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FSF Live chat - Supporting children's transitions


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This evening we will be talking about how we support children through the various transitions they face during their Early Years journey.

  • At the beginning, how do you manage settling in sessions - are they the same for all children? are your systems the same for all ages? Do you do home visits?
  • Once children are with you, how do you manage changing groups / rooms / key people?
  • In preparation for school what do you do with the children? (rather than the paperwork you complete for parents or teachers)
  • How do you manage children who are particularly fearful of leaving you for school?
  • How do you manage the children who 'peak too soon' and are very very ready for school during the summer term - how do you keep them focused and motivated?
  • How do you follow up children after they have gone to school to ensure that transition has gone smoothly?

 

Please share your ideas and thoughts - if there are any documents that you refer to don't worry about putting them on the thread - I'll get in touch with you next week and gather everything together and post them up and put things in the resources library.

 

Thank you

Rebecca

 

You'll see that this thread is locked - you can't comment on it yet! I will unlock it just before lift off at 7.30pm.

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We plan the settling with the parents - start with an hour stay and play ... then half hour stay and play - as soon as the child indicates they are happy in our company (i.e they go off and play) we ask parent to go, but remain on site. Some children this can take a week or two!

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Settling in sessions vary for each child. Parents and children are given an initial tour when they first visit my setting and are offered a trial session. On the child first day we usually suggest arriving 15 mins after our opening time so we are able to give them more attention and then they avoid the hustle and bustle.

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Settling in sessions vary for each child. Parents and children are given an initial tour when they first visit my setting and are offered a trial session. On the child first day we usually suggest arriving 15 mins after our opening time so we are able to give them more attention and then they avoid the hustle and bustle.

It's really hard isn't it - that hustle and bustle can be very off-putting. We try and have our settlings during the session - when it's 'activity time' I also try (although not always possible) to have a spare staff member. We also encourage parents to let their child explore - particularly the inquisitive 2-5 year olds - let them wander, let them have a nosy in other rooms. We've found that this also helps the parents feel confident in us as they are able to follow their child and they too get to have a nosy and find out a bit about us!

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The transition not mentioned is from EYFS to KS1 - where many things can change.

However in my experience of starting children in reception for many years the biggest problem can be the sheer industry around starting school and the way this is just seen as such an event. For some children this becomes the thing - it's a singular event. They think they will start "big school" and once this is done they can go back to normal.

Unfortunately this can then lead to a slump in their wellbeing and often parents then think they are not happy/bullied or similar and so much tension starts to creep in around this for parent and child as well as their teacher (who has 29 other children to support too!)

Talking to prents about this in advance and getting them to tone down the hype ca be really helpful.

Cx

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Evening all :1b

 

For us children and parents are invited to visit for a short amount of time - I specify short so that the children don't get too used to mummy/daddy being with them - now I've typed that it sounds harsh - it's really not meant to be......

 

Then I follow parent's lead - if child is happy to stay for a three hour session alone that;s fine - if not I can be flexible e.g. stay for one hour with or without a parent and then increase slowly....

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No time limit? Surely they go home sometime!

Some of them are still there!

 

We find it takes a few weeks fro the younger ones and a few hours for the older ones - generally it's the parents we have to 'throw out' with a very firm "They're really happy playing now, you can go!"

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Do you fill in the 'All About Me' type documents during this time or have you done all this beforehand?

For me - I send these out by post before the first visit and will then spend some time with mum/dad/both parents going through this - find this particularly useful as it allows child to go off and 'explore' on their own whilst I am keeping the adult with them 'busy'! ;)

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The transition not mentioned is from EYFS to KS1 - where many things can change.

However in my experience of starting children in reception for many years the biggest problem can be the sheer industry around starting school and the way this is just seen as such an event. For some children this becomes the thing - it's a singular event. They think they will start "big school" and once this is done they can go back to normal.

Unfortunately this can then lead to a slump in their wellbeing and often parents then think they are not happy/bullied or similar and so much tension starts to creep in around this for parent and child as well as their teacher (who has 29 other children to support too!)

Talking to prents about this in advance and getting them to tone down the hype ca be really helpful.

Cx

Yes, absolutely - we had some issues last year after baseline because we had assessed at a developmental age/stage when they finished with us but then at baseline they had, as you say, gone back a little - we had to reassure some parents who came back to us in a bit of a flap. We're planning a bit more work with parents in preparation for this, this year.

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For me - I send these out by post before the first visit and will then spend some time with mum/dad/both parents going through this - find this particularly useful as it allows child to go off and 'explore' on their own whilst I am keeping the adult with them 'busy'! ;)

Yes, we do this too - it can be quite a useful way of getting parents away from their child. We also teach our parents how to use Tapestry and get them logged in while their with us - then they can do the 'all about me' online while they're sitting in the staff room

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We have had a child who was very anxious and parents had tried at other settings. We encouraged parent to stay and then 'go'for a short period of time and then come back into the session. We gradually increase this time. Mum would say that she was just popping to the supermarket. It did work. This child is now getting anxious about Primary school. Any suggestions?

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Yes, we do this too - it can be quite a useful way of getting parents away from their child. We also teach our parents how to use Tapestry and get them logged in while their with us - then they can do the 'all about me' online while they're sitting in the staff room

Ah that would be good - but we are still in the dark ages - no internet connection in the building :(

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The transition not mentioned is from EYFS to KS1 - where many things can change.

However in my experience of starting children in reception for many years the biggest problem can be the sheer industry around starting school and the way this is just seen as such an event. For some children this becomes the thing - it's a singular event. They think they will start "big school" and once this is done they can go back to normal.

Unfortunately this can then lead to a slump in their wellbeing and often parents then think they are not happy/bullied or similar and so much tension starts to creep in around this for parent and child as well as their teacher (who has 29 other children to support too!)

Talking to prents about this in advance and getting them to tone down the hype ca be really helpful.

Cx

Also, the sheer exhaustion of starting school ... remembering all the different routines and where to sit and put your bag and where to line up!

Do you think we should practise these things as part of school readiness - or do you think it's just inevitable?

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We have had a child who was very anxious and parents had tried at other settings. We encouraged parent to stay and then 'go'for a short period of time and then come back into the session. We gradually increase this time. Mum would say that she was just popping to the supermarket. It did work. This child is now getting anxious about Primary school. Any suggestions?

Do you do visits? One setting I worked with had a fabulous transition plan where the L3 in the room swapped for a few mornings with the TA from the class. That helped tow ways - the TA could see what 'the baby children' could actually do when they were settled and confident and the L3 came back all enthusiastic about what the children were onto next.

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We have had a child who was very anxious and parents had tried at other settings. We encouraged parent to stay and then 'go'for a short period of time and then come back into the session. We gradually increase this time. Mum would say that she was just popping to the supermarket. It did work. This child is now getting anxious about Primary school. Any suggestions?

Have also experienced this and the same method worked for us too.

 

The 'school' issue - wonder how much mum is projecting her own anxieties - perhaps not at all - but I always urge parents not to talk about that transition overly much......hmmm not sure I'm explaining myself well here.......hopefully the school has good transition arrangements?

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Do you do visits? One setting I worked with had a fabulous transition plan where the L3 in the room swapped for a few mornings with the TA from the class. That helped tow ways - the TA could see what 'the baby children' could actually do when they were settled and confident and the L3 came back all enthusiastic about what the children were onto next.

Have done that - it was a Kent initiative several years back - all hugely successful :1b

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New starters come for a visit and usually stay for about an hour. We give them the paperwork which they can fill in there and then, or take home and bring back when they start. We allow parents to stay as long as they want till the child is settled, as we always say they know their child best. Years ago we had one mum who stayed for the 2 sessions her child attended, for 4 weeks along with a new baby. She was very greatful for this, as the other settings she had visited wouldn't let her do this.

 

 

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I give them all the paperwork on the initial visit and a tour around the hall, usually with child in tow then we sit down and go through the paperwork on the second visit, this lets the child wander around exploring if they want to. We are quite relaxed about how long it takes a child too settle and some have been to outr toddler group so are familiar with the setting which helps.

Its this time of the year I find difficult as we are quite busy ( for us) and the school starter children are beggining to get a bit boisterous.

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New starters come for a visit and usually stay for about an hour. We give them the paperwork which they can fill in there and then, or take home and bring back when they start. We allow parents to stay as long as they want till the child is settled, as we always say they know their child best. Years ago we had one mum who stayed for the 2 sessions her child attended, for 4 weeks along with a new baby. She was very greatful for this, as the other settings she had visited wouldn't let her do this.

 

 

It really gets the partnership relationship going doesn't it?!

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I give them all the paperwork on the initial visit and a tour around the hall, usually with child in tow then we sit down and go through the paperwork on the second visit, this lets the child wander around exploring if they want to. We are quite relaxed about how long it takes a child too settle and some have been to outr toddler group so are familiar with the setting which helps.

Its this time of the year I find difficult as we are quite busy ( for us) and the school starter children are beggining to get a bit boisterous.

Yes, how do we get the 'peaked too soon' children to really benefit form the last term at nursery? We try to give them more responsibility - jobs, helping fetch things for younger children etc. But we haven't got it right. Wet days can be very bad - noisy and stressful for everyone

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We had a few very anxious children ( or is that anxious parents!) so we have been visiting with small groups every week down to the school so it all becomes a bit more familiar. It has worked and the children that will be moving up in september are settling a bit , mind you it could all change over the summer holidays!

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