A) Transitions experienced by all children
Children and young people will all have transitions in common throughout their lives.
??? Starting school for a child is the first transition they experience. Separation from their parents and familiar environment makes the period unsettling for the child, as well as the parents/carers. With this is mind, children who attend the preschool element of the
School become aware of the new surroundings and time away from parents is minimum. This allows the transition, from pre-school to reception much easier.
??? Moving from a primary school to a secondary school – Throughout this process, exams take place at the end of the primary years which will assess the next stage in their new school setting. These exams, as well as the thought of going to a new school, are a huge transition for an 11 year old. Not only will they have to deal with a new school setting, but also new teachers, transitions of movement around the school and within classes. Meeting new children from other schools and having to make new friends is also an emotional issue to a child. It can be a very frightening experience as they will be facing the unknown in their settling in period of the new school.
In order that the transition period run as smooth as possible for these 11 year olds, the Primary school will have talks with the children and support them with any anxiety problems they are undergoing. Visits to the new school is arranged, where they can meet some of the teachers and have a tour of the premises. Meeting the needs of these children allows the transition to run as smooth as possible.
??? Puberty ??“ All children from the age of 10 upwards will go through puberty. The body starts to change and the hormones make the child feel and act differently. The children may need support and reassurance from adults as this happens, as confidence may be lost. Children are particularly vulnerable if going through puberty when leaving primary on to secondary school. By providing support and answering questions sensitively, it will ensure the child is aware that what is happening is normal, and maintain their confidence.
??? Key Stages/Choosing subjects for final exams ??“ Being expected to move from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 is a daunting time for children. They are expected to learn and behave at a much higher level than what they are used to. Being able to familiarise the children with the new environment and routines will support these children.
A child having to choose what subjects to take at secondary school is another transition period. Some children are still unsure about what career they want to proceed with when they leave school, so these subjects are particularly hard to choose. Advice and support is required for the children this affects.
??? Examinations ??“ When a young person is about to leave school, they have to undertake their final exams. This is a huge pressure on 15/16 years old. The results from the examinations, will influence what course they want to take, what career they are pursuing, and if they will be accepted by a college/employer. There may be a huge amount of pressure from parents to achieve high marks and follow a certain career path. The fear of letting ???parents??????teachers??? and ???themselves??? down may lead to emotional and behavioural problems.
B) Transitions experienced by some children.
There are many transitions that some children and young people do not experience. Some of these may be just an inconvenience for a short period of time and have a temporary effect on the child. Others, however, may have a dynamic emotional and physical effect on a child.
??? Moving house ??“ This could be within the same area and therefore still attending the same school, or it could be a move to another part of the country, or abroad. If it is just moving house whilst stopping in the area, the upheaval of the move is the transition period, but this would settle over a short space of time. However, if it a move away from friends and family, then the child has the challenge of attending a new school and making new friends.
??? New Siblings ??“ Going from being the centre of attention to having a baby brother or sister can be daunting. Emotional feelings of jealousy and a change in behaviour may occur. Feeling loved and being part of the experience will aid the transition period.
??? Separation of parents/ New Step-Parents ??“ Being told that your parents are separating and possibly having to chose who you want to go and live with is a huge transition period. The child may feel as though they may be the cause of the separation and may do all they can to make parents stay together. The separation may be due to an abusive parent, or one with a drug or alcohol addiction. The transition may be a positive or a negative emotion in this case.
When a parent moves in with, or marries a new partner, this may cause problems if the new partner has other children. Having to share and live with this new arrangement may be a positive or negative emotional transition.