1. Where can I get information about the student’s learning strengths and needs?
The quickest way to start learning about the student is to tap into the knowledge of those who already know them. This can include previous teachers, education support staff (integration aides), parents, and other professionals.
If the student is entering prep, you will find important information in their Transition Learning and Development Statement, which is part of the Victorian Government initiative Transition: A Positive Start to School.
It outlines what to expect when participating in local transition-to-school programs and provides a shared understanding between early childhood services and schools about what is important for children and their families during this time.
The initiative also introduces a tool for families and educators to share information about a child’s learning and development in the form of a Transition Learning and Development Statement.
The DEECD Sharing Our Journey protocol is another tool to facilitate the transition to school for students who have received Kindergarten Inclusion Support Services in kindergarten.
You can begin to identify the student’s learning strengths and needs by reviewing any previous Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) and other reports. It is also important to spend time observing the student in your own classroom. You can then build on previous knowledge and effectively contribute to the next ILP. A regularly maintained ILP will help to ensure continuity from year to year.
A transition meeting is a good opportunity to talk with past teachers, education support staff and other relevant people. It is important to find out how subjects are being adapted or modified, particularly core subjects such as maths and English. You can also familiarise yourself with the student’s preferred form of communication and previous strategies.
Try to arrange a Student Support Group meeting early in the school year to clarify any issues and parent expectations. If the student is entering Prep, transition and information sharing should be guided by the DEECD Sharing Our Journey protocol.