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Welcome to our weekly CENMAC blog post
Transition Time! | by Mary Long, CENMAC Advisory Teacher.
This week, coming up to the end of another unusual academic year, we turn our attention to the time of transition.
Transition is a time of moving on to new stages and settings, a time of growth and adventure, but for many of our students, it is a time of nervous uncertainty as they prepare for change.
Many schools are continuing to embrace technology to offer virtual tours, showcasing the school environment and key areas and members of staff.
Ideally, at this time, students would be able to make visits to their new settings and familiarise themselves with their new environment and teaching staff. This may not be possible at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions, but there is much that can be done remotely instead.
Many schools are continuing to embrace technology to offer virtual tours, showcasing the school environment and key areas and members of staff. These tours, from the comfort of a student’s own home and at a convenient time for them and their families, mean that students can “walk” through the school grounds and buildings, exploring their new settings in a more relaxed way. Schools can use software such as Thing Links or Klapty to easily create and share virtual tours.
Another way to support is by using technology to create shareable social stories. Special iapps (makers of Special Stories) recommend creating social stories for transition to support familiarising students with new environments, new faces and new routines in a relaxed way. This can be done quickly and easily through adding photos and text to a book template.
A key message at transition time is to take the student’s lead and try to involve them as much as possible in the process. If the transition will involve a new journey or alternative mode of transport, do take some time to practice the journey a few times beforehand. If the student is working towards being an independent traveler remember to have some contingency plans in place for emergency situations such as road closures or bus diversions. There are some helpful educational resources available from Transport for London linked with road safety for all ages and stages. You could also encourage students in Year 6 to become Junior Travel Ambassadors helping their peers to plan their travel and teaching how to use the TfL Journey Planner tool.
If a student supported by CENMAC will be going on to a new setting in September, please remember to include your CENMAC teacher in any appropriate transition meetings or visits. Equipment can stay with the students over the summer if we have the signed Home Indemnity forms. If it is not appropriate for equipment to go home over the summer, please let us know and we will arrange for it to be collected and stored at CENMAC before transferring it on to the new setting.
… there is lots that can be done remotely instead.