Supporting transition: A positive start to school

Starting school is a major transition point for children and their families and Flemington Primary School has created a strong model for smoothly moving new students from from Kinder to Prep

Making a good transition to school has strong links to how each child will go on to learn and develop, which makes a successful school transition a critical first school step.

Transition programs work to familiarise all new starters with their soon-to-be school. This way, children are ready to embrace all opportunities and challenges that school will bring.

The Flemington PS Prep Transition model was developed by the school's Prep team leader as part of a Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership project. 'We aim to build communities of practice with our local early year providers and kindergartens', says Flemington PS principal Amanda Williams.

Because a successful transition starts well before school does and continues well after, there are multiple steps along the way. 'Throughout the year our local kindergartens come to visit our Prep classes and participate in activities together. In Term 4 we run a Prep Story Time where our new Preps visit after school with their families for story time. The Prep rooms are full of new preps, current preps, siblings from all year levels and parents', explains Amanda.

The Transition program is also a time to start introducing future Preps to Flemington's school values. Amanda notes, 'we choose books to read that reflect our school values of being ready to learn, kind, respectful and safe. Each week, there's also an activity to reflect the value that's being discussed in the book.'

'The FPS transition model is comprehensive and when the new Preps arrive on day one they are very settled and "ready to continue their learning journey​",' she said.

Supporting school transition at your school

The Department has a range of resources available to support you to develop a transition program at your school. To access research and new resources, see: Transition: A Positive Start to School Initiative

While you're there, you'll find the re​source kit, which has up-to-date, evidence-based information for early childhood education and care services and schools on effective processes and practices in transition, including advice on providing tailored transition support where required for some children and families.

Supporting FISO priorities: Positive climate for learning

Effective schools are supportive and inclusive. The transition model at Flemington Primary School allows teachers and school leaders to create a positive school climate to meet physical student needs, and develop their self-management, awareness, empathy and relationship skills so they are ready and equipped to tackle their time in primary school.

To learn more about this priority and its supporting dimensions, see: Positive climate for learning

Further re​sources

The Transition learning and development statement is a tool to help early childhood services to summarise a child's abilities as they start school to help prep teachers to identify the child's individual approaches to learning. This helps prep teachers get to know the children entering their classes, and to plan appropriate learning and teaching programs.

Involving families is an important part of successful school transition. To find family resources, including translated transition information, see: Transition: A Positive Start to School Initiative

Underpinning the work that schools do on transition is the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF). Transition: A Positive Start to School Initiative includes illustrative maps that link each of the five VEYLDF Outcomes for Learning and Development to the first three levels of the Victorian Curriculum F-10.​