Farewells and New Beginnings

Healthy transitions

Transitions are best described as change: a period where we must adapt to new circumstances, expectations, people, environments or routines. Transition happens over time, both before and after what we think of as the ‘big’ day. How quickly children and young people adjust varies. 

The end of the educational year brings changes, both big and small, for children, young people and adults. Some find it exciting, some find it stressful, some hardly notice it happened.

Adults use their experience and existing knowledge to predict what changes may be like, and how it may affect them and can develop strategies to help them adjust and cope. With limited prior knowledge or experience to draw on, children and young people often find change difficult and challenging.

When thinking about types of transitions for children and young people we might consider:

  • their first transition from home to an early learning service 
  • the first year of school
  • moving from primary to secondary school 
  • finishing secondary school and moving to the next stage of study or work.

However, small transitions are happening every day for children and young people: saying goodbye to family in the morning, stopping one thing and starting something new, moving from one room or building to another. 

Transitions also occur in home life: moving house, going on holiday, the birth of a sibling, family changes, separations or bereavements. These early years’ experiences can influence how we approach and cope with transitions throughout life.

During transitions, children and young people often communicate their feelings through behaviour. They rely on the adults around them to understand, acknowledge and interpret their behaviour, and provide a safe, secure, predictable space for them. 

Transitions are successful when children and young people feel confident, secure and included – and these are all important protective factors for children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Source: Beyond Blue – BeYou

Supporting transitions and building resilience

We build resilience by learning and developing social and emotional skills – including coping skills. With these skills, we manage life stressors, grow confidence and willingness to try new things, and seek and accept help when required. 

During transitions, things we can do that provide the most positive experience for children and young people, maintain and grow relationships, and reduce routine disruption and stress include: 

  • Plan and prepare for transitions through a supportive orientation process.
  • Have consistent communication with everyone — including the children, young people, their families and educators. 
  • Develop strategies that include planning for and respecting diversity and individual needs.
  • Be flexible when the unexpected happens.
  • Establish routines as soon as possible to develop a sense of predictability in the new environment.

As we move through a time of change, SchoolTV can help with building young people’s resilience.

This month on SchoolTV — Resilience 

Resilience is one of those skills that all kids need and should have. It refers to their ability to cope and adapt in situations when confronted with challenges such as adversity, trauma, tragedy, or even stress. It is essential to their mental health and wellbeing as part of their journey to adulthood. It is a skill that can be learned from an early age through the support of an adult role model.

However, being resilient does not mean your child won’t experience any difficulties, but it will better equip them to manage those situations. Over-protective parenting can be viewed as being unhelpful towards the building of resilience. Although this may be a natural instinct, potentially experiencing failure is all part of the process. Encouraging children to take healthy risks will help them trust their capacity to deal with uncomfortable situations and increase their capacity for courage.

In this edition of SchoolTV, parents will gain an understanding of how to support their child’s brave behaviour to help them adapt and build resilience. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and we always welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Click here to explore this month’s edition of SchoolTV. 

Ms Jessica Alger
Deputy Principal — Students

Back to The Duce Issue 2019 15 - 31 October 2019