Supported transitions into reception class

Detailed guidance on how best to support a child as they move from pre-school into reception.

  • Actions for pre-school setting

    • Pre-school setting staff talk to parents about choices of local schools.
    • Pre-school setting shares the School Admission and Starting School questionnaire with families.
    • Parents/carers and child attend school open days or evenings.
    • Pre-school setting schedules dates for EHCP Annual Reviews.
    • Pre-school setting reviews responses from the Starting School questionnaire and provides guidance for families or accesses support from other agencies as needed.
    • Pre-school setting talks to families to make sure they have applied for a school place and reminds them of the deadline..
  • Actions for pre-school setting

    • Arrange a transition planning meeting between the pre-school setting, parent/carers, school and other relevant professionals supporting the family.
    • Pre-school setting to gain consent from parents/carers and provide copies of all relevant documentation to the school for example:
      • Professionals reports.
      • Reviewed provision, health needs plans or PSPs.

    Actions for school

    • Evaluate provision provided in pre-school setting and start planning how successful strategies of support can be translated into the Reception class.
    • Identify any potential staff training needs.
    • Undertake a risk assessment where physical or health needs have been identified.
    • If appropriate, start informal visits to the school for the child.
  • Actions for pre-school setting

    • Ensure details of agencies/professionals involved with individual children are up to date.
    • Plan for any specialist equipment to be transferred to the school in readiness for the child’s first day.

    Actions for school

    In addition to the school’s usual transition processes:

    • Ensure all children who require additional planning and support are given an opportunity to visit their new school, accompanied by a familiar adult, and to join in a variety of sessions, including playtimes and lunchtimes.
    • Arrange additional visits for children who need more personalised arrangements.
    • School to provide ‘All about my new school’ information for each child, with lots of pictures, or make short video clips of the classroom and school environment. Parent/carers should then discuss this regularly with the child.
    • Give children opportunities to meet key staff, such as their teacher, teaching assistants and any other support staff who will work with them.
    • School to make appropriate referrals to specific agencies if required. 
    • School to undertake any identified staff training.
    • Ensure staffing, resources and equipment will be in place for September.
    • If required, undertake an Accessibility Audit and finalise individual provision and/or health plans.

    Transition events

    Events for schools and early years providers to share transition information for children starting school.

  • In addition to the school’s usual transition/settling in processes:

    • Regularly meet with parent/carers to discuss how their child is settling in and to review provision.
    • Ensure all relevant information has been transferred from the pre-school setting. Check that this has been shared and disseminated with key staff.
    • Ensure that staff understand the needs of their pupils. For example, through one- page profiles.
    • Identify any further staff training needs.
    • Share successes of individual children with their pre-school setting.

    Actions for pre-school setting

    • Communicate with the school to discuss the success of the transition and progress of the child. This supports the child and family with the transition as well as embedding links with the school for future transitions.