Change is hard for everyone, especially children. Whether it’s big changes, like moving house or small ones, like moving from one activity to the next. Transition strategies can help prevent meltdowns and lower anxiety in children.
For most of our children at Bannockburn, we usually do work around transition in the final half term of the school year, preparing for September.
Whether that is moving up to the next year group, also moving sites from Nursery at Manor Way to Reception at High Street, or Year 2 at High Street to Year 3 at Manor Way, or leaving Bannockburn entirely to start at another school, whether you've moved or heading to secondary school. This year we also have the transition of leaving home-schooling to return to the classroom, in some form.
There are lots of things we can do to help transition. Here are a few-
- Prepare them. Correct and clear information, when you have it, is good to share. The unknown or confusing information, causes more anxiety.
- Choose transition activities. These would be things that could be done in between two other things, such as skipping over to the car or counting to ten before moving on to the next thing.
- Allow for extra time. Everyone is calmer and more patient when not rushing,
- Social stories. There is one below about 'Returning to school,' but also keep checking on the school website and BLOG.
- Maintain consistency. As much as possible, try to stick with the routines that they are used to.
Transitions are milestone events for children and have a definite effect on their development. They are times of exciting change certainly and times of new opportunities and growth for every child. They can also be times of uncertainty where surroundings are not the same, expectations and procedures are different and faces as yet unfamiliar. Transition should be viewed as a process rather than an event that involves children, practitioners and parents together. Transition has been described as an ongoing journey rather than a destination.
As children learn to adapt to classroom environments that are likely to be dramatically different to anything they had previously imagined, many other aspects of their lives are likely to be also affected, such as socialising with friends, mental health and dealing with grief. Film's power as a tool for empathy is therefore more important than ever. Through it we see representation and kindness, showing characters facing hardships but also how they persevere through them, no matter what, whether through their own will or with the help of others.
Please take care to chose films that are the correct age group for your child.