Empowering Children and Families through Transitions

Transitioning is a big, big process for children, families and educators. Next year, the South Australian government will begin single school intakes each year for all government schools. This has had a huge impact on Flinders, where we have traditionally transitioned children to different buildings in groups each term as children left for school. Next year this won’t be the case, and instead we will be having one very large transition across buildings at the end of January when the school terms starts.

We have spent the last twelve months planning for this significant change, thinking about how to make it smooth, informed and positive for everyone involved.

The biggest thing we have worked on, and will be continuing to work on over the coming two months before the big move, is getting all the relevant information out there. We have found over time that the more knowledge families have about the environment and educators they will be moving to, the more empowered they are about the process. And the more empowered families are, the more empowered children are. So for this reason we have developed a two pronged approach, balancing visits for children with visits for families.

Each building has been (or will be) holding information sessions for families, where they can come and meet the educators, get a feel for the environment, and hear about the programs. This is a time for educators to pass on what to expect and be excited about, and for families to ask any questions they may have.

These information sessions are supported by a House Handbook, where the important information is written down to look at again and again as needed.

Having the combination of personal interaction and written information helps us avoid missing information, or misinformation. Families are able to digest the information at the pace and in the way that is right for them. The more families know, the more they can speak with confidence to their children about what they can expect in their new house. As we all know, knowledge is power, and this is no different for children.

Whilst our educators work to support families, they are working also to support children through the transition process. Educators are taking children to visit their new house, showing them around and introducing them to their new educators. Children are supported to explore their new environment from a safe base.

Educators are also talking with children about their new house and their new educators, putting names to faces and drawing connections between loved experiences that they will have the opportunity to  explore in their new environment.

Finally, educators from the new house are visiting children in their current house, getting to know them in a way that is less confronting for children. This way, new educators become a familiar face, perhaps a draw for children when the time comes to visit; “Come on Scarlet, let’s go and see Robin in May Mills House.”

What families can do at home

  • Read all the information and attend the information sessions so that you are informed
  • Talk positively with your child about the change. Acknowledge their concern if they express it, but maintain a positive attitude; “Yes, we will miss Preschool House, but you are going to have so much fun with your friends at Sturt House!”
  • Visit your new building with your child if you can. Visiting a new space with a special family member can help children prepare for the change. Give the building a call to arrange a time, or chat to the educators in your current building
  • Talk about the change in the weeks leading up occasionally, without overwhelming your child, so that they know what to expect, and know that you know what is going on. You are the people they trust most in the world, so if you think it’s positive and exciting for them, then they will feel that too!
  • Above all, if you have questions, ask! The educators at Flinders are here to support you and your child through this process.
Empowering Children and Families through Transitions

0 thoughts on “Empowering Children and Families through Transitions

  • November 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I feel so lucky to have Fletcher be a part of the “Flinders Family” you put so much thought and energy into everything you do, well done guys.


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