Children are constantly involved in transitions that involve a change of thinking or behaviour. Adults often do not even give them a passing thought until a child shows they cannot cope, we look at the large transitions from home to centre, from centres to schools as being worthy of note.
All the work we do is about developing in children the skills, attitudes and knowledge they need to make sense of the world. Taking children through the small changes, builds up to an understanding and preparation for change. Children can then develop the inner resilience to meet new challenges, wherever they may be in the future.
Let us consider for a moment the emotional, physical, intellectual and behavioural transitional changes that children actually meet every day and how well they cope.
- The car that brings them to the outside area of the Nature Kindergarten.
- The memories of the last time they were in the centre or school and what they were doing.
- The way that their play space has changed or developed since they were at the centre.
- The change from the indoor space to outside.
- The change from noise to silence as we walk or see something of fascination.
- The change from light to dark in the winter, from warm to cold.
The key element for my team is the transfer of information and expectations to make the hidden messages clear, narration of what is going to happen, taking nothing for granted, so there are no surprises apart from gentle, warm ones. Adults read and understand new situations, many children cannot because their ability to read so many implicit norms and routines is just developing.
Points of reflection:
- How do you support children through daily transitions?
- How do you support children through the process of moving from nursery to school?
Some things to consider:
- Narration of what is happening and what will happen.
- Revisiting the Floorbook to pick up the changes that have taken place in the centre whilst the child has been away.
- Create a Floorbook dedicated to the transition process from nursery to school.
- Adult encourages reflection of what happened previously at nursery or when the day begins.
- Intellectual Transitions are recorded in the back of the Floorbook to monitor breadth and balance.