Transition in Challenging Times

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By Nicki Allman

The ideas in this article will focus on transition between EY and Y1 and Y6 into secondary.

Going to school

The move from one phase of education to another has long been the subject of discussion and concern. Many studies over the years have concluded that moving school environments can cause a learning dip, as children get used to new processes, buildings, adults and expectations. Schools in normal times have worked hard on providing ‘transitional activities’ that enable children to move on with confidence. However, this cohort of children are not transitioning in normal times, far from it.

The transition this year is more challenging for many reasons including children having been separated from classmates for a prolonged period, learning remotely from home, not having those ‘points of closure’ and ‘rites of passage’ normally associated with leaving one space and entering another, and being unable to take part in site visits and taster days.

The ideas in this article will focus on transition between Early Years and Y1 and Y6 into secondary. However, all adults working in schools will need to be acutely aware that whatever age group a child is moving into, it could feel like a ‘transition point’ to them after the extended period of time away from school. In addition, as ‘the new normal’ may well include blended home/school learning for a period, these types of activities could be adapted for use during the new school year to keep relationships maintained during times of separation.

Emotional wellbeing

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