Moving into Grade 1 is a significant stage for K3 children. They are changing from discovery-based learning to a more formalised curriculum, which means there is less natural play time and more writing, reading and arithmetic. It doesn’t have to be difficult though.
As educators, we encourage parents not to tell their child negative things (for example, telling children that they will need to buck up their ideas because Grade 1 will be very difficult), but instead, to tell them to think of all the wonderful things they will do in Grade 1 (like Wushu and playing in a new playground!) to create a yearning for primary school life.
To smooth the transition from K3 to Grade 1, we do the following:
Transition (mornings or afternoons): We held one in June and one in July. The K3 children went up to their new classrooms, where they met their new teachers and got a feel for where they will be next year.
Transition playtimes K3 – Grade 1: The Grade 1 children have a different playground than the Early Years’ pupils. This is very exciting and important for little children who want to know “Where can I play? Where can I have fun?”
A Graduation ceremony for K3 children moving into Grade 1: This provided an opportunity for children to meet their new teachers and gain an understanding of the feeling of moving up.
Early Years visits: The teachers in Primary school visit the kindergarten from time to time too, so they can get to know the children, and begin to know a little about each of them. Therefore, when the children finally move to Grade 1, the children can then recognise their new teacher which helps to make the transition much smoother.
Besides all above, the transition work also includes Open Days for K3 parents, Handovers between teachers, Transitional circle times, Transitional meetings (face-to-face or online) meetings for parents, and Transitional leaflets productions.
Well, it’s simple we do most of the above plus the following extras:
Home visits: We try to visit the home of every new child to meet them in their most comfortable environment, their home. Meeting their teacher in this way helps them to remember a familiar face when they arrive in September.
Transitional Days: We have at least three transitional days (if not more) before the start of school.
Transitional Cards: These have photos of new teachers and details of exciting things they can do at school.
We hope that through the various efforts and attempts of transition, the transition of K3 to primary that may have been worried will become very smooth.