots of early childhood professionals, which is amazing. I can see we have some school counterparts, government department people here today, which means my colleagues are watching me. peak bodies and not-for-profit corporate. This is fantastic. I can still see it going up, so we'll give it a few more minutes, but it's really helpful for me to know who's joining us, so that I can make sure I answer questions, that suit the needs of the audience. I'm also just saying we had a thousand people register for today, so I'm slightly terrified. I think this is the biggest group I've ever had to present to, but I'll do my best. All right, so it looks like, which we did expect, that most of our participants are from early childhood services today. So welcome, really pleased to have you and to all of our other counterparts that are here as well. All right, let's move on to the next slide. So the department's role in transition to school is that we want to ensure that every child is supported to have a positive transition. And we want to be able to support early childhood education, and care services, and schools, to get the best information possible that is needed. So our main purpose is to ensure that services are ready to assist children and support them in their transition, and that schools are ready for children. But in that process, we're engaging early childhood educators, teachers, primary school teachers, parents, carers, and families to share that information together, and work together for the benefit of the child's transition. Research tells us that children who make a smooth transition maintain higher levels of social competence and academic achievement throughout their lives. Initial success in transition, transitioning to a new school environment can lead to students that develop long term, positive attitudes towards learning and it positively influences their wellbeing later in life. So again, thank you for your contribution to that. Okay, next slide. So by digitising the transition to school statement, it makes the process a smoother process and early childhood education and care professionals complete the transition to school statement. This happens online, the statement is then confirmed at the service level, read by families, and sent through so that schools can access this, their primary school that the child is transitioning to. It aligns to the early years learning framework and captures a child's developmental progress. The benefits that we know are for children and communities, and this is for continuity of learning. That it outlines developmental outcomes for children, that it's a work in partnership with families and communities, and that there's transparency of information sharing because we know how important it is that families, services, and schools work together to share that information. There's benefits for early childhood teachers and educators in that it lifts the professional identity of early childhood education and care professionals. We know what great work happens now and how important it is for us to share that work. There is one central location to create, view, and send statements, it's secure storage and access. It also gives access to previously created statements. It's time saving and we hope that it will reduce administration. The benefits for school teachers is that it's a more efficient and reliable way to receive statements, that it's an increase of information sharing and improves communication between early childhood education, and care services, and schools. And again, that it's time saving and reduces admin burden. Next slide. So this has been the journey for us so far. Just to let you know that in 2020 we started with a pilot, where there were 31 early childhood education and care services involved and 504 digital statements were completed. This then was increased in 2021, where we had 347 services participate and 5,000 digital statements completed. And this year we're rolling out the transition to school digital statement to all early childhood education and care services to use. And at last count, maybe someone's going to need to text me that information, but I'm pretty sure we were sitting around 7,000 statements, which is looking fantastic, so thank you. What we do know is that there are 100,000 children who are anticipated to transition to school every year. And so we hope in the next few years or next year, to reach that number of statements going across to schools. We've received some extensive feedback and had some consultation with some really amazing services that have given us some really great advice and have guided the statement, as well as our department colleagues. I do want to acknowledge the pilot services that have worked with the department for the last two years to refine the transition to school statement in the current form that it is today and to also thank those people, especially if they're on the call today for persisting with some of the challenges that we've had and some of the kinks that we needed to get sorted before we released the statement out to everybody. Next slide. We've got another Menti for you and what we are keen to find out is who has used the transition to school statement, which will help me in the next section of this presentation. So again, scanning the QR code or putting in the, the code. Okay, so we've got more people who haven't, than have, so this is really good for me to know when I'm going through the next part. And we hope that after today you will. And, either, or, there's no right or wrong answer, it's just useful for us to know. Okay, thank you. So I'm going to go through some common facts now. We have, as I mentioned to you, we've had lots of conversations with our pilot services but also have met with some peak organisations and with some transition to school networking groups. So we know the kind of questions and comments that come through and we are going to address some of those early on now, and I'm going to talk to you about some of the answers for that so that they don't get in the way of us being able to have the next part of the conversation. So we thought it was a good time to address some of these common questions that arise. So who can access the transition to school statement? Currently, community-based preschools, department of education preschools, long daycare services, and government schools can access the transition to school statement. We very much value the contribution that family day care, playgroups, and non-government schools, allied health, distance early childhood education, and care services contribute to the education of young children. We know that you can't currently access the statement in the form that it is in and it's not because we don't value the contribution that you make towards that child's education journey. I'm going to explain to you why, currently, you can't access the statement and what we are doing to try and find a solution for that. So as most services will know, and I'm going to try and not spend too long explaining this, but each provider of early childhood education and care, has a SE number or a service number. And so that's the license provider that has that number, which often from a service perspective when we fill documents in, that's the one that we have to grab and I can never remember or I left mine, when I worked in preschool, but it's there somewhere. So that service number is what your email is linked to for the service. So in a service based environment, it means that the service registers for a transition to school statement process and the director signs up the teachers and educators in order to be able to complete the transition to school statement. For family daycare for example, the family daycare provider has the SE number, so they also get the email. But it means that there's multiple carers that are working with that provider in the households that are working to educate young children. So what it would mean is that we can only, because there's only that one SE number, it means that each family daycarer would need to or would be classed like a service in that each educator would be able to see the transition to school statements for all children, in all the different households for family daycare. And we would be worried about privacy around that. So just to let you know, we are working with providers in family daycare with some providers who are helping us find solutions to that, and we do actually have some ideas, and we're working with our digital colleagues to try and get that to happen. So for, we're very close to finding the solution for family daycare. In relation to playgroup or even for distance early childhood education and care services. We're still on the journey of finding a solution for that and we're, we're hoping that through the process of trying to solve this for family daycare services, we'll also find the solution for these areas. But also we've had some groups reach out to us and are working with those networking groups where there's representatives from people across the range of those service types and those supports for children that are trying to help us to resolve that. So in the future it's coming, we just need to find a way to make it happen and we'll get there. So please don't feel worried. We definitely are on the case. In relation to government schools being able to access the transition to school statement and non-government schools not being able to, I'm going to address that question as we go. So let me get to that one. The next question, who will use and complete the transition, the completed transition to school statement. So we know that school, teaching, school staff and teaching staff use the transition to school statement to inform classes and to get to know the children that are coming into their space. We're very aware there is some worry held by early childhood education and care teachers, that school teachers are not reading the transition to school statement. Here is what I would say to that. We know that early childhood education and care is unique and incredibly valuable and we bring amazing perspectives about children who are heading off to school. By completing the statement, we are sharing that valuable knowledge that we hold for each child with a school. Here in the department, it's our job to work with our school counterparts to keep promoting the statement and to ensure that schools and teachers are engaging with it. What I can tell you, is we've already begun that work and there is not a teacher that I've spoken to or a corporate representatives from schools, who is not highly impressed by the statement, what it can do, and has not noted how valuable that is for them in their work, over in schools. So we are just continuing to work with schools to ensure that the word is getting out. But the other thing is that through your partnerships that you have with local schools, it's a really good way to promote the use of the transition to school statement and that the statement will be coming. But also as part of the system, the transition to school statement when it is completed and sent through to a school, actually pings the school to let them know that the statement's sitting there waiting to be read. And so if that isn't necessarily picked up initially, a reminder email will be sent to school. So once there are more statements completed, once this process happens more and more, the transition to school statement and the process will become more widely known. So what I, I guess I'm saying to you is don't give up, let's keep going, because this is really, in the early stages and the more that people begin to learn about the statement and know about it and the more engagement that school has, the more value is held with what is coming across. I think that we'll find that those numbers will start to increase. The next one is how long does it take to complete a transition to school statement? So obviously this varies. The statement is designed to use information collected in your practice through observations, through family conversations, through all about me sheets, through family input, through enrollment forms. So we don't want this or expect this to be different to the work that you are doing. It is obviously going to be unique to the child and the family service context, in particular if you have children who have an additional need, who you will need to spend a longer time supporting that family through making decisions about transition. So it's going to look different and it's designed to do that. But generally the statement is designed to use the information that you do in your daily work to bring it into one space so that it can be shared easily. Our most recent feedback in particular from the pilot services is that this version of the statement is the most aligned to practice that is happening in early childhood education and care on a daily basis. So we have intentionally worked on that to ensure that you get something that is useful and usable and we continue to look forward to the feedback that you are giving us about this. Because this is not a tool for the department, this is not a, not a tool for anybody else other than you as early childhood professionals to complete and to share information with schools. Also, I do want to let you know, Martin's going to go through this later when he talks through the, the technicalities of what, what the transition to school statement looks like, is that school teachers actually get a different dashboard to what early childhood education and care teachers do and can engage with certain elements of the statement. So it might be that they look at the developmental area first or at the suggestions for future planning and then they can go back at other times and pull out other pieces of information from the statement. So it's designed from, for schools to be versatile in that way, that all of that information can be filtered through to get what's needed immediately. All right, next slide. Sorry, I talk too much too, so please, my colleagues who are listening tell me to be quiet. It's when I get excited. Okay, so next slide is the next question is, how is the transition to school statement shared with interstate and non-government schools? So currently it's completed digitally, so it completed the same way. And what we recommend is that you save a PDF and it can be emailed through to a non-government school or to an interstate school or it can be printed off and shared with the family and they can hand it to a school. So there are a couple of options there. In the future we are again working with our non-government school counterparts to find a solution to, to this being done in a more streamlined way. But for now we would recommend that it's done through email or PDF sharing. And will the transition to school statement replace transition practices that are already happening in early childhood education and care services? The answer is absolutely not. The digital statement is one part of and one tool to assist the transition practices. It's an information sharing and as I've talked about before, through your documentation processes, there is already a developmental summary that would exist somewhere in the practices that you have. And so it is meant and designed so that that information can be put straight into the transition to school statement, before it's sent off to schools. Your other transition practices such as your partnerships with schools, visits, the learning experiences your planning and your educational program information sessions that you're having in the community and with families, all of those things will happen at your local level in a way that suits you. But the statement is one part of the process of information sharing across the schools to make sure that we're sharing that really amazing work that we do here in early childhood education and care. Okay, next part, let's dig down into the nitty gritty. So I'm going to take you through a guide to completing the transition to school statement. Again, this guide was developed to be a practical tool. If you can move to the next slide guys and we'll bring up a QR code for people who haven't seen this. So this is something that I used in the work that I've done before to either support early childhood professionals in creating developmental summaries and, and pulling together information about a child. I actually used this myself when I was teaching in a preschool and completing developmental summaries for children before they headed off to school. And so really it is created to be the most practical and useful tool for you. It's also to help educational leaders and directors to work with teams. We know that people who are filling out the transition to school statement may have 50 years experience. They also may be straight out of uni and have one year experience and are feeling a bit nervous because it might be their first time. So this is meant to support either end of the scale with some information that might be useful for you. So you can use the QR code to access it here. There's also, it's also available on our web pages and in the Q&A section, my colleagues are going to put the links in for that. Again, we are really mindful that the work that you're are doing out there is for you, and for families, and for children. And this tool needs to work for you. So if you have any feedback at all in the, at the, in our last slide, we're going to give you ways to contact us. But we really want to know, we want you to come back and say to us, well this was not helpful at all or this has been really helpful for us. Can you add in X, Y, and Z? So these tools, the statement itself, is for the profession, it's not for us, it's for you guys to work to support children and families and to support schools in that sharing of information. So please let us know what needs to happen to improve it. All right, so let's talk about the next slide. So I'm actually, you can see the images on the right, on the right hand side is the guide, and it takes us through the questions to the transition that, that are in the transition to school statement. So the first section of the statement really is about family, and cultural context, and languages spoken. This information is comes from the normal processes and interactions that you have with families. So whether it's through discussions, enrolment forms, whether you do a specific all about me sheet, or a you know, who am I sheet with children, whether it's conversations that you have and you've taken notes, or whether it's observations that you've made, your family connections and those important relationships that you have, are what is going to guide this part of the transition to school statement. Some services have chosen to actually create a sheet and let families know separately that they're sharing this information in the transition to school statement, I would say as part of your normal processes, that it would be something that you, you will talk about families, you will talk about with families, so that they know that this information will be shared. But really there's nothing in there that is top secret. It's more about things, you know, things that are general about that child and important to know in the family context. Also in that is whether or not the child identifies as Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander, which is incredibly important and from feedback for us, part of the updates that have happened this year is to make sure that we note down what lands and community the child is connected to. Because that's incredibly important for our community and our kids. Okay, next slide. So in this part is who the child connects, who, who the child is, how they're connected to family, community, culture, and place. So this is where you would put in a brief summary about that child. So I've just read you here a little example is that you might say something like, Linda lives at home with her brother Charlie and her mom. She spends every second weekend with her dad and has strong connections with her extended family, including her great grandparents on both sides. Or it might say something like her extended family lives overseas. They're still connected to her through weekly FaceTime conversations and contributing to her early years education through sharing stories on Story Park. So little bits and pieces like that. This is where the quirky information about who that child is and how they fit in their family context and community is really important. And I would also say that in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, it might say something there like, is deeply connected to her extended family and that her grandmother is regularly involved in decision making with the parents, along with the parents, as part of that child's educational journey, might be an example. This also, this section would share information about where the child might need additional supports. And that has also been updated this year because we're very aware that there's lots of different things impacting on children, particularly after COVID. So this isn't just relating to a diagnosed disability. It could have something to do with supports needed for self-regulation. If a child is experiencing anxiety, if they need support with separation, or that there might be some trauma background information there that is important to share for the to, to the school so that they're aware of what supports might be needed. Okay, next slide. So this part is to ensure that we're able to capture and share the child's voice, and feelings, and expectations about school. This is not a section where you would interview the child, where you'd pull them into the staffroom while you're completing the statement and say things like, tell me how you feel about going to school. This is through your natural normal organic conversations that you're having with children, in groups of children, whether that's at group time, whether that's through observations, whether it's through role plays that are happening in the service, whether it's through conversations with families. This has also been updated to reflect that we're very aware that some children won't be able to share with you how they're feeling, whether it's about their own communication needs and abilities, but there's also going to be some children who have an additional need and may require support with communication. And so this is where it's really important that that collaborative process between the family, child, educators, and other professionals supporting that child comes in and that you're able to, to include that information from a collection of information that's come through to you that can be shared with the school from all those valuable people. Next slide. So this is the area where we begin to include the child's learning and development. It has been designed as a holistic view of the child and is based on the early years learning framework. So each section, where you're putting in your developmental information and the learning information aligns with each early years learning framework and the sub-outcomes within that framework. In this section you'll see that there is an opportunity for you to put a little bit of a, a scale against each one of those sub-outcomes. And that might be where you choose to stop, at that information. You don't necessarily have to add information into the summary section. However, in order for us to share that valuable information that you are collecting throughout the year with your observations and documentation, we would recommend that you put a brief summary in there of each child, sorry, of each learning outcome, that is there. So you, you might comment on the child's development, their preferences, their learning styles, their abilities, and what intentional teaching strategies, and future planning opportunities that you are thinking for that child. So what is it that you do to support that child currently? What are some teaching strategies that you know work and what are some things that school might wanna think about to support that child in the future? Where are they headed? Because imagine us holding that information if when a child enrols into our service, we are given a little bit of a handover of that information of the best way that we can support the child. And we know that in early childhood, you guys are the ones who hold that amazing knowledge. So this is obviously again where you would pull from the documentation that you do. Some services do a mid-year summary and add to it or update it as the year progresses. So that might be where you grab this from as well. In there are also support, oh no, that's okay, I'll talk about that in the next slide. It's your choice, as I said, how much or how little you include in this section. You might put a few dot points or you might put a significant summary, that's up to you and that's up to the time that you have. But remember it's the child who benefits from the teacher knowing this information, knowing who they are and knowing what they bring into the classroom and to their new school environment. Next slide. So this section was designed as a support and I'm going to say I know this is not perfect. I know there's going to be a million people out there who say, why have they used those wordings or why have they said that or why didn't they just use the EYLF developmental areas? And we did, we actually used all of that to bring it into one document, so that you had one place where you could go to this document, make notes all over it, add your thoughts in it, add more information. So it's not meant to be an exhaustive or a complete list, but it is meant to be somewhere for you guys to start, where you can pull some of those dot points in to pad out your summary. And it just makes it a little bit more, I guess, handy for you to have a document here to, to support you to build this information. So it lists the developmental analysis descriptors to interpret and complete the questions on each outcome. And we've actually separated that out in outcomes for you in that support document. But one thing to keep in mind, it was really tricky, let me tell you, is that some of those indicators obviously crossover into more than one outcome. So you, we've tried what we can to, to capture that, but of course you guys will need to work on that and make it your own. It's linked to also to the general capabilities. So each outcome there, we've linked to the general capabilities from the Australian curriculum, that relates to each outcome area. So for this specific outcome, for learning outcome one, it relates to personal and social capabilities. And so we've made sure we've included that in there. So it, it helps with just thinking about what schools might be looking for within this outcome. An example I've given you of one of these developmental indicators and I, one of the reasons that we have included this to support the work that you are doing is, it can sometimes be really tricky for us to share information about a child where they might not quite be reaching their potential for that learning outcome. And so some of the wording that we've included there to support that is instead of saying something like, gives up and won't complete something that's challenging, one of the indicators there or the language that we've used around that is that, it might be that Sheree benefits from support from a trusted adult to persist with completing a task. It sounds so much friendlier, it sounds so much nicer. It's from a, the perspective of a family reading that as opposed to reading something written in a deficit is really important for us to, for parents to feel great about their child when they're moving off. And also a really good way for them to connect to things that the child is working on, things that a child is improving and also, where they might be able to fit in to do that. So that's also one of the reasons that we've shared this information and document with you is to support you with some of that wording where things can be a little bit tricky as well. So we hope that this in particularly is really helpful for you in your work. Again, as I've mentioned, please let us know if there's any ways that you think this can be improved. It is really meant to be a practical tool that you can pick up and use straight away and that educational leaders and directors and other support staff in early childhood education and care services can grab, in your daily work. We want to make life easy, not more difficult for you. I am now done and thankfully going to take a breath and we are going to share a little snippet of a video for Midson, from Midson Road Early Childhood Education and Care service, who have worked on the pilot with us and shared some of their journey from being part of the pilot and using the transition to school statement in their work. And thank you so much for listening.
- Hi, I'm Linda from the Department of Education and I'm here with Mel from Midson Road Childcare Center to talk about transition to school. Mel, do you want to talk to us a little bit about your role?
- Absolutely. I'm the educational leader and the director of Midson Road Childcare Center. I've been the director for the last 25 years, so since the center opened. So it's been a long time that we've been working with transition to school and each year we get quite excited at new prospects and new innovations.
- So tell us a little bit about your experience with transition to school statement.
- Absolutely, so we've always prepared some form of documentation to share our children's knowledge, and experience, and strengths, and areas that they might need some help with, with our local schools. We've worked hard to build up those relationships, so it's been lots of connections, lots of visits, inviting the schools in, and we just think it's really important that the schools have something to introduce each of our children as the individuals that they are. We find the transition to school document is really helpful because it's does give you that little bit of structure and you know, then sharing similar information that the other schools are sharing. So rather than getting off track or sharing information that might not be helpful, we find it's quite concise. It's similar to the information that we're already sharing with our families. So it's not a trouble for us to put together, it's not an extra workload. And it just flows into the transition to school statement quite easily.
- So you've been part of a trial with department of ed for how many years?
- I think the last two or three years. We're always excited to be a part of anything that's going to lead to growth or might streamline the practices or the processes. But also make it easier for the schools to get that information from us. So knowing that they're going to receive it digitally rather than us have to print it out, or rely on the families, or send the emails, we just find that we are looking forward to the opportunity to just press go and know that it's just going to get uploaded.
- So talk to us a bit more about the process of putting together the transition to school statement. What, what happens here in the service?
- Absolutely. It's a journey for us. So it doesn't just get picked up at the end, where we all panic and go, oh my goodness, we've got to prepare a document. We start back in term one, we already start the discussions around doing the research and the philosophy. We use the department's website. It's got so many interesting articles and, and the research to back up why we should be doing the transition to school statements. So I work with my early childhood teachers, but also anyone else in the center who's interested. I share all of this information across our whole team, because they always want to know what we are doing and why. So we complete an in-depth literature review, a deep dive, in term one and term two, to just understand the why. I don't think it's much point in study unless you know the why. Then we observe the children and continue to observe them. We do an analytical summary six months in anyway. So that's almost the same information that's going into the transition to school statement.
- And where do you pull that from?
- We pull that from the observations of the children, their work progress towards their goals, using their family's goals, using our observations. But we also use the developmental milestones. So we use the ASQ tool.
- So what I'm hearing from you is that it's actually part of your normal documentation process. Those analytical summaries that lead into the buildup of information you're gathering.
- About the child for the statement is part of what you would do, at the center.
- Absolutely. And that's across all age groups. So we write them from our babies all the way up. So it's not like it's a brand new document, it is already in place, it's embedded, it's a, it's a practice.
- That analytical.
- That analytical summaries. So it's very, very easy to continue that through and transfer the updated information. Because the children, they just continue to grow so much. So we begin in term three, the end of term three, we'll start to write ourselves a few notes, a few observations, but then we'll revisit them over the next few weeks before we start to set them in stone what we would like to share with the schools.
- What about things like families, and permissions, and getting some of the information that you need for the statement? Is that something that you get from the things that already exist in the service or are you asking specific questions of families throughout the year, how does that look?
- Being part of the trial group, we have found this year that we've had to be a little bit more systematic. In the past because we are looking at doing it digitally. So we needed to make sure we had the information that we needed for that. In the past we've always had no problems collecting the consent forms. But again, we keep our families very informed. So I also give them the why. So it's not just fill this form in. It's, we're so excited to be preparing your child's transition to school statement. These discussions start, we do term by term newsletters. Here's what we did this term, here's what's coming next term. We embedded that information in from the start of term one, term two, we revisit it in term three. So our families actually know already months and months in advance. It's not a surprise for them, but that's those honest and two-way conversations. The families are excited about the children starting school. Some of them are a little bit nervous, a lot of them are first time families. So they're very excited to get the information back. And again, we use the department's resources. So I always share the fact sheets, the information sheets, the research, the why, the what are we going to do with that information, where is it going to go? So we're not just writing it because we feel like it, we're writing it to help support your child as they transition to school. So we're very fortunate that our families are very, very open to getting involved with these sorts of things. But I think that's because we've prepared them months in advance. It's not a surprise and I think it needs to be a journey. It needs to be a two-way street.
- So, what do you think are the benefits of the transition to school statement?
- Absolutely, I think it's sharing the information about our children and what we know about our children with the schools. I think we all know that schools are slightly larger. So you know, our children are gonna go from a group of 20 to a cohort of up to a hundred depending on what school they go to. So how are we going to make sure that all those special little bits and pieces, and that includes some areas they might need some support in. How are we gonna get that information to the school, and to the teachers, and to the child's teachers, so that our children have the best possible start and the most positive start, to their next round of schooling.
- And in the process that you were talking to me about before, about what happens here at the service, you have a look at all the statements that educators and teachers complete.
- I do. I do. As the educational leader, I think it's really important that I'm checking the work that is, that is going out. We really value that information and so I like to make sure that I've reflected on it. That just means I can look at it with potentially a slightly different way, so that I can just tweak them and make sure the information is the best about the child.
- So Mel, tell me why you think it's important that, that we as early childhood professionals share information with schools in the transition to school statement like we do.
- Yes, I think it's all about elevating the profession. It's making those connections that what we are doing here in the early childhood years is so important and so crucial to set up that transition to school. If we weren't doing what we were doing and providing the successful steps, not every child would transition as smoothly as they do.
- Well tell me about what the, what the schools have said about the transition to school statement. Is that something they find valuable? Do you find all schools engage?
- I would say 70% of them definitely value it. We've still got the 30% that we're not sure if they read it. We don't get a lot of communication back. We've had to be okay with that. That's not us, that's the school and their processes. But it also means that we haven't stopped. So we still keep sending the emails, we make sure we print a copy of the statement, we email a copy of the statement. This year we're very excited to be digitally pressing go on the statement. I feel like if we just keep flooding them, they will eventually work out, that it's a really important document and that we're introducing each child as an individual. So we get to know these children so much, especially the ones who have been here since they're babies. We've spent half of their lifetime and then they're off to school. So we've got so much knowledge that we can share that we think it's really important. So we just don't give up. I think that's the most important thing.
- So why not? Because we, it would be really easy to say no one is reading them, it's not worth doing this statement.
- Easy to give up.
- Because there's a lot of work in those.
- There is a lot of work.
- Why do you not give up? Why?
- Absolutely because it's not fair on the children and it's not fair on their families. And I think a high percentage of them are beginning to value it more and more. I think with each year that's gone on, I do think that we are getting a lot better feedback and they're taking the time and they're asking for it in advance. So I think those last couple of schools that aren't quite sure, I think if we just keep going, we'll get them involved.
- Tell me a little bit about the design of the statement. It's set up under the EYLF outcomes.
- Does that work with what it is that happens in the service, through your documentation?
- It does for us. It's very smooth. It's very easy. The only thing that we have to think about, that's a little bit different, is collecting a nice piece of the child's artwork that they might like to share with the school. There's a question in there about that from the child's perspective. Other than that, if the information is what we were going to do in our analytical summaries anyway. So we've already done similar halfway through the year, we were going to do that anyway. That information just slides straight into the outcomes. It's very easy to use, it's very user friendly.
- And some of the information around culture and family language use, is that something that you would get from enrolment forms or do you have different processes as to where you would draw that from?
- We do get it in our enrolment forms. We also give families, little child profiles, that they submit and they update. This year, being part of the trial group, we've also asked our families those questions directly, so that their voice is represented back into the transition to school statement. So we could have gone and found it, but we also offered them the opportunity to give their perspectives if there's something more that they'd like to share. Because some of the enrollment forms were filled in a few years ago, things change or they might, families might want to have a different perspective put forward. So it was a great opportunity to connect with our families. Which we have lovely relationships with anyway. So it was very, very easy, to start collecting that information as well.
- So there's some of the, that's some of the pre-work that you were talking about before that you do.
- Some of the pre-work.
- Before the end of the year.
- Exactly, exactly. I think it's all about being a little bit systematic. I think, don't think that you could start at term four and not then feel like it is a little bit of work. But if you start thinking about the questions, open the document up, do your reflections, do your readings, you know what's coming, it's not a surprise. So we just did a little deep dive, worked out what questions we were going to need to ask, and we already had that planned weeks and weeks ago, so that when the time comes, it's just a transfer of information in. Rather than trying to write it on the spot. We definitely find that writing a draft first helps and then it goes through a few other teachers and then I read it. And that way it gets that quality control as well that we've been talking about.
- So it sounds like you've got a really clear process about the transition to school statement being completed, but all those steps throughout the year, all of those things happen to make sure that the, when it's statement time,
- That you're prepared and ready. That's exactly it.
- Hi, I'm Linda from the Department of Education
- Now we're going to hand over to my colleague for that.
- Good morning everyone. Thanks for your time this morning. So my name's Martin Dembeck. I'm the product owner and delivery lead, for the Transition to School Digital Statement. A little bit of background on myself. I've spent roughly a bit over 20 years within education, usually in a technical environment, both in Education Queensland and in New South Wales. So coming into this process has been pretty exciting and it's, it's quite a good project that we're running here. So what I'll be doing today is just walking everyone through the basics of the application. So the department has developed a digital version of the transition to school statement, as everyone's aware. The idea being to streamline the process for the statements to be sent to schools. So yourselves, early childhood teachers and educators can access the online platform and complete the transition to school statement and store it. And then you can send the statement to the school where the child will attend. And as part of this process as well, parental consent is obtained and the information provided to the intended school. So what we've found is that digitising the transition to school process has increased the utilisation of the transition to school statement and it's helped promote communication between families, early childhood services, and schools. And it's leading to more children being supported in their transition from preschool into the school environment. Now one of the asides as well, this is only very new information that's come through to us, but the transition to school digital statement application has just received a good design award. So it's an industry recognition for the design and the ease of use of the application and it, it really highlights the efforts that the team have gone into, into designing as much a user friendly application as we possibly can, to make everyone's lives easier. Okay, so let's dig in. So next slide. Thank you. Alrighty. So this is the transition to school's digital statement landing page. So you access this page via a DOE account and to gain that access, directors or a nominated supervisor need to create an account, verify your identity, and then you register the service. So the director can then create and manage accounts for the educators at the service who need to use TTSDS. And registration allows the authorized directors and educators to create, complete, and view the statements for their service. Okay, next slide please. Okay, so once a director has verified their identity and created a Department of Education account, then you must register the service with TTSDS. So on this page you can enter the service approval number or SE number and once you've done that, a pin number will be sent to the email address that was registered with NQAITS for the service. Now if you have any difficulties accessing that at that time though, you can resend the pin. It does last for about 60 minutes though, just in case you need that time, but can be recent, as I mentioned. Okay, so we'll jump onto the next page. Okay, so this is the actual service dashboard. So once you've logged on, this is where you'll land. So it displays the service account, sorry, the services that the account holder is linked to. And from here you can access both the educators dashboard and the statements dashboard. Okay, so we'll jump through to the next one. Okay, so here we can see the educators dashboard. So directors use this to create and manage educators linked to their service in the TTSDS. So directors can create an account for educators new to TTSDS, or you can link educators who have an existing account using the educator feature. So educators that are no longer at the service will also need to be removed from the educator dashboard. And that's also done through this page that you see here. Okay, so we'll jump to the next one. Okay, so this is the statements dashboard. So what this does is it displays a list of all the trans, a transition to school digital statements created at a service, for children transitioning to a school. So from here the statements are created, completed, and confirmed basically. So to create a new statement, you would just press the new statement button. You can also click on a child record to open any in progress statements and they'll be opened in edit mode. So you can work on them further if you need to. But completed statements are opened as a read only summary. Also from here, statements are stored securely in the TTSDS platform for seven years. So the advantage to this is it reduces the need for services to maintain backups as well. Okie dokie, we'll jump through to the next one. Okay, so creating a new statement. So to create the new statement, the child's details and parental consent must be entered. Currently digital parent consent is being piloted, with plans to make this an option for all services in 2023. The standard parent's consent method currently as, as some of you'll already be aware, is to upload the parents signed consent form, which is available from within the application. Okay, let's jump through next slide. Okay dokie, completing the statement. Okay, so TTSDS is divided into four sections to collect information about the child, their background, and their learning and development. And as Linda mentioned, it's aligned with the EYLF guidelines. So once all the information is filled in, a summary is for overview prior to confirming and sending the statement to the school. So you get to have a bit of a review of it. And as Linda has spoken in detail about the content of the statement, we, we don't have to dig too far into that right now, which is great. Okay, so we'll jump into the next, next one. Okay, so sharing the statement. Alrighty. So to support continuity of learning upon the transition to school, as you guys would be aware, this is really the driver of it. The statement is shared with the child's intended school. So if the child is going to a New South Wales public school, here is where you would enter the school details for the statement to be sent directly to that school. Schools can access the statement center then via the TTSDS schools dashboard. Okie dokie, so we'll jump to the next one. Okay. So, if the child is going to go to an independent school, Catholic school, or an out-of-state school for example, or if the school is currently unknown, when you are filling in the statement. You can indicate this and then you can manually share the statement with the parents and the school as required. Okay. Alrighty. So this is the TTS dashboard, that the New South Wales public schools see when their staff log on. So if you ever wonder what's happening on the other side of the fence, this is it. So using the dashboard, public schools can instantly access the statements sent to them by the services. The statements can be viewed online or downloaded, as required to then support their transition activities. Statements from previous transition periods can also be accessed at any time via the past cohorts tab. So they can always refer back to previous ones if they're required. And lastly, access for non-government schools. As mentioned, it's currently being looked at as a future enhancement for the platform. So we are continuing development of this application. It, it's quite, we're quite receptive to feedback and yes, this will be one of the things we're hoping to get stood up. Okay, so next slide. So, as with any IT product, technical support, So there is support available for all users of the transition to school digital statement. So the early childhood education directorate information and enquiries, that's a mouthful, but basically the I&E team available for support, via phone and email. There's also a comprehensive user guide, with FAQs available, and also support options are listed at the bottom of the TTSDS application pages. So they're pretty frequently available wherever you are in the system. Okie dokie. That's a very quick run through. Linda has covered off most of obviously what is involved in the content. So this is the actual how to with the statement. So what I'll do now is, we'll pass back over to Linda and we'll look at the Q&A side of things, I believe.
- Hi there. I've just been reading through lots of those questions. I am very, very mindful that we have taken up a lot of your time and that we are at time. I believe that's right, isn't it Martin, do you want to nod your head if I'm, we're at time.
- We are, literally bang on.
- Okay, so out of respect for your time in being here and I know that you will have allocated this time and had your relief time to attend. I don't want to spend too much time. Oh, oh I, we won't have time to answer the questions face to face. However I can see there's so many come through. So what we have put up here is ways to contact us. So there's a Yammer group and a Facebook page that you can join which shares information that's coming out about the statement, about pilots, about feedback groups, that are happening. So we would encourage you to sign up to these. Also, I know I can see that my colleagues have actually shared the email to the transition to school inbox, and we will be really happy for you to send through any questions that you are really wanting answered. I also know that there will be sheets available. Kate, you can nod at me or tell me yes, based on the questions that were asked in this session and shared out as well. What I do want to offer, I guess is something for, Emma and I will often get lots of emails where people are feeling a little bit wobbly about the statement or feeling really strongly about certain elements. And sorry, Emma is my colleague who works closely with me on transition to school and will often spend some time aiding through Zoom, talking through some of these questions and trying to find some solutions with services. So if you are really interested in having a session or for us following up with you at some point, really happy, again, use that email to get in touch and we may even organise to have, you know, some kind of group session or invite people to, to have a chat with us because this isn't meant to be something that's hard work. This isn't meant to be something extra. We want this to be something that can be done in the ordinary work that you do every day, in your ordinary part of your routine and practices. It's not meant to be super onerous. We know it's a shift. We know it's a change. We know it's tricky. I've been watching people talk about timeframes that it takes. So if it's taking that long, I think, you know, I, I know myself, I would spend between 30 minutes and an hour on every summary that I would send or complete for a child. So yes, that's standard. Yes, we know that happens. If you're really short for time, in particularly at the moment when under so much pressure. Maybe you don't put all of the information that you would like to in the statement and you send through a more brief summary at this point for this year. And that's okay too. So there's, you know, I'm certainly not saying that, that there are smooth, easy answers to all of these things, but we are really happy to have more conversation. Kate, I'm going to hand over to you to finish off, cause I'm continuing to ramble and get excited about the content. So thank you everybody for listening.
- Wonderful. Thank you to everyone who joined us today. This session was recorded and the video will be made available in the coming weeks once we've had the chance to, to caption it correctly. There will be a popup survey when you sign out. If you could please complete that for us. It gives us really valuable feedback on the roadshow sessions and what sessions you might find useful in the future. Thanks to our presenters today for a wonderful presentation and I hope everyone has a good afternoon. Thank you.
- Thanks everybody.