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Getting transition right is vital for every child. It has significant impact to a child's start but also their journey into a new environment whether this is in a preschool, nursery, childminder or their first day into school.

Transition should be viewed as a process rather than an event that involves children, practitioners and parents / carers together.

School readiness and the Essex 'My Transition to School' passport

School readiness continues to be a high priority for the local authority and the Essex Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) team have developed some new materials to support schools and their feeder early years settings to work in partnership to secure a successful transition processes for the children that are due to start in reception.

When smooth transitions occur there are huge benefits for the child’s personal, social and emotional development, their learning and future success at school.

There are many definitions of school readiness but all broadly confer with the need to consider the three aspects outlined by UNICEF: children’s readiness, families’ readiness and schools’ readiness.

The statutory framework for the early years foundation stage provides us with a general definition of school readiness, ‘the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.’

The Department for Education (DfE) document, Supporting Families in the Foundation Years states that ‘Children should start school healthy, happy, communicative, sociable, curious, active and ready equipped for the next phase of learning’.

These definitions have been used to develop local agreement about what it means for children across Essex to be school ready and have resulted in various school readiness intervention projects, involving the engagement of children and their families as well as schools and settings.

An outcome of these projects has been to develop a holistic approach to transition and school readiness in the form of the new Essex My Transition to School passport - PDF, 1MB and accompanying poster Starting School - PDF 293KB.

Schools and settings may already have approaches to transition that work well, as it is good practice to ensure continuity for children during periods of transition. The intention of the new materials is to complement what is already in place, or to offer something that can be used as a standalone model, or something to be developed further to personalise the experience for children in your own setting.

Please remember to link in with your local best practice networks to join in with transition discussions and don't forget to download 50 things to do before you are 5 from the Talk, Listen and Cuddle website.

You can also visit the Hungry Little Minds website for more ideas on activities to boost children's communication, language and literacy development. Everything you do together, no matter how small, will help get them ready for school.

The My Transition to School passport - PDF, 1MB - can be downloaded and printed off or used in electronic format. Schools and settings must take full responsibility in ensuring that relevant data protection is in place to ensure the secure transfer of files and sharing of personal data.

We hope that the materials support you in enabling children to have smooth transitions and to effectively continue their learning journey.

Relevant resources