Transition Program

Kindergarten - In -Transition (K.I.T) Program Goals:
Ø      To put into place systems that ensure all children experience a smooth and successful transition from prior-to-school settings to the Kindergarten class at Gardeners Road.
Ø      To create strong communication links with parents, prior-to-school settings and the school by building on the child's past experiences with their families and prior-to-school settings.
Ø      To draw upon dedicated funding and resources from a variety of sources both within and outside the school. These include personnel, time, materials and space in which to operate the program.
Ø      To better equip families to support their child's transition to school by
sharing knowledge: about the school environment; children's developmental milestones and learning processes and the school's expectations of the young learners.
Ø      To establish positive relationships that are trusting and respectful between children, parents and educators by providing a welcoming and supportive environment that reflects the diverse physical, social, emotional, linguistic and cultural needs of the children.
Ø      To facilitate each child's development as a capable learner by providing rich learning experiences that are realistic, meaningful and appropriate.
Ø      To involve a range of stakeholders in the program both from within the school and from the local community and encourage input from these people.
Ø      To plan, implement and evaluate the program effectively and to be responsive to the changing needs and interests of the participants.
Ø      To be knowledgeable and aware of the contextual aspects of the community in which the students live and to recognise and value the richness this brings to the school.
The K.I.T Program is an extensive year long program that has three main features:
   a) Transition program for four/five year olds in Terms 3 & 4   
   before the children enter Kindergarten.
b) Transition program in Term 1 for students who have entered Kindergarten
c) Weekly Playgroup for 3 to 5 year olds who have not enrolled at school. This operates every Monday all through the year.  
 
a) The Transition Program is a continuing program throughout the year including a more comprehensive and meaningful range of experiences for families and children.
 
Beginning in Term 2 the Co-ordinator visits the local preschools and discusses the school and the range of programs on offer. The preschool directors offer information about the preschool age students and times are set up for visits to the primary school during Term 3.
 
In Term 3 and 4 preschools visit the primary school at different times and participate in structured activity groups with the preschool teachers, the Early Stage One, the community language and ESL teachers.
 
In Term 3 the school conducts Information Sessions which showcases some of the programs that are in operation at the school. Many of the present students perform items, the Year Six students talk about their experiences in the school and their memories of Kindergarten. The School Counsellor and Community Nurse make short presentations so too do the Community Language teachers, and the Kindergarten Teacher. There is an open forum at the conclusion for parents to ask questions or clarify points. During these sessions visitors are taken on walks around the extensive buildings and grounds and see the classes in operation.
 
In Term 4 there are three sessions, where the new children entering the school are invited to come with their parents, and participate in structured learning experiences. During these sessions the parents are involved in workshop activities such as Reading,Maths and Best Start, as well as presentations from a qualified nutritionist and speech therapist.
 
During these sessions the kindergarten teachers are involved in making observations about the participation of the young learners, making notes about specific abilities or needs these children display. They seek information about the children from parents or educators in the prior-to-school settings. At this time referrals to other agencies can be suggested such as to the School Counsellor, Speech or Occupational Health professionals.  The importance of up to date vision and hearing checks are emphasised to parents during the discussion forums.
 
b) During Term 1 the new Kindergarten students in the school are still considered in Transition with all the teachers at the school making a commitment to the program by being flexible with playground duty, release time etc. to enable the Kindergarten Teachers more time to spend with their class. On the first day of enrolment the Year Five Buddies greet the new students and take them to their class.
 
The new students wear badges with their name written clearly. This helps all staff to identify these students and keep a watchful eye on their movement and safety within the school. All staff visit the Kindergarten classroom in those early weeks, especially the support teachers such as the Librarian, Teacher's Aides and the Office Staff to say hello and to become familiar to the new students.
 
In the first two weeks the ESL and Community Language Teachers team teach with the Kindergarten teacher to make the transition to school as smooth as possible. This gives the opportunity for any of these teachers to speak to the parent about their child or about the procedures and routines of the school.
c) Last year the school set up a Playgroup for children under the age of five years because there was a concern by teachers that students were entering school with little or no spoken English and needed a ‘settling in' period before they encountered Early Stage One Literacy and Numeracy activities in Kindergarten. This Playgroup operates every Friday morning for two hours and is led by a trained teachers aide.