Strategy: Talking Transition Network
Building strong links between early childhood and school settings is vital for schools to understand the learning our Kindergarten students have developed. Early childhood services benefit from a greater understanding of what they are preparing the children for when entering school.
Having already established strong relationships with many local preschool directors, establishing a network was a perfect platform to bring us together. The Talking Transition Network provides an opportunity to get together and discuss common themes of transition to school from preschools for children and families.
Meetings are conducted once a term and hosting is shared. This is a wonderful opportunity to discover and showcase each other’s environments. Each meeting has a different topic based on suggestions and feedback. We also have offers to present from educational providers' expertise, and other para-professionals such as occupational or speech therapists.
Understanding children’s journey before they enter Kindergarten gives teachers a greater window into continuity of learning.
How does this strategy support children, families and educators?
- Relationships have been established and maintained between staff at schools and local early years services
- Links have been developed with early years integrational services
- There are opportunities to see each other’s environments and visit children
- There is learning from colleagues outside our school, sector and professions by sharing resources, programs and practices
- An understanding of the similarities and differences of practices and protocols across sectors
- A deepened understanding of the EYLF and NSW syllabus documents
- Information is shared about events and opportunities for children to see into school and across the community
- Transition to school practices are discussed to ensure we tailor support to children and families in our context
- Children love it when you talk about their preschool teachers by name.
Research and resources have supported our thinking around transition to school
Thinking of starting a network? DO IT!
Here are my top tips to get started:
- Use your existing relationships with local preschools.
- Hold meetings in the same week each term.
- Compile an email distribution list of all local schools and prior to school settings.
- Telephone and invite staff to network meetings personally.
- Send out emails with invitations and forms with questions of topics of interest.
- Invite all to school events such as fetes, art shows or school concerts as an additional opportunity for families to get to know your school.
- Plan regular events e.g. Teddy Bear's Picnic with Kindergarten.
- Visit preschools to meet the staff and children during the year before coming to school.