Smooth Transition: Understanding and Factors Impacting Transition

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  • Each child responds in a different manner to such challenges and deals with the transitions initially from home to pre-primary school and then from pre-primary to primary school accordingly. During this process, it is important to know whether children are having a smooth transition. They keep learning to adjust to challenges and new environments.

  • Beginning preschool or kindergarten is a transition that holds many changes for children. It is a situation of great change in which children have not only to move into a new environment but also adapt to an unknown and new setting. A majority of children make successful transitions at different stages during their education.

  • However, some children are more likely to find these changes to their daily routine more challenging compared with their peers. Children who might not have attended some childcare center, playgroup, anganwadi, balwadi, or a preschool have limited opportunities to socialize and manage their emotions.

  • They may lack the competencies needed for a successful start and the ability to respond appropriately to the school environment and situations. A smooth home to school transition is important because research has shown a link between poor transitions and less successful outcomes.

Understanding Transition

  • A transition is a process which refers to a period of change from one situation to another. The home to school transition is the move young children make from home to a preschool or preschool to primary school. Transition from home to preschool normally occurs around age three. Parents can also find transition difficult and school efforts to support them during a transition period can help to reduce their stress and anxiety.

  • The ability to build close relationships with adults and other children is challenging but essential for children’s healthy adjustment during transition. This is especially true in new or difficult situations when children need the reassurance and comfort of caregivers. During transitions from home to school or from one early education setting to another, children separate from their families or familiar caregivers and need to develop secure relationships with new, unfamiliar adults. They also need to develop relationships with other children in the new environment. Children manage transition best when adults provide support.

Factors Impacting Transition

  • Individual differences also play a role in children’s reactions to transition. While some children easily adjust to the new environment, others may need more time to adapt to the new environment.

  • Each child’s temperament is different and the intensity of their emotional reactions to different situations varies. These children may find transitioning to a new learning environment challenging. The strategies used by them to manage emotions may also vary depending on their cultural background.

Hence, children’s ability to transition successfully to school depends upon:

  • Their own personal characteristics (e.g. temperament, personality)

  • Parent’s characteristics (e.g. awareness, education, attitudes to school)

  • Community characteristics (e.g. accessibility and quality of local services).

For children, successful transitions into and from the early learning environment can be facilitated by a range of approaches such as assisting children to understand the routines and practices of the settings they are transitioning into.

During both the transition to early learning environments and to school, a partnership between parents and educators/institutions can help parents manage this period of change.

Transition from Home to Preschool

Transition from Home to Preschool

Transition from Home to Preschool

One way to ease the transition for young children from home to preschool is to familiarize them with both the centre and with the types of activities that are conducted within the school. Transition programmes are variously identified as strategies and procedures for ensuring the smooth placement and adjustment of children to school and involving activities initiated by schools or preschools to bridge the gap between home and school experience. Smooth transition is dependent on the following connections:

Family-School Connections

The relationship between a family and the staff is invaluable in supporting positive school outcomes. Providing activities that nurture these relationships is an important part of a transition plan. Both the family and the school benefit from exchanging information on a regular basis.

Child-School Connections

One way to ease the transition for young children is to familiarize them with both the centre and with the types of activities that are conducted within.

  • Peer Connections Preschool teachers are often concerned that children beginning the year are not exhibiting the ability to get along with their peers. Just as adults are more comfortable with people they know, so are children.

  • Community Connections between the community and the school are an important part of the transition. Continuity is enhanced when there are community linkages between schools and other agencies.

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