We know that attention to transitions is so important. So much of my nurture work is about helping children to cope with transitions. So many children find transitions hard. In many primary schools last week and this week children are finding out who their new teacher will be, year six children have had their move up day to senior school. Children who are moving into reception will have visited and met their teachers.
Unfortunately, transitions don’t always get the full attention that is needed. In our role as nurture worker, we spend all year talking to staff about transitions. Over the years I have seen a few ideas/practices which have been brilliant.
Making photo books for children about their new setting/ classroom- this can be shared at home over the holidays
Having school uniform in the nursery to dress up in
Taking a video of the new setting to watch at home or in nursery
Meeting new teacher ( lots) if the child is in a school having lots of opportunities to visit the new teacher/classroom- ideally for weeks and weeks ( not just a few days!)
Making photo books with the children about what they like in their current class or nursery and share this with their new teacher, getting the children to take the photos.
As well as transitions for children we also need to think about closure. For some staff who have been working 1-1 with a child, this can be a very strong relationship, and it can be hard for the staff when this work is closed. We need to give attention to our feelings about the closure and the child moving on. It is ok to feel sad about the work ending, and we need to acknowledge that. It is important that staff have someone they can de-brief with and also that they are praised and thanked for their work. Also as individuals, there are things we can do to acknowledge the work ending, this week I was encouraged to think about this in my role. This year I have worked closely with two children, where the work has been at times very emotional, my boss suggested I planted something, in nurturing a plant it can help to bring a sense of peace to a situation. I followed her advice and planted some alpines (photographed above).