Monday, 24 June 2013

School Transition Preparation

After 2 big school visits and an Information evening for parents, for the most part, that is the Introductions for PJ going to big school done.
The teacher will also make a visit to the various nurseries that this new reception year intake currently attend, if they attend one, to see the children in their current settings and there was an encouraged optional sign up sheet at the Information evening for parents to sign for a home visit by the class teacher or the teacher assistant to visit the children in their home setting during the afternoons of the first week of September.
Each child will have a buddy from year 6 in the school, who they will be linked to and they will get a postcard in the summer holidays to welcome them to their new big school.
Following the Information evening, parents are trying uniform on their children and making their selections and purchases and have the joys of naming everything with name labels within an inch of it's life to look forward to over the next few months - oh - and the trip to buy new school shoes to try and time perfectly with having the choice whilst not buying too soon that they feet are then too big for the shoes in September.

Bear with me, this will be my first experience at doing all of this, so wish me luck!

We have been given an All About Me book - presented to us parents at the parent Information evening which was complete with a photo of our children and named accordingly on the front cover and also an instant camera to take photos of what inspires us to share of our lives between now and the end of the summer holidays to take pictures of and for us to then compile it together on the pages to present it, complete, on the first day of big school in September.


This is all very exciting and for the normal, settled, secure child, this preparation for school is very good. Parents can talk about school and can help their child practise the getting dressed, fasten shoes, toilet themselves and wash their hands and use a tissue to wipe their own nose, alongside buying the new big school uniform and working on the All About Me book - and, for most children and families this will suffice.

Then there is PJ.
Where do we start with the All About Me book - and given that the book will be looked at in school by PJ, probably daily the teacher shared with all of us parents at the Information evening and is designed for themselves to have to share with peers, teachers, visitors etc. I suspect that this book will also be the springboard for their learning activities for the first term - the potential time bomb - for every adopted child - family, identity, life story, belonging, acceptance.

And then, there is PJ. There ain't no way we will be just turning up at school for the first day of big school, without some kind of further preparation for PJ or the school. Given that the centralised admissions team didn't pass on anything to the school, other than a name and a date of birth, I have already begun setting the ball in motion for as smooth a transition as is possible: hopefully it will all help us all.

So, I have met with the head, who is lovely and listened intently as I shared as best I could some of PJ's background, where we are at with the adoption process, her issues and challenges and some of the support and strategies we have in place so far.

I have arranged to meet her class teacher in a few weeks time - as all teacher's at this time are writing reports and have their current class to think of! I will try and outline some of the issues and strategies in greater detail for them to hopefully continue in the classroom to help maintain some consistency and parallels between home and school, so to ease the transition - if possible.

In addition to this, I am sending the school copies of the latest paperwork:
LAC review
nursery report
CAMHS referral and reports

What have I missed?


  1. Sounds good. When you meet with the teacher, I would have as much in writing about PJ as you possibly can. With my acceptance letter for Bonzo's school I sent in 3 sides of typed A4 paper about daily life. It was given to the teacher and she had read it and digested it. Throughout the year I have sent in several more long letters about what is going on - and the teacher always reads them, and sorts things accordingly. I would try to sort out a definite 'hand over'. I hadn't with Bonzo, and it has now been set up - the nursery nurse personally greets me and him, and takes him off to do jobs before the rest of the class pour in.
    Can you do home for lunch? This helps break up the day and helps PJ realise you are still around. Again, this has helped Bonzo alot. He comes home twice a week for lunch and a bit of downtime.
    Hope this helps!

    1. thanks for this - you are a star - I will defo chat about the handover bit of the day as this will defo help PJ - and I am going to try and write down for the teacher the details of regression, issues and strategies used so far ready for when I meet with the teacher in a few weeks - hope I can get my head clearly around it all!

  2. Oh, and it is worth buying the school a copy of Education Now, by AUK!!!

    1. Ok - I will check it out. thanks for the tip.


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