4 transition activities to help reduce 'next step' anxiety
Sunday, 26 June 2022 by Weduc
Transitioning between schools or key stages can be one of the most stressful times in a child or young person’s academic life.
Moving away from known and trusted staff and routines towards uncertainty can be exciting but aren’t without reservation.
Each child will manage the transition to a new class or school differently; some children, particularly the most vulnerable, may need additional transition activities to help them prepare for the next step.
In this article, we share 4 of our favourite transition activities to help your new school year start smoothly.
Transition ideas to help support your anxious children
Teacher one-page profile
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) children often have a one-page profile to share likes, dislikes, positive interaction strategies and additional needs. Many schools successfully create a short profile for each teacher to help with pre-introductions.
These profiles can often include:
A picture of the teacher.
A picture of the classroom.
The teacher’s favourite subject, food, colour, hobby.
School map or online tour
Given to your older students as a scaling project, a visual map of the school can reduce anxiety surrounding transition for pupils to begin to visualise their new setting. Supported by adding an online video tour of the school delivered by key staff members (form teachers, year group leaders or pastoral leads). This online virtual tour can be added to your central communications portal for all parents to access anytime in one place.
Question and answer opportunities
Linked to your communications system, the opportunity for a question-and-answer session can help alleviate anxiety for pupils and parents alike. Weduc allows two-way communications to be turned on or off when posting on the newsfeed.
Collecting your most frequently asked questions via your communications system can lead nicely to creating a video to answer these questions effectively; reducing repetition for your team as well as positively engaging your parents. *Image of Weduc Newsfeed if possible*
Anxiety can often stem from unknown factors, creating panic at the ‘what ifs’ and uncontrollable situations. Organising additional visits for your pupils to spend a short time in their new setting can significantly reduce worries surrounding transition. If releasing a trusted supporting staff member to attend with the pupils during the school day causes significant strain on staffing coverage, you can organise with the parents to accompany the child before or after school. Some of the largest pupil concerns involve finding simple areas in the school like toilets or form rooms.
Moving to a new school can be a stressful time for parents and pupils, having a communication strategy in place to proactively meet the questions and needs of your incoming cohort can begin the academic year positively.