Tarro PS

Portrait photo of school principal
Image: Kelly O’Shea, Principal

Strategy 1: Utilising online platforms

Facebook

We have created a private Facebook group, linked to our school account, for families joining our school in 2021, to provide a safe space for children, families and the school to engage.

Posts made in this private group by the school include:

  • reminders about when enrolment forms are due
  • a series of video clips for families to support their child’s fine motor development filmed by our occupational therapist
  • information about purchasing uniforms.

Children and families are encouraged to provide feedback and ask questions.

Screenshot of Tarro Public School Facebook group landing page
Image: Tarro Public School Facebook group

SeeSaw

We have been using the SeeSaw app since 2018 to engage our community in a learning partnership. We have extended its use to include our 2021 Kindergarten children and families. This platform provides an opportunity to share examples of work, provide feedback and upload documents that are included in the activity packs. It also allows the 2021 Kindergarten cohort to see other children who be starting school and to build a relationship with their teacher.

Tip

Knowing your community is crucial in order to know how to support them. Consider strengths and potential barriers.

How does this strategy support children, families and educators?

Families and children can see that we are working in partnership. By answering questions on Facebook pages and commenting on work uploaded onto Seesaw, we are demonstrating to our newest families that even though we can’t connect in person, we care about their child's transition to school.

We use feedback provided by families to reflect on our engagement on these platforms. We use their feedback to make adjustments so that we remain responsive and supportive to the needs of our children and families.

Strategy 2: Remote transition lessons

Each week we record and deliver online transition lessons. Videos are uploaded onto the schools YouTube channel and the link is sent to families via SeeSaw and Facebook.

Online transition lessons include:

  • reading a book and related tasks, for example letter/sound work and craft activities
  • maths, for example counting and shapes
  • fine motor development, for example cutting and drawing.

Families are also provided with a pack that contains all the resources to complete the activities associated with the videos. They are encouraged to post photos of completed activities onto SeeSaw for all their new Kindergarten friends to see.

Posting information also provides an opportunity for 2021 Kindergarten teachers to comment on the work and provide feedback to the children.

Tip

Be organised. Arrange time for staff to fillm. Know the content your video will cover and prepare the resources you will need.

How does this strategy support children, families and educators?

By providing a virtual transition experience, our 2021 Kindergarten children and their families can start building relationships with their teachers and the school. Children engage with the teachers through the virtual lesson and families engage with the school through SeeSaw and Facebook.

Strategy 3: Phone interviews

Previously we have conducted face to face interviews, where the families meet with the transition teacher to talk about the needs of their child. As a school, we value the importance of these interviews. They allow us to have frank discussions with families, in a safe and secure environment. We collect valuable information to support children coming to school. The information supports:

  • teachers to select and use strategies to support children’s learning
  • proactive engagement and responses to questions and concerns
  • school based planning
  • development of personalised transition and support plans
  • writing of Access Requests.

This year phone interviews will be conducted with each family. It is important that families understand the purpose of the call and that the information we collect allows our school to be ready for their child and provide them with a strong start for successful learning.

Tip

Allocate resources to actively create and sustain relationships, break down barriers and strengthen pathways for transition to school.

How does this strategy support children, families and educators?

While this year is somewhat different from previous years, the early identification of the 2021 Kindergarten teacher allows for the development of relationships between children, families and the teacher virtually. Gathering data from a variety of sources such as phone interviews and educator observations, our families can be assured that our school will be ready for their children.

Tip

Take a community approach. A solid transition team that engages with community partners including prior to school services is essential. When partners have a positive reciprocal relationship, are on the same page and working towards the same goal, success follows.

Tip

Embrace the Ready Schools, Ready Families, Ready Communities and Ready Children model to ensure your transition practices support all partners at all stages of transition to school.

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