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DECS CONTINUITY OF LEARNING AND TRANSITION PROJECT Sue Emmett Curriculum Manager First Years of School.

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Presentation on theme: "DECS CONTINUITY OF LEARNING AND TRANSITION PROJECT Sue Emmett Curriculum Manager First Years of School."— Presentation transcript:

1 DECS CONTINUITY OF LEARNING AND TRANSITION PROJECT Sue Emmett Curriculum Manager First Years of School

2 Australian Curriculum National Reform Agenda Why ……. Why Now? Universal Access…. EYLF…National Quality Standard Melbourne Declaration …..Australian Curriculum…National Assessment…My School…. Single intake

3 How do our (transition) practices honour each child and support them to attain their full potential?

4 About the project 10 partnership of sites: prior to school and school Range of service types Range of settings and complexities Educator release - short time frame

5 Project Aims Educators in both settings –Become familiar with both Belonging, Being and Becoming and Australian Curriculum/TfEL –Build on understandings of pedagogical connections between prior-to-school and reception –Consider the impact of both curricula on continuity of learning for children –Provide advice about support for educators in using new curricula

6 Key Questions What are the pedagogical connections between the two documents? What does this look like in practice in each setting? What are the impacts on children moving from one setting to another? What do educators need to do to support continuity of learning? What advice would you give us around supporting the implementation of new curricula?

7 Transitions……are about movement, change, continuity or discontinuity. Transitions are points of vulnerability and possibility. They can be stressful or calming, points for positive growth or for setbacks. If children …..are to feel secure, it is essential that transitions are given careful consideration in order for them to be positive. Educational Leadership…Rethinking Transition To School

8 10%-20% of children experience significant concerns, adjustment difficulties & distress Adjustment to the first year of school and the patterns of behaviour & achievement that are established….have important implications for future academic & social success.

9 …The growing interest ….is based on the idea that transition may cause social and emotional turmoil as well as discontinuities for children. Griebel & Nielsen 2003 Successful transition is important for childrens wellbeing and their cognitive development

10 In the past……. Focus on school practices - raising entry age, transition classes, retention in preschool compensatory school programs Events at the end of preschool or beginning of year to orientate children & families to new context - Transition Programs What does research tell us?

11 Today… Transition is viewed more as an extended complex process involving: Continuity of childrens experience Partnerships with stakeholders System coherence Petriwsky, Thorpe, & Tayler What does research tell us?

12 differences between curriculum & teaching approaches Margetts 2002 …nothing magical happens to children's brains – so there is a strong case for seeking greater alignment between early years services and school curricula with a more gradual introduction to structured learning Walker 2007 in Kauerz 2007 Major sources of discontinuity

13 Communication – often based on different expectations - E.g. school readiness seen as a quality in the child. - Assumes it is the responsibility of the prior to school setting to prepare children for school rather than the collective responsibility of families, early years services, communities and schools to be ready

14 Major sources of discontinuity Lack of positive reciprocal relationships across the early childhood / school divide Effective transition depends on how well the school culture is understood by children, parents and family

15 What does research tell us? Effective Transition to school programs Establish positive relationships Facilitate each childs development Differentiate between orientation and transition Supported by dedicated resources Involve a range of stakeholders Are well planned & evaluated Are flexible & responsive Are based on mutual respect Involve reciprocal communication Take into account contextual aspects of community individual families & children within the community Dockett & Perry 2001a

16 Discussion Talk about these elements of effective transition to school programs in relation to your site/s. And….. What is working well – who does it work for? What data do you have? What might need rethinking? FRAMING QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT Who decides? What connections are made? What information is sought/ shared? What resources? Flexibility/Responsiveness? Evaluation?

17 What impacts on practice? Participants often had shared philosophy as to best practice to support young learners Formal education begins on entry to school Parent and community expectations Physical environment Relationships…family & setting Opportunities for children to follow interests/make choices

18 Supports for Continuity Ongoing relationships More than single events/orientation Working in partnership with families/children Regular exchange of relevant information

19 Challenges to Continuity Transition to school not being a priority Achieving genuine partnerships with families Recognising, understanding & valuing childrens prior experience Difference in learning environments Access to & relationships with adults

20 Emerging Themes The importance of Relationships Communication Play based pedagogy Ongoing reflection on continuity of learning and transition practices

21 Advice We have an opportunity to refocus: Opportunities to engage in joint professional learning - more than content Strengthen understandings of pedagogical practice Continuity of Learning & Transition system/regional / site priority Resources allocated Flexibility

22 Phase two 3 partnerships Pedagogy & play Literacy Children with additional needs Will develop resources to share

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