Starting school is an important stage in a child's life. Supporting children to successfully transition to school helps them start positively on their next learning and development journey. Schools, early years provision and families all have a part to play in helping children successfully transition to school. To achieve this in Waltham Forest we have created the initiative ‘Starting School Together’.
During Covid-19, the local authority will ensure that the Starting School Together project effectively provides a range of support and advice to schools, childcare providers and parents/carers regarding transition through a focus on digital approaches to deliver and share information. Continue to read below for strategies on how this will be achieved.
Starting School Together is the Waltham Forest Early Years transition initiative that aims to ensure:
The Early Years and Childcare team will be organising and facilitating ‘Transition Partnership Groups’. The purpose of these groups will be to encourage schools and early years and childcare providers to work together to create a seamless transition process in their area of Waltham Forest.
Transition Partnership Group meetings will focus on:
Schools, settings and childminders are now able to book on to their Transition Partnership Groups via Traded Services. These meetings will be held in the week beginning Monday 18 May 2020.
The All About Me transition document is intended to support schools with getting to know each child before they start school. The All About My Child document should be completed by parents / carers. It would be useful for the child's current setting to share the All About My Child document with families and support them to complete the form where needed. Schools should share the All About My Child document with their new families where a child is not currently attending a setting.
All About Me Transition Document outlines information that should be included in each section. For further guidance on completing this document the ‘All About Me Example’ and ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning Document’ should be referred to.
Along with this document, the current setting should attach relevant information for the school. This includes recent assessments, support plans, health/medical information or reports etc.
All settings should send the All About Me transition document to the schools by the end of June for children starting school in September.
Area SENCO’s will contact the early year provision SENCO and school SENCO regarding any child who has been identified with developmental delay or SEND and is due to transition to Reception in September. The Area SENCO will digitally introduce the relevant SENCOs and advise them further on documents that should be shared and signpost them to any further information required. For any queries regarding children transitioning with SEND or developmental delay email SENDEYFS@walthamforest.gov.uk.
Parent and carers have a vital role in supporting and preparing children for starting school. Support will be offered to parents/carers in helping their children with this transition through the Learning Together Project. School readiness information, activities and advice will be shared which all parents/carers can access by following the Chit Chat Pitter Pat Facebook group and/or Chit Chat Pitter Pat Instagram. Practitioners should share this with their families and encourage them to join.
Please arrange a review date before the end of summer term with parents and the perspective school-SENCO, as I am mindful that some children with EHC plans may be transitioning into reception in September. In-light of Covid-19 review meetings will need to be conveniently adapted for parents.
However be reminded that Under 5’s EHC Reviews must be held on a 6 monthly basis.
Please do contact Nicola Creary if you have any questions.