In the light of the recent experience with the 2008 year 2 transition to new schools, I have made a suggestion that we look to forming a new committee as part of our P&C to oversee future year 2 transitions.
The transition at the end of year 2 is a huge issue for our families, one that most of us begin agonising over in preschool, when we first begin to make our decision about the school we will send our child to. The issue gets bigger over the next few years often becoming overwhelming by the end of year 2. Having just made what was fortunately for us, a very happy transition to year 3 in a new school, it has struck me that this largely positive experience, was more by good luck than good management. There was a definite feel of every man for himself, in bailing out of the school and a cheerful yet haphazard induction into the new school. I think we can do better than this.
I believe that parents through the P&C should be taking a more proactive role in overseeing and supporting this process and that priority needs to be given to yearly evaluations to ensure our children are given the best start at this difficult time.
So, here is a draft proposal for how this will work.
1. We establish a permanent committee under the umbrella of our P&C. This underlines the importance we are placing on this issue to all within our community, and ensures we have an ongoing forum to oversee each year’s transition.
2. A survey of year 3 parents is taken in the first half of each year. We need to find out what worked – and what didn’t.
3. We put together check lists and information for parents for each of our main y3 schools. What they need to know, what they need to find out, local knowledge etc.
4. We establish strong links with our main y3 schools and constructively assist in finding solutions for any problems that are encountered.
5. We share useful feedback to y3 schools, which may help them in their induction programs - it’s not just our kids who change schools – hopefully our research will yield helpful information for other children who are changing schools.
6. We encourage old Yeo Park parents to act as mentors, helping to introduce new families into the established social network at their new school.
Ok, these are just my thoughts to get the ball rolling. This is all open to further discussion. Given the enthusiastic reception this was given at the P&C meeting I hope we will have the nucleus of a group to make a start. All are welcome to participate, not just year 2 parents though they obviously have a very strong interest. Let’s get some more ideas happening. Leave a comment here, or contact P&C members and register your interest, we will then call a meeting over coffee, and start the discussion.