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Making the Transition from FS2 to Year One

This is such a big transition point for children as they are moving from one curriculum to another. During their time in FS, children have been learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, whereas once they move to Year One, they will be working towards the end of year expectations set out in the UK 2014 National Curriculum. The structure of the EYFS lends itself to a play based approach to learning, where children spend the majority of their day learning through independent, chosen activities in an environment specifically set up to support them. The structure of a typical year one classroom often looks opposite to this, i.e. a very structured approach and a lot of teacher led learning.

The staff in both FS and Year One are currently working hard to ensure the play based approach to learning that children have experienced in FS2 continues as they move to Year One. In the initial term of Year One, the children will have opportunities to engage with learning through play based activities, whilst also beginning to interact with more teacher led and structured sessions.

The FS2 children are in a great place moving forward to Year One. During their time in FS, the children have been learning their phonics and reading skills through Read Write Inc. This will continue when they move into Year One, as children will again be streamed through their year group according to their phonic ability. In maths, the children have had some experience learning maths through mastery and will have opportunities to develop these skills further as they move into Year One.

The children have visited their new classrooms along with their peers, and some children have had the chance to meet their new teacher. It is very valuable that the children have their current peers with them to support them through this transitional phase. It has been a positive experience for parents to come along to our Year one tours, where they have had the opportunity to see new spaces in school their children will be accessing. Our parents meeting on June 5th was key in talking through some changes which lie ahead for our children.

It is important that we support children with this transition, both at home and in school. A parent’s role is to work with your child during the summer months to ensure they keep practising their core skills in reading, writing, counting and problem solving. Change is always something with brings challenges, but it is also exciting and a chance to experience new learning, build relationships and further develop our children into the best they can be!

Take a look at our top tips to aid your child’s transition:

Knowledge is Power

Often transition times are difficult for parents as they are entering a new world of unknown and there are lots of unanswered questions. Will my child settle? Will they cope with the new expectations? What is their new teacher like? How will they bond with other children? Change can be scary, but it is important to give yourself every opportunity to find out information. If your child’s school is offering parent tours or workshops, it is so important to go along and find out key messages. If you have any questions for the new teacher, make an appointment to speak to them about your concerns and queries. Gaining as much of an insight into your child’s new class/phase will hopefully ease some of your worries and answer lots of your questions.

Embrace the Change

As much as change can be a little scary, it is also so exciting. Please reassure your children that changing and moving forward is part of life and it is a new chance for them to build relationships, develop skills and learn new things. When speaking with your child, please don’t share any concerns/worries with them, as this may then begin to stir anxiety within them. Instead, emphasise how excited you are and build their confidence in reminding them they are ready for this change.

Be Proactive

If your child is moving to a class where they may not know as many peers, try to find out who will be in class with them and see if you can arrange play dates over the Summer. As a parent it is positive to build a support network with your fellow parents, try to get in touch with some of them and meet up or even just gather their contact details. Seeing some of their new peers outside of school and having a chance to start building relationships will help your child to settle once September comes around.

Become the Teacher

The Summer in the UAE is long, hot and long again! The children have around two months away from school. This is where it becomes the parents job to become the teacher. Please ensure your child doesn’t leave school at the end of term and then doesn’t pick a book up until they are back in the classroom. It is so important children keep on top of those core skills such as reading, writing and number skills. Even 30 minutes a day recapping skills will help them to retain their skill set ready for returning to school. Consolidating learning from their recent weeks in school will really help them to consolidate and embed learning. If you don’t use it, you lose it!

Rebecca Mundy
Assistant Headteacher, Kings’ School Al Barsha