Moving On – Castle Vale Nursery School to Primary School

We know that choosing and moving to Primary School can be very stressful for you and your child. We want to help make it as smooth and happy as possible. At Castle Vale Nursery School, we aim to provide a seamless and positive transition for all children.

We understand that a child’s move to Primary School can appear very daunting to both the child that is embarking on the next step of their education and also for their parents/carers.

We begin a child’s transition by giving every parent a letter for them to return, outlining how confident they think their child is feeling regarding their move to school. We also ask a similar question to the parents and carers themselves, regarding their level of confidence in terms of supporting their child. Every parent that raises a concern to either question is invited to a short meeting and any problems and anxieties are discussed. For some, a solution is easily found, for others, a more individual plan of support may need to be put in place in consultation with the receiving school.

We have fostered good relationships with our local primary schools. School staff and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) are invited to visit the children who will be joining their classes at our Nursery School where they are secure and settled. Opportunities are given for these staff members to discuss children with key workers and any other key staff that work with them.

We gather information from all schools regarding their transition procedure and collect the dates of all parents meetings and children’s visits. We then carefully monitor these to ensure all children have the opportunity to visit and become familiar with their future setting. We communicate regularly with primary school staff during these times to discuss how children are enjoying their school visits and any issues that may arise.

All key workers work with their family group of children on activities around transition. This may be via stories, circle time activities and discussions. Transition books and photographs are given to some children who need additional reassurance and are often sent home for parents to share with their child as well as for use within school.

Some children attend Nurture groups to complete activities regarding their move to a new school. These are often completed with groups of children who will be attending the same school. This provides opportunities for children to become aware of their peers who will be attending school with them. Nurture groups also support children who may be attending a school where none of their existing peers are joining them.

When a child with special educational needs and/or disabilities transfers to primary school every effort will be made to support the family. Staff will offer support to parents during the decision making process and may attend visits to potential schools. When a school has been selected and a place offered, an individualised transition plan may be required to support the child’s needs. The team around the child, inclusive of parents, Nursery School staff, SENCO and external professionals will all contribute to this, as will the receiving school. Meetings will be arranged as appropriate to share information. It is very important that parents are fully aware of the people within the receiving school that will continue to offer support e.g. the SENCO, Educational Psychologist, Communication and Autism Team worker etc.

A transition plan may include:

  • Additional visits. These may be general ones to familiarise the child with the new environment and staff or specialist ones to support a specific concern e.g. lunch time.
  • A transition book with photographs that detail new staff and basic routines e.g. where the classroom is situated or hanging up coats etc. An additional copy at home enables the child to return to the book throughout a holiday in preparation for the start of a new school. Staff from the school will be invited to visit the child at Castle Vale Nursery School and are welcome to visit as often as they feel necessary to establish a relationship with a child or to gain necessary information.
  • Handover meetings will be arranged as appropriate with staff, parents and professionals.
  • Most Primary Schools have their own induction procedures that Castle Vale Nursery School will support.
  • In some cases schools prefer a clean break and there are no transition arrangements. If this is the case, the SENCO will attempt to arrange support for the child via contact with the school but has to be respectful of the receiving school’s procedures.

Castle Vale Nursery School