Transition to School

Transition looks and feels different for everyone involved.  


We are proud of our flexible approach to welcoming your child and their whanau to our team and to our school. The following is a general outline but we are more than happy to work together with you to provide the best transition possible for your child.  To ensure this is possible, please enrol your child at least 6 months prior to their starting date.


Our overall aim is to be ready for each individual and their whanau as they enter the next part of the Learning Journey. The following process allows us to get to know the child, their strengths, their whanau and to identify areas of need before they begin school.

Our Transition Processes have been developed to allow students and their whanau to:

* meet and develop a relationship with a teacher in the Piwakawaka Team.

* meet and make friends with other children and families who will be in their homebase class and Team.

* become familiar with the routines and activities in the learning spaces.

* become familiar with the school environment.

* begin to develop confidence to become independent and involved at school.

* become involved in the wider school.


We uphold our school values of Respect, Integrity, Compassion, Tolerance and Excellence as we welcome new students to our school. We will involve whanau, Early Childhood Educators, Outside Agencies where appropriate, and most importantly the child in helping them to make a smooth transition into our school.  


Children will be invited to participate in our Transition Group. This group will meet at least 5 times per term, usually on a Wednesday afternoon. This will allow whanau and children to meet together as a group that will be starting school within the next term or so. This helps the children to meet some familiar friendly faces and friends that they will already know as they enter the larger team at school, making coming along to school less daunting. This provides us with a chance to find out about the whole child: where they come from, what strengths they have and prepare them and their families for the transition to the classroom and school.  It also helps families to meet each other, ask questions you will all want answers to and to begin to feel part of our school as a whanau member must bring their child along to the Transition Group visits.


Children will receive a booklet from each visit that highlights the learning that they have completed. These help the children to revisit their trips to school and become comfortable with the activities, places and people that will be involved in their Learning Journey.


Children are then invited to Pre School Visits as they near their starting date. These are where your child can learn how to say goodbye to you, join in with Team Based activities and get a general feel for how the school day operates.  


These are flexible and we try to incorporate a range of times throughout the day so that the children are exposed to the playground, all curriculum areas and wider school life. If you feel that your child needs more visits or that they need to come along to a specific part of the day more than others, we can accommodate that easily.   We also invite their participation in our Discovery Time programme from the time that they begin the Transition Group.   This is run on a Monday morning from 9.00 - 10.40 am.  Please ask if you would like further information about this programme.


Kindergarten and Pre School providers are also encouraged to visit our classrooms, at least once per term. They are invited to participate in our Discovery Time programme but also come along to join in with other learning areas.


Reciprocal visits also occur. We will attempt to take children back to their Kindergarten or Pre School provider if possible so they can talk to the other children about starting school and to keep their connections while making the transition to their new learning environment.


Children and their Whanau are also invited to any PTA and school events within that term. Newsletters are emailed to Whanau so they can find out more about the school. Our assemblies are another area where we encourage whanau to bring their child along to, to get to know us and what happens at Burnside Primary.


As children enter school, they will all enter through the reception programme - Te Waka o Matariki. More information concerning your child’s start to school will be discussed at the Transition visits as we get to know you and your child.