Induction into Reception
Children who are joining our Reception class have the opportunity to attend a series of ‘Storytime’ sessions with their parents where they can share a story with their new class teachers and teaching assistants and get used to being in school. We also carry out home visits, where the class teacher and teaching assistant come and visit parents/carers and children in their homes before they start school, to get to know them better and find out any important medical other important information from parents. We also contact and/or meet with any pre-school settings which children have attended to share information with them.
All children who start in Reception build up from a shortened day initially to a full day over their first few weeks in school.
If children have identified additional needs or an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) in place prior to joining our reception class, it may be that additional support is necessary to aid a smooth transition, for example photo transition booklets or an extended build up to a full day. This will be done in discussion with parents and other agencies who are already involved to achieve a smooth transition.
Transition into Key Stage 1
When children move into Year 1, the curriculum becomes more formal and less play based. This process is done slowly with a transitional period over the Autumn term where children increase the amount of time working in groups on teacher directed learning and the amount of ‘continuous provision’ where children choose their own activities decreases. The activities are adapted to meet individual needs of children where ever necessary.
Transition between classes within school and between Key Stage 1 and 2
All children at Birchwood have the opportunity to meet their new class teacher and teaching assistant during ‘moving up day’ in July each year. However sometimes children need more time to get to know both the staff and the classroom environment that they will be going to. We use transition booklets, designed with children where they go and take pictures of their new teachers and classrooms to ‘get to know’ all about their new class in the lead up to transition. This can be especially important in the lead up to moving from Key Stage 1 to 2, where children move from our lower to upper school playground. Staff also enjoy seeing work from their new children in the lead up to receiving them and this is another way we ensure a smooth transition for our pupils.
New to Birchwood?
Any children who start at Birchwood at any point other than in Reception year will be allocated a 'shadow'. This is a carefully chosen child who acts as an initial ‘buddy’ to show them around school and introduce them to life in school. Children with additional needs may need the support of their shadow for a longer period, which is no problem as there is no time limit! We also make sure we give parents a call at the end of the first week just to check in and see how everything is going.
Moving onto Secondary School
We have very close links with The Polesworth School, and we have a well developed transition programme of events for all our pupils. Both our year 6 teaching team and the SENDCo will meet the staff from any Secondary Schools our pupils are moving onto and hold transition meetings. If needed, we will arrange extended transition sessions for any pupils if we feel it will benefit them and support a smooth transition.