From the outset, it is worth making it clear to parents that the more notice they can give you regarding a posting the better. Once they have notified school it is good time management tip for the class teacher to start to file away work samples, observations and so on, building up a portfolio in preparation for the move.
Arrange a brief parent / teacher meeting
- Pass on any concerns regarding behaviour, friendships or learning.
- Give an up to date picture of current strengths, areas they may want to develop upon moving.
- Facilitate the exchange of contact details between friends.
- Pass on any copies of any reports and assessments,enabling the parents to pass on this information should there be any delay with the transfer of information between schools.
Check national test dates
If statutory tests fall around the posting date, check this with parents. It may be that they can apply to remain in the quarter (military housing) for slightly longer, stating educational reasons. There is more information about this from CEAS (Children’s Education Advisory Service)
If the child is of GCSE age, ensure all completed coursework is marked and available for transfer.
Saying Goodbye in preparation for transition
Saying goodbye is obviously important in order to give closure. It allows the opportunity to exchange contact details. It is also important to a child’s self-esteem and to how they resettle if they can take a sense of identity with them. A class photo on a leaving card full of messages is a simple yet very effective way to do this. It means they move into the new school with the underlying message of ‘look I have friends, I am a liked class member, you can like me too!’
Build in some time for the class teacher
If the current teacher can be spared for 15 mins, a quick phone call to the new school will enable schools to be proactive, without waiting for admin systems. This is particularly key if there are any special needs that need to be discussed. Sharing strategies that work, how the first school facilitated the settling in, strengths and interests of the child. This will all help to give a clear picture prior to the start date.
Build in time for the child to share
If the move is local enough can a visit day be arranged? Allowing the child the opportunity to take photos, create a short presentation on the new school, may help with the transition process. If this isn’t possible, perhaps a research project, allowing them time to explore the new school website, research the area. Any links that can be made in class would be of great benefit.