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Supporting English as an Additional Language (EAL) at transition to school - Building relationships - Introduction

​'Recognition of diversity ̶ at the individual child, family and community level ̶ underpins effective approaches to transition to school. Recognising, respecting and responding to cultural and linguistic diversity is one essential element of this.'
(Dockett & Perry, 2014)

Starting school is a major life transition for children and their families. It is a period of change that can be both challenging and exciting.

Educators need to be aware of the connection between wellbeing and learning and share a commitment to supporting and sustaining children’s wellbeing during transition to school. This includes a commitment to developing respectful and reciprocal relationships with families, who have a positive role in supporting children as they make the transition to school.

Building relationships with children and families during their transition to school is an essential component of ensuring a sense of belonging. It also assists children and families to navigate complex and unfamiliar cultural expectations.

Schools and early childhood services make connections and build relationships in many ways:

  • Children and families are introduced to the school environment during reciprocal visits.
  • Teachers meet with children and families in services.
  • Preschool teachers visit classrooms in the early stages of the new school year.
  • Information is shared in the exchange of Transition to School Statements and children’s language profiles.
  • Early childhood professionals from services and schools may meet and discuss issues around transition to school.