Transitioning to primary school
Your child’s school should have an individual plan to help your child make the transition to starting school.
What’s in your child’s transition plan?
Your child’s personalised transition plan for primary school could have:
- Times for orientation for your child to get to know the school and it’s layout.
- Plans for introducing your child to the school’s staff and teachers, and time for them to get to know your child.
- Information about your child’s needs, including reports from medical professionals.
- Information from your child’s early childhood education service about what adjustments or modifications they might have made for your child.
It might also have information about how your child will start school - depending on your child’s needs, they might start going to school gradually. For example, they could start attending a few days a week, or for a few hours a day, and slowly build up to going on all five days.
Early childhood education services can also complete a Transition To School Statement which they can give to your child’s school with your permission. This statement is a summary of your child’s learning and development.
It tells the school about your child’s strengths, interests and how they learn, and shares information between your child’s early childhood education service, you, and the school. It also helps to link what your child has been learning in their early childhood education service with what they will learn in primary school.
Resources to help you prepare your child for school include:
- Parents and carers guide to starting primary school
- Daisy's First Day (PDF 5.5MB) – a children's book about Daisy the koala on her first day at primary school.
- Getting ready for primary school (PDF, 2.1MB) – a school readiness checklist, useful preparation activities and information about what to expect at school.
What is the school’s role?
Preparing for your child’s transition to primary school includes making sure your child’s school knows their strengths, needs, and interests and is ready to support them.
The school can prepare for your child’s arrival by:
- looking at all the information you can give them about your child’s needs
- making changes to the school environment for your child
- having a personalised plan for your child’s learning
- making sure teachers have had additional training if they need it.
Schools have their own transition guidelines for all students, and how transitions are managed will vary from school to school.
If your child is getting early intervention resource support, you will have an early intervention teacher working with your child’s regular early childhood education service as part of this transition process.
Depending on the school, some may have an existing transition network organised. This network can include other local schools, independent schools, early childhood education services, community health services, early invention classes, support classes and any other relevant community services. These networks make it easier for schools to offer support to children who might need it.
Your local education office might also be involved in working with local schools, preschools and early childhood education services to help support some children’s transition to primary school.