Teaching Resources

Transition time – our top tips for moving up

by Anna Whiteley
on June 7, 2017


Transition needn’t be scary. Whether it’s a change in year group, key stage or school, our top tips for moving up will help to make it run smoothly. Come the start of the new school year, children will find their feet quickly.

Be prepared – Do the hard work early on so it’s not a last minute rush at the end of term or a huge shock to the system for the first few weeks in their new place.

Practice together – Give kids confidence by practising getting to the right classroom, toilets, or bus stops. Have a practice of their new class too. Teacher can swap for a short time every week in the final term, giving both yourself and the kids chance to get used to new faces. Even if just for an hour.

Familiarise – Helping your class to familiarise themselves with their upcoming new surroundings goes a long way towards reassuring them about any moves. Guides, maps, visual timetables, labelled pictures or photos are a good place to start.

Make introductions – Introduce yourself early in a fun and exciting way. Can you send your new class a letter, welcome pack, a video or create a quiz so they can learn a bit about you? If the structure of the class is changing then friendship groups might too. Alleviate fears by giving the class chance to mix and get to know one another. Get the parents involved too, stay and play afternoons for little ones work well, a tour of their child’s new classroom suits for older ones.

Build confidence – Self-esteem is the key to settling in well. Confidence building activities such as discussing similarities and differences of the new/old classes or writing lists as a group/individually of all the things they’re looking forward to about their new start.

Teach resilience – Empower your class by discussing actions that they can take if a problem arises. Listen to their concerns. Helping them to think of constructive ways to deal with problematic situations motivates and empowers.

Encourage kindness – Remind your class about the importance of friendship and looking after one another. This should allow children to feel confident when asking for the help of their peers. Helping them to build a peer support network is invaluable.

Be enthusiastic – If you show enthusiasm and excitement about the move, then it will rub off on your class. Even if you’re a little anxious yourself, stay positive and encourage them calmly.

What does your school do to ensure transition runs smoothly? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.