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education.vic.gov.au

Transition — Early Childhood to School

Policy last updated

14 December 2020

Scope

  • Schools
  • Early childhood services

Contact

Early Learning Unit Early Learning Division


Date:
March 2020

Policy

Policy

This policy sets out the role of schools in planning and managing the transition process, including Transition Learning and Development Statements, for students moving from early childhood services to school.

Details

Starting school is a big milestone for children and their families. The transition between learning environments can be both challenging and exciting. A positive start to school, leading to greater and ongoing connection with school has been identified as a factor in disrupting cycles of social and economic disadvantage, and in promoting resilience among young people.

Supporting students to successfully transition from their early childhood learning setting to the school setting requires professionals to actively foster responsive relationships with each child and their families, as well as with each other, recognising the importance of continuity and consistency while acknowledging change.

A key component of a positive transition is for schools to review the Transition Learning and Development Statement (the Transition Statement). The Transition Statement helps to connect early childhood services, schools, Outside School Hours Care services (where applicable) and families all working together to support transition into school and the continuity of learning for each child. Completed annually by early childhood teachers, the Transition Statement has been designed to assist families and educators share information and specific strategies that can support each child’s learning and development into their foundation year.

When supporting children to transition from early childhood settings to school, Victorian government schools must follow the processes outlined under the Guidance tab. The Guidance includes information on transition statements, obtaining access to online transition statements for new prep students, and working with families (including the child) as an integral part of the transition process.

The Guidance also includes information on Foundation teachers visits to kindergartens in Term 4, 2020, with specific information on managing these visits during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Definitions

Transition
For the purpose of this policy, transition is the process of supporting continuity of learning for a child moving from early childhood to school.

Contact

Early Learning Unit Early Learning Division


Guidance

Transition — Early childhood to School

This guidance outlines how schools can access and use the Transition Learning and Development Statement (TLDS) and work with families, children and other professionals to support a smooth and positive transition between early childhood and school. 

The Online TLDS, accessed via the Insight assessment platform, makes it easier for early childhood teachers to complete and share the TLDS with schools to support effective transitions. 

Information for early childhood professionals on transition between early childhood and school is available at: Moving to primary school (transitions).

This guidance contains the following chapters which you can view using the chapter menu:

  • Transition statements — information for schools
  • Access online transition statements for new prep students
  • Working with families when children are transitioning to school

Transition statements — information for schools

Transition statements — information for schools

Transition Learning and Development Statements (TLDS) are provided by early childhood services and used by prep teachers, schools and outside school hours care services. ​

When your school will receive transition learning and development statements

Schools will start to receive TLDS from October. Your school should work with childhood services to agree on timelines that suit you both.

TLDS are typically written by early childhood educators in the fourth term (October or November). They capture the most current learning and developmental information to share with the receiving teacher.

If done earlier, the child’s level of learning and development is likely to have progressed and the information may not be as relevant and useful.

How your school will receive transition statements

TLDS can be received in a number of ways:

Insight assessment platform

Schools will receive the TLDS through the Insight assessment platform if:

  • the school uses Insight and
  • the early childhood service has completed the ‘Online TLDS’

The school Insight administrator can access transition statements for new prep students. See the section on Access online transitions statements for new prep students in this Guidance.

Email or post

Schools will receive the TLDS through an email or post if:

  • the school does not use Insight or
  • the early childhood service has not completed the ‘electronic TLDS’ – this is usually because the family has opted out of the service or not advised of the school their child is enrolled at

Schools may seek a copy of the TLDS directly from the child's family if they have chosen to opt out of the early childhood service providing the information to the school.

Each family is provided a completed copy of the statement from their early childhood service. 

OSHC services

The TLDS should also be shared with the Outside School Hours Care service at your school to assist in getting to know the child and family and planning accordingly.

Purpose of the TLDS

A child's TLDS:

  • summarises their abilities as they start school
  • identifies their individual approaches to learning
  • indicates how the child can be supported to continue learning

The information in the TLDS helps prep teachers to get to know the children entering their classes and plan appropriate learning and teaching programs.​ The TLDS is not a report card.

Below are seven ways that schools can effectively use the TLDS. The TLDS:

  • provides individual child interests so you can select familiar or favourite picture books and activities to reassure new preps at orientation sessions and in the first few weeks of the school year
  • outlines the child’s level of learning (at section 1.1 of the TLDS) to assist you to plan accordingly to support progression along the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) and Victoria Curriculum F-10 continuum
  • includes an ‘intentional teaching strategies’ section (at section 1.1) that provides teaching strategies that work for each individual child in the new prep classroom
  • can be used alongside the English Online Interview (EOI) data and even help determine which children should undertake the EOI first
  • has an enhanced section describing how to support children with disability and/or developmental delay including which professionals are involved in supporting the child and any reports that are available to provide further information
  • has a section completed by the child that helps school staff get to know each child quickly –this information can be used to initiate conversation with the child and display their drawings or photos to support their sense of belonging in the new classroom
  • has a section completed by the child’s family to help school staff to initiate conversation and discussion to get to know the family and their expectations, wishes and hopes for their child beginning school

To share other ways your school is successfully using transition statements, email the Department’s Early Learning Division at psts@education.vic.gov.au

Schools not using Insight

If your school does not currently use the Insight assessment platform (i.e. non-government schools) but you want to find out more, contact insight@education.vic.gov.au

Find out more

Further information on transitions statements is available for early childhood professionals, visit: Transition learning and development statements — information for early childhood professionals​


Access online transition statements for new prep students

Access online transition statements for new prep students

​​​Victorian government school staff can access Transition Learning and Development Statements (TLDS) for students starting at their school through the Insight platform.

The following information is for Victorian government schools. Information for early childhood services on transition statements is available at: Transition Statement Information for Early Childhood Services.

The process

  1. Early childhood services create statements and send them to the school nominated by the child's parent or carer. Most statements will be submitted via the Insight Assessment platform. Some may be via email, post or through the family.
  2. The school’s Insight administrator links the TLDS to a student record. They also upload any manual or printed statements received.
  3. Teachers can view the TLDS of students who are linked to them in CASES21. You must be a student's home group teacher in CASES21 to see their statement.
  4. If a student's enrolment has not been confirmed yet, schools may need to speak to the Insight administrator to get a copy of the TLDS.

Victorian government school staff Log in

  1. Visit the Insight platform
  2. Read the privacy information and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  3. Choose sector as 'DET'
  4. If prompted, use your eduMail user ID (TO number) and password to log in to the platform.

School user guide

Read the School User Guide for Insight administrators and teachers.

The user guide includes:

  • accessing TLDS
  • attaching a TLDS to a student record
  • printing and downloading
  • returning TLDS to the early childhood service (if required).

Screen recordings have also been made to showcase how to complete common actions on the Insight platform.

Technical support

Speak to your school's Insight administrator first. This is usually the principal or someone they have nominated.

If the administrator cannot solve the issue:


Working with families when children are transitioning to school

Working with families when children are transitioning to school

​​How your school and outside school hours care (OSHC) service can work with families, communities and children to ensure a positive transition to primary school.

Strategies for working with families

Families know their children better than anybody. Sharing relevant knowledge that they have about their child with early childhood services and schools can help the transition to school.

For this reason, the transition learning and development statement (TLDS) includes section 3: 'the family', which invites families to:

  • outline their hopes, wishes or goals for their child at school
  • highlight things they would like to know about school
  • say how they think their child will settle into school, and what might help with settling
  • share their child’s current interests
  • explain how their child best engages and learns

This information provides a great starting point for getting to know the family and initiating conversation and discussion with them before and as their child starts school.

Families who support their children during transition to school, and who have positive relationships with staff, are likely to continue a positive engagement with school.

Some strategies to effectively support families during transition include:

  • assisting families to have an up-to-date view of the support available within schools for their child’s learning and development
  • providing opportunities for families to meet and get to know each other informally, particularly for ‘first-time’ families
  • families with older children might be more comfortable about the transition process and can provide good support to families experiencing it for the first time

Remember: when families and schools work together, children do better in school and engage in learning.

Involving children in their own transition

There are many ways to involve children in their transition to school experience. It is important to remember that listening in imaginative ways can support children as they adjust to change, such as the change of starting school.

The transition learning and development statement (TLDS) has a section specifically for the child to consider what they would like their new setting to know about themselves. This provides valuable information for the receiving school and OSHC service. This information can be used as:

  • a conversation starter
  • something to reflect on and consider as you get to know the child and their family

Why it's important to involve children

Children are active participants and contribute diverse perspectives about transitions. Listening to and involving young children in transition planning is central to understanding them and supporting their learning. Valuing young children’s views has a positive effect on their self-confidence.

We need to involve and listen to children because:

  • it acknowledges their right to be listened to and for their views and experiences to be taken seriously
  • it can make a difference to our understanding of children’s priorities, interests and concerns and how they feel about themselves
  • listening is a vital part of establishing respectful relationships with children and central to the learning process
  • involving children in transition planning can influence teachers to think about how routines and activities can be improved

The importance of working with families

Relationships are at the core of positive transition to school experiences. When families, schools and communities work together in positive and collaborative ways, a child’s capacity to achieve their learning potential is significantly enhanced. It also benefits the child's:

  • general health
  • wellbeing
  • positive outlook and sense of purpose in life

This is a key practice principle in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) and the Practice principles for teaching in the early years.


Resources

Resources

Tools to support effective transition and differentiated learning

The Department’s Transition to School Resource Kit offers practical guidance and strategies to support positive transitions and provides useful information on transition planning including key activities, timelines and evaluation.

While it is likely the entire 2021 cohort may need universal support, with more of a focus on social and emotional development, vulnerable children may require a differentiated learning approach.

To identify children experiencing vulnerability you can use the Students at Risk Planning Tool (login required) which helps you to assess, plan and provide for their needs. Regional Health and Wellbeing key contacts can support schools to use the tool.

Once you’ve identified the children requiring differentiation, consider the options to best support them in your school’s local context. A child’s Transition Learning and Development Statement is an invaluable source of information and will assist you to plan for differentiated and continuity of learning.  

Schools should consider using their equity funding to further support children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Equity funding is one of the tools schools can use to respond to the needs of their vulnerable cohorts. The funding can be used for social disadvantage, children with disabilities and for English as an Additional Language.

Schools can also pool this funding with other schools in their network to strengthen their response and strategies to deliver effective transitions during more challenging circumstances.

Information on equity funding is available at Student Resources Package — Equity Funding (Student Based Funding).

Supporting vulnerable cohorts

Curriculum planning

  • The VCAA’s VEYLDF Illustrative Maps link the learning and development outcomes of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework to the F-2 levels of the Victorian Curriculum. The maps can help prep teachers better understand and build on the learning and development that has already occurred prior to children starting school.
  • Using high impact teaching strategies or HITS can contribute to learning. There are ten instructional practices prep teachers can use, including one focused on differentiated teaching. The HITS guide is available on the Department’s High impact teaching strategies website.

Assessments of learning and development

  • English Online Interview assesses children’s English skills (reading, writing and speaking and listening). Schools are required to use this tool for each new prep cohort, usually during Term 1.
  • Mathematics Online Interview assesses the mathematical understanding of children during the early years of school. Schools are encouraged to use this tool which can help teachers plan to meet children’s learning needs.

Other Department resources

For early childhood professionals

Moving to primary school (transitions) which includes:

For school teachers

For parents

External resources

To access transition learning and development statements (TLDS) for students starting at your school through the Insight platform, refer to the VCAA website:


Reviewed 21 May 2020