Supporting your child's transition to school

13 Dec 2018

Big School

Starting school is a big milestone in the lives of children and families. Children who make a positive start to school are more likely to feel comfortable, relaxed and motivated to learn, have good relationships with others and develop a sense of belonging within their new school community. Being ready for school encompasses far more than ABC’s and 123’s.

It involves:

  • Good language and listening skills

  • Positive attitude

  • Social and emotional resilience

  • Social competence

  • Feel positive about themselves as learners

  • Display dispositions for learning

  • Basic independence skills

  • Participation in high quality early childhood program


Helping children to make a smooth transition to school as capable and involved learners is an important part of Only about Children’s Grow Preschool Curriculum.  Our innovative curriculum delivers a holistic ready for school program that supports every child to reach their full potential and equips them to take on new challenges at big school by promoting children’s wellbeing, sense of identity, their capacity to look after themselves (dressing and feeding, for example), to plan, play and create with others, to show care and respect for others and the environment, to make choices, take risks, manage change and celebrate achievements.


All this is achieved through carefully prepared, interesting and challenging learning environments, play based learning, intentional teaching and exploratory creative play as well as our specialised Book of the Month; Drama; Sustainability; Language; Active and Music Programs.  Our qualified educators plan experiences that optimise learning and development across the five Learning Outcomes of Australia’s National Early Years Learning Framework, and are assisted by the Oac Health team of nutritionists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists to support all children to make progress and lay the foundations for their transition to school and lifelong learning. 


Children engage in a full calendar year program of activities and special events that focus on getting them ready for school.  This includes inviting children from the previous year who are at school to talk about their move to big school; dramatic play opportunities where children can dress in school uniforms and practicing eating from lunch boxes. 


Here are some ideas for parents to help with their child’s upcoming transition to school:

  • Talk about starting school in a positive and cheerful way

  • Talk with your child about what school will be like

  • Ask them how they are feeling

  • Talk with your child’s current educator and determine any areas requiring additional attention or practice

  • Visit your child’s new school so that they become familiar with the environment

  • Attend any school orientations that are offered

  • Practice self-care skills (dressing, packing a bag, opening and closing a lunch box or drink bottle, taking off and putting on school shoes and sport shoes, toileting- practice using public toilets, opening and shutting toilet locks, using a urinal for boys)

  • Play number and letter games together

  • Read stories with your child (practice holding books and turning pages)

  • Reassure your child that school will be a happy and positive environment

Trouble shoot some of the tricky things and provide scenarios to support your child in thinking through possible solutions…

    • What would you do if………. ?

    • What do I do if I am not feeling well?

    • Who do I tell if I get hurt or someone hurts me?

    • I cant find my jacket…who do I ask?

    • Who will pick me up and where will I find you?


This transition to formalised schooling can be a positive and enjoyable time for children, parents and educators alike when approached in a holistic and authentic way! 

Author: Jenny Kable (Curriculum lead)