Visualising Intervention – Educational Transition

Using A Temporal View of Transition To Support Educational Transition

Note: this article is based on working practice during 2005, 2011

Part of the Visualising Education Blog Series

Transition, whether it is from infant school to primary school, from primary school to high school, from high school to college or the workplace or from college to university, is fundamentally the same. That is, helping students to move from one establishment to another.

The transition framework which was developed to manage transition into and out of the school is displayed below in figure 1.  This framework is based on the work carried out with students who were being transferred between schools due to significant issues which were typically labelled as ‘behavioural.’

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Figure 1) Simple Transition Framework 2005 – A Practical Guide To Inclusion

The key to transition is to recognise that transition can be viewed in a temporal fashion, which is highlighted in figure 1 with the labelled ‘zones of commitment.’ Secondly, it was identified that the transition success can be assessed at different stages across the transition period.  Using this transition framework it is possible to identify strategies and additional support to increase the transition success of the student.

The assessment theme (figure 1) suggests areas which need to be explored during the assessment process.  The most important factors, where the students perception of the staff and other students approachability and accessibility lead to feeling connected and valued (this is referred to as belonging in current research round transition).  Other issues related to the remaining themes could be addressed once the student establishes a sense of belonging.

Using The Zones of Commitment

1) Pre-arrival:

  • Visit current school introduce yourself promoting approachable and accessible
    • Wear something novel I use funky ties as a talking point
    • Provide students with a contact point to request further information (assurance)
      • email, webpages and forms, text message, social networking
    • Send out literature (newsletter, flyer etc…) which makes the new school welcoming and friendly
      • Include frequency asked questions
      • Incorporate digital media about transition into the school website and reference to it
    • Provide action lists
      • Before your first day you need to have … (provide a tick list)
      • Suggest shops and websites which will support the students and parents in preparing
      • On your first day (what to expect and what happens)
      • Named person (teacher name, photograph, a little friendly introduction)
    • Produce videos
      • Use videos of other students (year seven) explaining what school life is like
      • Use videos to explain rules and expectation of the school
      • Use videos to show off school clubs and events
    • Knowledge and Skills
      • Provide exemplar work
      • Suggest what work new students can be doing before they arrive (preparing)
      • Direct them to relevant websites and downloads

2) Induction

  • Welcome and Introduce
    • Too much information overwhelms people – Keep It Short and Simple (KISS)
    • Provide opportunities which allow the students to form friendships (student centred activities)
    • Get involved, making yourself approachable
  • Check everything!
    • Use the same check list which you previously shared to produce a sense of success
    • Check personal data
    • Collect forms and other paperwork
    • Give out a trolley load of papers and books!
  • Explore the school
    • Identify key locations which the student can use (toilets, student support, main reception)
    • Explain the room numbering etc… (challenge students by asking which rooms\ floors different subjects are on or which direction they are from your current location)
    • Help to the students to visualised the shape of the school (my old school looked like a fork)
    • Talk about rules and expectations as you move around the buildings and open spaces
    • Students services (what they provide and how they help students) make a point of introducing the student to all members of the student service team

3) Initial Transition

  • Named person
    • Provide a person which the student can talk to and ask questions
    • Return forms or ask for additional paperwork
    • Keep a track on commitment (attendance) and engagement (learning)
  • Join clubs & represent the school
    • Promotes school identity (belongingness)
    • Clubs are great at helping students find people with similar interests
    • Become house representatives
    • Participate on student bodies within the school
    • Contribute to newsletters

4) Problem Solving

  • Long term transition – bumps along the way (signposting)
    • Support student by recognising that they may be upset or have a problem
    • Encourage student to seek advice from the name person or support worker (student service)
    • Check if student has accessed advice, if not encourage to do so

This blog is based on extracts from this book: A Practical Guide To Inclusion: A Manual For Implementation and Delivery