Transitioning to 2018

There are just 25 school days left of the year and in the coming weeks, there will be lots of discussion around the school regarding next year. Who will my teacher be? Will I have my friends come with me? Where will my classroom be? What is grade __ like? Etc etc. This excitement and chatter around the school means that it is on everyone’s mind, and for some, this might also carry a little worry.... The unknown is always a little worrying especially when you are jumping from Foundation to Grade 1, Grade 2 to 3, Grade 4 to 5 and especially the Grade 6 graduation from our marvellous school!

This week I visited some classrooms and discovered a few things that worry some children. I also found that a lot of what worries a transitioning foundation student also worries a grade 5 on that first day in the classroom.

  • Foundation students going into grade 1 worry about their friends, what their teacher will be like, what their classroom will be like, that the work will be to hard & the unknown.
  • Junior school students worry much about the same however they are worries more centred around what the work will be like. “I didn’t know if I was going to be good enough” was the worry of one child. Homework was also a looming evil sitting on their shoulders.
  • Middle school students still have worries about friendships and the “evil grade 6’s that will suck out your brain”, but their worries centre around the academic side of things. “Having been in the middle school for 2 years, I worry that the work will be too tricky”.
  • Grade 6 students have a whole other world to worry about, different schools, different formats and no home teacher are just a few of the things they carry around with them.


Discussions on transition with your child are incredibly valuable. Enquire about what things your child may be worried about. Whether it is little worry about navigating the great staircase or a deeper worry about something known, unknown or a misconception created in the playground. It doesn’t matter how big or small a worry may be. Any worry can impede the joy of the holidays or coming to school in the new year.

Communication is key and can make transition within the school much more successful if teachers are aware of any worries your child may have. Communication to your teacher can be done via compass or in person after school (you may need to schedule a time with the teacher).



  • You can start by having a discussion with your child, get them to draw a picture, write about or even role play what they think it will be like in the new year.
  • Draw or write a list of people they know in other year levels; people they may meet or people they would like to meet.
  • Touching base with your child’s new teacher prior to the first day of school in the new year. Especially if there is a something that the new teacher may not be made aware of yet.
  • Stay positive and model a happy and excited view towards the new year. Your child can take on your own worries and bring this to school with them. Try to turn worries into positives. Ie. “You may not know many people in your class, but what kind of friend would you like to meet in your new grade?”
  • Make sure that your child knows the location of classroom they will be going into and where their old friends might be located.
  • Role play some ways to deal with different situations that may be bothering them (or just talk it through as I probably will when Max is at school).
  • Have a look at your child’s new teacher’s Twitter feed to familiarise them with the sorts of things to expect.
  • Organise a play-date with people in the new classroom.
  • Explain that your friend will still be your friend even if they are in a different class. We all have friends that are not at our place of work or home, this can be a good example.


The good thing is that we still have some time to deal with these worries. Which should be plenty of time to open a dialogue, make a plan and have those discussions or role play if that’s your thing!

Tim Plummer

Acting Assistant Principal 

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