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Identify a transition that may be experienced by a child or group of children. What sort of support could be provided by practitioners to help children experiencing this transition?

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Introduction

Identify a transition that may be experienced by a child or group of children. What sort of support could be provided by practitioners to help children experiencing this transition? As children grow they experience a number of changes, such as starting primary school, moving to secondary school but some may also experience differences in circumstances such as moving home or parents divorce. These changes are often referred to as transitions, Newman and Blackburn (2001, cited in Leverett, S, 2008, p209) define a transition as any occurrence where children have to cope with difficult episodes of change. The resilience of the child will determine how well they move from one transition to the next. . Children undergo many transitions throughout their lives, moving from one environment to another. Bronfenbrenner's (1979, cited in Leverett, S, 2008, pp 209/212) ecological model contains norms and rules that interact with each other and highlights that the child is an active participant in their own life. It further supports the notion that children live within different communities which all impact upon the child's behaviour and development. By using this model it can help practitioners to understand and interpret the behaviour of the child. ...read more.

Middle

Mayo (2005, cited in Leverett, S, 2008, p 247) notes the importance of peer support during transitions, it is believed that friends can play an important part in transitions by offering each other support and comfort. Margetts (2005, cited in Leverett, S, 2008, p 262) highlighted that being in the company of a familiar friend helps to improve the chance of the child adjusting to a new school. Peer mentoring schemes, often referred to as 'buddy systems', can be set up which allow an older more experienced pupil to take care of the new pupils by passing on their knowledge. This scheme was also adopted by Terrace Road School, (Video 3, "Relationships") new members had been voted into the school council and were given advice and assistance by some of the more experienced, older members. Whilst peer support contributes to a positive transition, continuity also plays a vital role. As Bronfenbrenner suggests a child's network is interconnected and parents being involved in their child's schooling will help to establish continuity between home and school. Various schools will allow parents to become involved in events or open days. However this can often happen over just one day, Mayo (2005, cited in Leverett, S, 2008, p 247) ...read more.

Conclusion

All transitions during childhood are important but moving into school is one of the first major transitions a child will make. Children beginning school have many years ahead of them, as a result it is highly important to begin with a positive approach. When supporting children with their transition to school practitioners must be aware and sympathetic to the needs of the child. To support the child, the practitioner must have good communication skills not only with the children, but with parents and other colleagues, to do this teachers must be trustworthy and understanding. I feel that a child's transition to school is affected by the lack of continuity, changes with the environment and the change in the curriculum. As children need stability, it is obvious that some children will not cope well with the changes, however with support and consideration from adults around them children could adjust better. It is important that teachers enable children to be active participants, it may be that methods used need to be adapted in order to include all children, but by doing this practitioners can gain a better understanding and knowledge of children's thoughts and concerns. ...read more.

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