Transitions Throughout School
Early Years Transition
At Mayfield, we work closely with our families across the school to ensure that each child’s transition into a new key stage is effective and supportive for all involved, whether this is starting in Nursery or moving to our Post-16 provision. We know that starting school is one of the most important and exciting times for any child and their family. It is for this reason that we have devised a program of transition for all pupils starting Mayfield school in the Early Years.
The majority of the pupils starting at Mayfield will have been through the assessment process to obtain a statement. Following a final Statement of Special Educational Needs, SENAR (Special Educational Needs Assessment and Review Service) will provide us with the information for individual children for whom it may be appropriate for them to access education at Mayfield. This could be through parental choice, or recommendations by other professionals.
Once we have received the paperwork a member of school staff will be in contact with the family to arrange a suitable time to go and visit the current setting/home and meet the child and family. During this session, the member of staff will be gaining a greater picture of the child’s needs and will assess their suitability to come and work at Mayfield. This is a really useful session and allows the family and child an opportunity to ask questions and get to know Mayfield a little better.
Once the paperwork has been returned to SENAR and a place has been agreed in the EYFS class, Mayfield arrange a second meeting with the family and child at home. The reason for this visit is to update the parents with any additional information since the initial meeting, and allows the member of staff to observe the child in their usual surroundings and with people who are familiar to them. Often, children can present differently to school staff from how they are with parents and carers.
Again, during this session the member of staff will complete some simple paperwork and will ask the family to help them do this. We may need to know the child’s favourite colour, preferred toy or level of communication. This information is then brought back to school and used to setup the Learning Journey Folder for that child. We will use this information to help us when the child first starts, and will review this with families regularly throughout the year.
For most children starting in the EYFS, it will often be their first experience of being away from family members and working in a different setting. Due to this, we offer a staggered start date and shorter hours for a limited period of time. The idea of this is to slowly build up the child’s resilience and confidence in the class and to ensure that staff have an opportunity to find the child’s likes and preferences. We usually offer a transition period of up to 4 weeks, which could include part time hours and alternative days.
At Mayfield, we often find that a short transition is better in enabling the child to become used to working with staff and other children, and so the 4 weeks are usually reduced at the family’s request. We are happy to discuss individual needs with each family as they arise and at the appropriate time.
We are more than happy for families and other professionals to come and visit our Early Years setting and discuss some of the topics raised above in more detail.
Our primary department is based at Heathfield Road, and accommodates classes for children between the ages of 5 and 11. We have class groups for children with arrange of learning difficulties, including autism, severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties. Because we work closely with the EYFS department in Lime Tree, we are able to ensure that the transition from Reception to Year 1 is successful and as seamless as possible for both children and their families. Throughout the year the class groups have many opportunities to work together on exciting cross-curricular and cross-phase activities and this provides the children with a chance to gain new experiences in different class groups. We have found, that over the years, this has really helped to ensure that the transition from one class group to the next is a happy time for the children and the staff are already well informed of the children they will be working with.
In Year 6, the children are able to take part in transition activities with pupils I Year 7 at the Mayfield secondary campus at HML. We ask for some of our specialist teachers to lead on these session (food technology, P.E) and the class staff from the children’s current group will also attend. These transition sessions usually happen on a weekly basis and it provides the children with a chance to explore the HML site and to gain a greater awareness of the expectations and to meet some new faces in the secondary department. We have found that these sessions are hugely successful and the children have always commented on how much they have enjoyed working with the older pupils.
The majority of Mayfield’s primary pupils at our Heathfield Road site move across to the secondary site based at HML. We also welcome new pupils from other local primary schools, for whom the placement is appropriate, and for these pupils we also start the transition process as early as possible. Mayfield staff will visit pupils in their primary school to meet them and we will talk to staff in preparation for their transition. Relevant resources, approaches and specific needs of pupils can be discussed at these meetings to ensure an effective transition. A transition day towards the end of the Summer term enables pupils to meet their new classmates and staff before starting in the September.
For our older students (Year 14), we will work alongside other agencies, such as Connexions, to ensure that college placements are secured and visited well in advance of the end of the academic year. Some of our Year 14 students have left us to join local colleges and day care provision, including South and City College, The Hive at Wilson Stuart and Trinity College. We ensure that the students have time to visit their new settings and that they can be proud of the work they have completed with us, so that this can be passed on to their new college.
From September 2014, all new assessments for children and young people from birth to 25 years with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities will follow the Education, Health and Care Pathway.
The policies on this site inform the practice within the school. They have been developed by professionals within the school and will be reviewed annually by school governors.