At Footscray West Primary we have comprehensive transition programs that cater for all our students.
Kindergarten to Prep
The transition program commences in the year prior to the children starting at the school and includes visits by kindergartens and a four day orientation program. While prospective students are in the classrooms, parents are invited to attend an information session about starting school and to socialise with each other and meet the school leadership team and Primary Welfare Officer.
In addition there are school tours (group and personal) social events, that involve current and new Prep parents and students, detailed information about the school and visits to and by pre-schools.
Prep students have the opportunity to arrive at school between 9:00 and 9:30am on the first day of school, thus providing a supportive environment for the children and their parents. All non-classroom based staff assist in this process, providing support for all members of the community.
A buddy program exists to assist students’ social development and the transition into the school yard during recess and lunch times.
The home school relationship is further enhanced by Prep newsletters and curriculum packs which are produced during the first term of school. These provide parents with detailed information about the curriculum programs, what has been happening each week, tips on how to support their child at home with literacy and numeracy and practical resources such as games, calculator, dice, alphabet cards, playdough etc
Students transferring to our school
Students transitioning to our school from other schools are supported in the classroom through the Tribes process and with buddies. The Assistant Principal is responsible for any other actions or support these students may need. Those transitioning from Western English Language School do so in consultation with our school and follow up visits are facilitated by the AP.
Professional learning for staff has been carried out by colleagues from WELS so that all our staff are familiar with the particular needs of these students.
Through School Transition
To support our students’ transition through the school we have a comprehensive program consisting of 3 Transition sessions that take place in term 4.
The first of these is a familiarisation session where students have the experience of spending two hours in the next grade level. The Preps work with Grade 1 students in a Grade 1/2 classroom, the Grade 2’s work with Grade 3 students in a 3/4 classroom, and the Grade 4’s work with Grade 5 students in a 5/6 classroom. The focus for this transition session is on Literacy and Numeracy.
The next two sessions are held in the second last and last week of term four. Students again spend two hours in their next grade level and it is at these sessions that the students will meet their classmates and teacher for the following year. The focus is on getting to know each other and recognising the similarities in literacy and numeracy programs as student’s progress through the school.
Year 6 to Year 7 transition
This starts from the beginning of each school year, with the local secondary college liaising with our school transition coordinator to arrange visits and information packs for the students. These initiatives include an information session involving an incursion of former students attending from various local schools for a Q & A session.
The senior years at primary school are about promoting resilience and independence. In term four a rotations/ electives program is held where students select an area of interest and are responsible for attending those classes by reading timetables, preparing each day by making sure their lunch orders are put in the right place and attending designated classes in a punctual manner.
Each year 6 student attends the state wide transition day as well as attending others that are held by the schools they will be attending in the following year.
The students take a leading role in the development and production of graduation, which is a culmination and highlight of their years at primary school and where a number of academic, citizenship and encouragement awards are presented.