Starting school social narratives

A social narrative is an effective way to teach children how to navigate a new situation, such as starting school.

Social narratives can be an important resource when preparing children for change, new environments and life transitions. They support continuity between settings by explicitly illustrating:

  • details about the setting
  • things that typically happen in that setting
  • the actions or behaviour that are typically expected in the setting.

The starting school social narrative is a template for schools to use as part of their transition practices and to share with families when welcoming new children to the school. Social narratives can help children understand what to expect at school or they can be used to support orientation.


Use suggested words in the templates below to make a social narrative about your school. Some photos have been included to represent a diverse range of contexts but these can be changed to suit the individual school.

Modify the narratives

  • The templates are designed to be modified to suit the needs of all children, including Aboriginal, EAL/D, HPG students, and students with disability.
  • Edit the story words and pictures to suit the needs of your school’s transitioning children.
  • Some children may require one or more individualised stories, each focusing on a different aspect of the day and learning environment.
  • For families who speak a language other than English at home, arrange for the story to be translated into their home language.
  • Children who arrive by bus or are going to attend before school care may require a different story beginning to those who will arrive on foot.


Users can contact with any questions or feedback.

Last updated: October 2021

Anticipated resource review date: December 2023

Alignment to priorities and resources:


Resources have been refined based on findings from consultation with key stakeholder groups including the team who own the other social narratives.

Reviewed by:

Subject matter experts from Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners reviewed the resource to ensure the accuracy of the content.

Evidence base:


  • Early learning
  • Transition to school


  • Accessibility
  • Educational transition
  • Transition through stages

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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