The importance of a good transition
At Bridgewater School we fully understand the importance of a successful transition from home to school, which is why the principles of a well-planned transition are embedded in our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and continue throughout Key Stages 1 and 2.
Patrice Pritchard, Head of Early Years, says “The events of recent months have changed the lives of everyone and, no matter how old we are, even small changes to our routine can make us feel anxious. It is no surprise then, that our youngest children, who are preparing for the steps ahead and embarking on a journey of learning that will last for years, may feel utterly overwhelmed.
“Research suggests that transitions are central to young children’s development and emotional well-being and the way in which they are handled could have a significant impact on the child’s capacity to cope with change in the future.”
She continues “If a school gets early transition right, then they will reap the benefits for years to come, with children deeply engaged in their learning. Pupils at Bridgewater School have the same positive transition in Years 6 to 7 when they continue their journey into Senior School, with the distinct areas of our school blending seamlessly into our very special Bridgewater family.”
Here at Bridgewater School, our family ethos is built into our foundations, which is why our focus for lockdown has been directed towards reducing the mental distance felt by families during this period and doing all we can to help students feel academically and emotionally prepared to rejoin their vibrant school community when they return in September. Our established ‘open door’ policy, which encourages openness and transparency, has proved vital in ensuring a continuing partnership between school and home, and communication has been key to keeping our school community connected.
In addition to virtual lessons with class teachers, online pastoral transition activities and tailored year-group meetings, students have received continual inspiration and guidance, including weekly newsletters, to help their mental well-being, seen their ideas and personal journeys shared and participated in virtual assemblies where individual and collective achievements have continued to be celebrated.
The biggest challenge may yet be still to come. However, we are confident that the steps we have already taken and the continued investment in resourced to minimise the risk of COVID-19 and strengthen our ability to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment, will make the next transition a positive one, for every individual.