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Transition statements key to successful start to school

Goodstart centres

Our kindergarten and preschool teachers invest a lot of time recording detailed observations and summaries about every child in their care, and for good reason.

These summaries, known as transition statements, help to give primary school teachers prior knowledge about the learning and development of their incoming students, and make the job of welcoming and settling their new class is much easier.

According to Goodstart Ormeau centre director Rebekah George, transition statements provide a critical link between early learning and school.

“Transition statements allow primary school teachers to benefit from the skill and expertise of our early childhood teachers, through their observations and reflections across the year,” Ms George said.

“They are an important tool for the consistent transfer of information across educational settings.”

What does a transition statement include?

A range of observations, reflections, achievements and photos can be included in a transition statement, which covers several important developmental areas:
  • Identity: the child and their sense of security and independence
  • Connectedness: social emotional skills and being able to build relationships with others
  • Wellbeing: being able to care for themselves and their health, and looking after other children’s wellbeing as well
  • Active learning: cognitive skills, being positive towards learning and involving themselves in different learning experiences
  • Communicating: language skills, literacy and numeracy.
“Transition statements provide a meaningful snapshot of where the child is at developmentally as well as providing insights into teaching strategies that work well for the child,” Ms George said.

Recent changes in Queensland have seen the state fall into line with other states around Australia in sending transition statements direct to schools rather than relying on parents to pass them on.

According to Ms George, these changes will provide a real benefit for children and families entering the school system in Queensland next year.

“These changes will be a big help to teachers, it gives them a sense of knowing the child before they start school.

“For children who don’t have a transition statement it can take a good month for a teacher to start fully understanding the child. It’s a month that’s lost and the first month is important at school.

“Transition statements are a positive tool and give teachers a head start. We get strong feedback on the quality of transition statements provided by Goodstart centres, which is a good outcome for children.”
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