Transition Package at Pioneer Early Years
To ensure that our pupils have positive transitions into Pioneer we support them by:
- Offering a number of settle sessions in their new class
- Visiting the pupil at home.
- Discussing and negotiating with parents a completely individualised transition package for every pupil.
- Sending photos of the staff and the building to the pupil, so they can be reminded over the long holiday period of their new class and the staff that will be supporting them.
Once a place has been agreed by the school and the local authority a letter will be sent home inviting the pupil and parents to attend a number of settle sessions. The settle sessions usually take place in the June and July before the pupil starts in September. These sessions are an opportunity for the pupils to become familiar with the setting, meet their class teacher and start to get to know many of their peers. It also enables our staff time to speak to the parents and start to get to know the pupil and their family. Starting to building that all important relationship between home and school.
During the sessions we like to give the pupils a short period in the class without their parents, enabling our staff to start to build a positive relationship with the pupil. This is for a very short period of time and parents go just up the corridor so they are never too far away if they are needed. This enables us to have a discussion about the most positive way for their child to start with us in September. During the discussion we negotiate with parents and draw up a transition plan. We are very keen to take parents advice on the best way for their child to transition into their new class and we do this on an individual basis with the pupils best interest at the forefront of any decisions made. Decisions include: on what day they will start, how long their first sessions will be and how often they will initially attend. We try to be flexible and are often led by the pupil during the first few weeks (once they start in September) as to when to increase their sessions. For many of our pupils the more time they spend with us the quicker they settle into their new class. Home visits are also booked during this discussion time.
Home visits allow our staff to see the pupil in a familiar environment, allow us to have further in depth discussions about the pupils needs and to discuss any worries or concerns the parents may have. It also gives us a chance to clarify the pupils transition plan and to make any final last minute arrangements.
Transition between classes and phases
Every pupil in Pioneer has a Pen Portrait which has useful information including communication strategies, behaviour and any medical information. In the second half of the summer term all Pen Portraits are updated thereby ensuring that new class staff have the most up to date information. Transition meetings take place between the current teacher and the receiving teacher during which Pen Portraits are discussed and information is shared in more depth. Teachers often engage in peer observations so that they can have a better understanding of how their new pupils work within the classroom and the way the classroom is organised.
All pupils have a half day Transition Afternoon at the end of the summer term in their new classroom. During this session the pupils meet their new teacher and support staff who will be working with them in September. Where possible a familiar member of staff will always move with pupils to aid consistency and any resources that are particular to a pupil will also be transferred to their new class. For those pupils who find transitions particularly difficult a special programme is set up to help ease their anxieties. They may spend sessions in the new classroom with a favoured adult from class or the keyworker.
Keyworkers also meet to share information if pupils are moving from one keyworker to another and Heads of learning meet to discuss new pupils entering their key stage.
When pupils move on from a key stage they have a celebration as a way of marking a significant transition. This may be a meal in a nearby café or restaurant or a party in school, whichever is most appropriate for the group.
At the beginning of the autumn term the new class team meet to share plans and go over important information for the new class group.