Moving from early education to primary school is one of the most significant transitions a child will make. As children enter new educational settings, they leave behind familiar surroundings and relationships. Adjusting to new and unusual settings can be exciting but can also be overwhelming and stressful. It is important that children are prepared as this will help them settle into the year ahead. Research has shown that a positive transition experience in the early years can increase the likelihood of future transitions being successful.
Communication is key and parents are encouraged to engage with the school and the local SENO at the earliest opportunity. This allows both the school and parent to openly discuss the needs of the child and to plan for the year ahead.
The NCSE provide information, guidelines and advice on planning and preparing for transitioning to primary school.
You can help to increase your child’s school readiness over the coming months:
- Be positive about the transition to primary school
- Talk to your child about school
- Show your child where the school is and talk about how they will get there. Use visuals – take photos of the school and make into a book
- Read books with your child about starting school
- Work on opening and closing lunchboxes, tying shoes (Velcro), opening/closing school bags and managing school uniform.
- Develop a communication book/passport, this gives your child a way of sharing key information about themselves and will help people to get to know him or her. This communication book can be shared by the child, parents, families, teachers and SNAs.
- Communication – Sign, PECS, AAC, Books
- Toilet training
- Recognise possessions – teach your child to identify their own belongings
- Strategies – social stories are a great way to visually present information about:
- Standing in a line, waiting, looking and listening to teacher and behaviour.
Here are some useful articles and leaflets focusing on transitioning from preschool to primary school which parents may find useful!
- Leaflet on toilet training for children with additional needs
- School Readiness Checklist
- Suggested activities for schools to support a positive transition to junior infants