Early years’ transition is one of the critical periods in a child’s life. It involves complex processes which may raise anxiety and confusion for both parents and learners. Educational institution should make adequate preparations to help both children and families adapt to the new changes and expectations. One initiative established by Victorian government in this regard is A Positive Start to School, which promotes provision of transitional programs so information is freely shared among families, educators, and children (DEECD 2009, p.7).

A positive Start to School encourages stakeholders to support children as they adjust to the inevitable encounters in education setting. The initiative also emphasizes that transition should be viewed as a process, not a one-time event. Such an attitude enables identification of needs and establishment of plans to help every child transition successfully (DEECD 2009, p.11). The most effective curriculum, therefore, is one that focuses on preparing children for the many transitions they undergo at different stages within educational context.

A Transition Learning and Development Statement helps to summarise a child’s capabilities when they start the leaning process to enable identification of approaches to learning. The statement may later be passed to the future school of the child (DET 2022). National Quality Standards also encourages continuous offering of quality education and services of care (ACEQA 2020). Informal family meetings should as well be encouraged to help first-time families learn from others with transition experience (DEECD 2009, p.24).

Teachers should also arrange reciprocal visits over a duration of time to understand children’s strengths and take note of pedagogical similarities and differences. This study involved discussion with a parent/caregiver and teacher/educator regarding their transition experiences with kindergarten school children joining primary school. All the names used in the report attached in appendix and within this articles are pseudonyms, the participants’ real names have not been revealed.


The main stakeholders were a female parent, Lydia, who is Neil’s mother. Neil studied at Wisdom Kindergarten and later joined Heritage Primary School. The second participant was Paul, a teacher at High-Impact Academy.

Lydia revealed that transition from kindergarten to primary school is a complex process that may make a child sad, fearful and anxious. Some parents may have not realised how their children feel during transition from kindergarten to primary school. This information, therefore, helps parents know how children feel, and it could help them to identify how to ways of helping children overcome stress during transition. Lydia also reported that the transition process may be difficult and demanding at first but the child and parents will eventually get used to the changes.

This is encouragement for parents who find transition challenging, as it informs them that positive outcome will be realised eventually. Lydia also explained that support she and her family received from kindergarten and primary school teachers made the transition process easier. The connection between Lydia and each of the teachers and communication between kindergarten and school educators is what helped Neil to adapt quickly to the new learning environment and to begin working towards attainment of new expectations. The close association with teachers helped Lydia to prepare Neil for transition to primary school.

One key aspect reported by Paul is that teachers should remember and plan for the children’s transition so that they offer educational content that prepare children for more complex and advanced changes in educational settings. Transition-oriented teaching helps educators to identify strategies that help children to master content with ease, enjoy going to school, socialise and make friends, and adapt quickly to new environments or rules.

Additionally, transition-oriented teaching helps educators to identify areas where collaboration is required to reduce anxiety for both parents and children. This description is vital because it identifies the area where application of Transition Learning and Development Statement is most appropriate. Such practices also help teachers to identify when the children are ready for transition.

The information is valuable because it enables the educational institutions to concentrate on equipping the young learners with skills and knowledge that help them adjust to the next stage. It also emphasises the importance of communication among families and educators is helping them all to get ready for transition to primary school. Communication between educators and parents and among educational institutions helps to share important information to the children, teachers, and parents.


Two major themes that arise from stakeholders’ discussions are the role of parental involvement, and the need for collaboration between kindergarten and primary school.

1. Parental involvement

Lydia explained that she helped Neil to develop resilience and motivated him to accept the new learning context during transition from Wisdom Kindergarten to Heritage Primary School. A child that attends primary school for the first time experiences a range of emotions such as joy, excitement, worry, and anxiety. Changes in requirements may make children feel less protected and unsafe. Moir and Johnson (2021, p.2) agreed that pre-school to primary school transition is characterised by anxiety for all stakeholder; teachers, parents, and pupils.

Moir and Johson indicated that if practitioners fail to recognize the stressors, they will not be addressed on time. An institution should be alert to detect the causes of anxiety and help all stakeholders to overcome them. Parental engagement provides institutions the opportunity to address the stressors that parents face and guide them on helping the children. Again, parental involvement solves the discontinuity issues that emerge as children move from kindergarten. Educators should always collaborate with parents, families, and children. School-family relationship is what helps to ease the negative emotions that a child encounters.

Adding to this, Lau and Power (2018, p.260) expressed that a mother’s engagement with the child’s learning in the kindergarten years influenced school outcomes following school transition. That is, involvement of these parents in language and cognitive practices during kindergarten impact the ease with which the children transitioned to primary school. In fact, Lau and Power recommended that mothers increase involvement at primary school level to enable children improve cognitive skills that were lower at kindergarten. The authors suggested that home and school-based involvements be examined during transition to primary school.

The main goal of transition activities is to enable children settle into school, through orientations ad school visits planned to happen prior to commencement of actual learning process. Other than expecting contribution from parents, engagement is also enhanced when school offers support. Lessons taught to parents during orientation visits helps parents gather enough knowledge to share with children while also planning their transition. Institutions offer effective support when they understand that parents also undergo transition with their children.  

Besi and Sakellariou (2019, p.124) also agreed that the link between school and family plays significant role when children transition to primary schools. They argued that successful transition is determined by the level of trust parents place on teachers, parents’ perception of the school and its learning processes, and the amount of support parents offer to their children in the new learning environment. Parental involvement is necessary and can be accomplished through sending updates to parents regularly, encouraging parents and children to pay visits to the school, and holding meetings where teachers from kindergarten and primary school participate.

2. Communication between Kindergarten and Primary School Educators

Paul reported that teachers’ collaboration and communication between institutions help a child’s future child to understand his or her strengths and weaknesses as well as teaching strategies that the kindergarten teacher uses. This knowledge helps the primary school teacher to get ready to receive the children and conduct the teaching process based on the needs already identified. According to Cook, Dearing and Zachrisson (2017, p. 14) pressure that children feel when they transition to primary school results from the changes in physical environments, social relations, and expectations that they experience simultaneously.

These challenges worsen when discontinuity happens as they move between educational systems. On the negative, the poor engagement during this first encounter with primary school environment worsens their experience through later years. Cook et al. (2017, p.14) argued that even if children commence education at different ages, transition to primary school is vital as it involves essential cognitive changes, characterised by mastery of numeracy and literacy skills development.

Parents and educators must understand that experiences of children in early years influences their attitude about school. To solve these challenges, Cook and colleagues encourage information sharing between the kindergarten and primary school. In this regard, healthy transition context is where communication happens regularly and is conducted flexibly in various areas. This means that absence of communication is the cause of unhealthy transition as it encourages discontinuities.

Transition Learning and Development Statement is the best for facilitating communication between educators from different institutions that a child attends (DET 2022). Besi and Sakellariou (2020, p.645) agreed on the need for communication between these institutions explaining that it enhances continuity in a child’s life as they move from kindergarten to school. Collaboration among teachers at these educational levels enhances continuity and encourages smoother transition.

The authors stressed the need for this collaboration, saying that its success laid a positive foundation for excellent educational encounters. Failures and difficulties faced during transition are associated with social, behavioural, and academic challenges in later school years. Besi and Sakellariou shed light on the fact that transition is not a specific person’s responsibility, and that the different stakeholder have direct contribution towards its success.

Other than parents and children, therefore, the schools must also be ready for transition. The readiness of school to receive children from kindergarten directly relates to the type of support educators offer to children and families when the time comes. Agreeing with this statement, Kokkalia, Drigas, Economou, and Roussos (2019, p. 4) stated that school readiness helps kindergarten teachers to offer guidance that results in successful transition.

These authors argued that school readiness is evident in the skills that children possess, advanced knowledge, and positive attitude towards learning even in the later years.  Therefore, a child’s school readiness relates to the level of development the young learners acquire at various domains with respect to physical welfare, motor development, overall knowledge, cognition, and associated subdomains. There is also the school’s institutional readiness which relates to policies and practices performed at school level. School readiness may also be familial and community-based, which defines the contribution of family and the community towards the child’s learning.


Early years’ transition is a complex process for teachers, parents, and children. These groups often face fear, anxiety, and even get confused in the process of planning for the transition to primary school. Fortunately, the Victorian government has outlined the policies that help these stakeholders address anxiety so that they approach the transition process calmly. In this regard, successful transition is marked by three major process. First, the educators should identify differences in children’s capabilities and identify teaching strategies that work for each one of them.

Children’s capabilities can be observed during social activities such as playing, when working with others in small groups, and through evaluation of overall school performance. This process is best done at kindergarten and the information should be shared to primary school educators. Secondly, informal interaction between parents should be encouraged. The school can achieve this by scheduling meetings that involve parents with transition experience as well as those that are still planning for the process.

Informal exchanges help the families experiencing transition for the first time to learn how to go about the process for higher chances of success. Thirdly, there should be connection between kindergarten and primary school professionals. Teachers’ collaboration encourages sharing of information that help with smooth transition of children. The interactions also help them learn from each other, and work together to assess and solve children’s needs through formulation of proper learning and teaching strategies.

In all the three processes above, communication is very important. It is through communication that institutions provide stakeholders with the necessary information in a timely manner. Communication also help parents to share transition experiences with each other. Again, communication helps teachers to discuss children’s strengths and needs as well as the best ways to approach the transition to primary school.



To: Parent/Caregiver

Re: Supporting Children Transition from Kindergarten to Primary School


Dear Parent/Caregiver,

Oure institution, Deakin University, requires pre-service teachers in Bed Early Years to conduct discussion with parents or caregivers to understand the support necessary for children making progress from Kindergarten to Primary School.

I would like to hold a short discussion, 10-15 minutes, on your transition process experience with reference to a particular child. I understand the situation caused by Covid-19 and request that if you are not able to meet me in person, we can complete the discussion on zoom, over the telephone or via email.

I will take notes, but these will only be seen by me and the university as the main goal is to use them for assignment purpose. I will use pseudonyms for your name as well as the child’s, and the institutions. I would like to receive your consent before conducting the discussion. Please sign below if you agree. Thank you for supporting pre-service teachers.





Question 1: Can you please explain the transition process for your child from Kindergarten to Primary School?

Lydia: The transition process involved significant changes in the educational environment, which the child had to adapt to. Neil, particularly, felt sad about the fact that he would leave his friends and teachers from Wisdom Kindergarten to start socializing with new people in a new environment. Heritage Primary School context also introduced changes to the way my child and others identified themselves. You see, in Wisdom Kindergarten, they were the oldest but they become the youngest school members the moment they join Heritage Primary School as first grade learners. Overall, I realized that transitioning from kindergarten to primary school greatly increased what educators demand from the child and my child became less autonomous in decision-making and selection of daily activities to participate in. Other than the child, I also had to make some adjustments on how I participated and/or contributed towards my child’s learning. The new learning environment in primary school exposed the child to more complex concepts and I had to increase my involvement in helping the child to understand the new things learned at school.

Question 1 (b): And were you happy with the process?

Lydia: The changes felt too demanding at first, but I was happy to see my child adapting to the new environment with ease after sometime. So, yes, I was happy with the how things turned out.

Question 2: Did you feel supported from staff in both environments, when your child transitioned from Early Childhood to Primary School setting?

Lydia: Yes, I felt supported from both sides. Neil was quite worried about the changes involved in the transition process and was afraid of how things would be. The cooperation between staff from Kindergarten and Primary School helped my child feel calm, safe, and protected from harm. The child could finally think about and plan the learning process. At Wisdom Kindergarten, the teachers worked closely with me and other parents with the aim to ensure that they understood the needs of every child. Parents were usually invited to let teachers know the hopes and goals they have for their Kindergarten school children. After collecting such details, Wisdom Kindergarten teachers pondered on the learning environment in Heritage Primary School and created a similar context to help the learners get used to the events of the next stage. Whenever necessary, the Wisdom Kindergarten teachers wrote some notes to Heritage Primary School teachers to give them a view of how to handle a specific child so they transition easily. Interestingly, Heritage Primary School teachers treated first grade children with much care and offered all the guidance needed to transition smoothly.

Question 3: When your child first attended Primary School, how did the school support you and your family to have a smooth and positive transition?

Lydia: The teachers worked with a Positive Start to School program through which they advised parents on what to expect during transition from Kindergarten to Primary School. The guide helped me to understand how services offered in Wisdom Kindergarten connect with the care offered outside school and primary school. This knowledge helped me to identify both similarities and differences of the services, and how my participation would ease the transition. Wisdom Kindergarten teachers introduced and elaborated on Transition Learning and Development Statement that would enhance sharing of information on children’s learning and development, between educators and families. This way, the parents and educators can easily discuss a child’s performance and make decisions on appropriate strategies for improved learning together.

Question 4: How did the school support your child’s transition from Kindergarten to Primary School?

Lydia:  I said earlier that my child was sad and developed some fear concerning the transition to Heritage Primary School. In this regard, the presence of school counsellors gave me relief. These professionals recognised the potential stressors of my child and offered the most appropriate services to the child. They also instructed me on how to handle the child to help with the entire process. Educators also offered friendly child-paced learning process that was as well play-based and engaging.

Question 1(b): And, do you feel they were ready for your child?

Lydia: Yes, I feel they were ready for my child. They deeply understood the challenges my child was likely to face during transition from Wisdom Kindergarten to first grade, especially the differences in educational structures and procedures, and put measures in place to address possible issues. The school counsellors also dealt with the child’s anxiety and helped him to accept the changes and develop curiosity for activities to come. This improved how my son approached learning in the new environment.

Question 5: What did you do to help prepare your child for a successful, and positive experience while transitioning into Primary School?

Lydia:  Having a hint of the potential changes in my child’s learning content as he transitions to primary school, I began talking with the child about what he should expect. I would briefly highlight key areas where changes would occur, like need for independent learning and need to learn in small groups, and ask the child what his expectations were or if he had any concerns. We would then talk about the areas of concern and answer his questions. I also encouraged Neil to practice self-care. I offered guidance on keeping his items safe while at school and taught him a few safety rules I read from Heritage Primary School’s website. I also found hygiene practices such as washing hands and proper use of washrooms vital, and guided him in these areas.

Question 6: Did you have any concerns or challenges during your child’s transition into Primary School? How did you overcome them?

Lydia: My major concern was whether the school would demand that I participate much more in the child’s learning due to complexity of the activities in the new learning environment. At times, I would also worry about the Neil’s ability to cope changes in the new learning context if his new school turned out to be unwelcoming to parents and would not share information on the child’s progress at school. I had no power to address these concern, so I waited to hear from the school. I was relieved to discover that the school had all preparations in place to ensure smooth transition for the child. Moreover, the school appreciated parental involvement but did not demand too much from parents.



To: Teacher/Educator

Re: Supporting Children Transition from Kindergarten to Primary School


Dear Teacher/Educator,


One of the requirements of Deakin University for BEd Early Years is to hold discussions with teachers and educators to familiarise with support offered to children who transition from Kindergarten to Primary School.

I would like you to attend a short discussion, lasting 10-15 minutes, on your transition experiences. Given the conditions resulting from Covid-19 you may choose to perform the discussion via zoom, phone call, or email is you are unable to attend a meeting.

I will take notes in the cause of the process but the information will not be used for a purpose other than my assignment. Moreover, I will use pseudonyms for your name and the institutions you may mention in the cause of the discussion. Please show your consent for this activity by signing below. Thank you for the support you will offer to pre-service teachers.





Question 1: What do you think school readiness looks like?

Teacher Paul: School readiness depends on maintenance of supportive, trusting, and respectful relationships between educators and children’s families. The school should gather every child’s information and share it with staff that treat it as valuable. Moreover, any information about a child’s activities at school, including performance, should be shared with families. Supportiveness of a school should extend to children, so they are offered opportunities to express their views on matters that they find important. A school is ready if its strategies address the needs and concerns of local communities, families, and children. The school should discover families and children with additional needs and offer support on time, using collaborative approach. In other words, should use transition statements for consistent sharing of information between educators and parents. The statement clearly illustrates the learning and development of every child during school entry to help both parents and relevant professionals in school context understand the how to address the child’s needs and help them meet educational expectations.

Question 2: How do you know a child is ready to begin the transition process?

Teacher Paul: Educators always remember that a child needs to transition to and, therefore, ensure that a child’s daily experiences prepare them for the next educational level. As a teacher, I know a child from my class is ready for transition after I have shared all the necessary guidelines and seen positive response from him or her. At Kindergarten, for instance, educators develop reassuring plans that involve flexible routines to ensure children learn to cope. In such an environment, rhymes and songs make learning more fun and engaging. A child that memorises the songs and rhymes, understands classwork, and remembers routines is ready for the next level. Generally, the educator plans the transition ahead of time bearing in mind the concerns that each child and family may have. Planning ensures that transition activities go alongside a child’s wellbeing, and a child is ready for transition when educational goals and family expectations are achieved.

Question 3: How useful is communication between kindergarten and the school? How does it happen?

Teacher Paul: Communication between kindergarten and High-Impact Academy is a vital aspect of quality transition. Sharing of information between these institutions helps identification of strategies that promote children’s engagement and how much of parental involvement is required. A kindergarten teacher also learns the aspects in primary school and finds ways of incorporating them in the learning process to help children adapt easily to primary school setting. Communication between the institutions may happen through meetings and conferences, workshops, phone calls, and emails.

Question 4: How do you ease anxiety in children and families?

Teacher Paul: Transition is challenging and most of the times threatens children. As a teacher at High-Impact Academy, however, I understand that a child’s success in the next educational level, say first grade, depends on their ability to accept and adapt to the different roles. Quality of the transition process is what eliminates anxiety for both children and parents or caregivers. The process should solve their insecurities and fear of unknown. So, to address uncertainty and minimise stress that families may face, I share necessary information on time. Through this timely information sharing, parents and children develop systematic understanding of the school protocols, gain vital knowledge about the new education environment, and start planning how to flexibly adapt to expectations. At times, meeting with parents to collect information on their opinions regarding the education of their children helps to identify sources of stressors and address them on time. After talking and settling anxiety issues with families, the school at times encourages us to hold interviews with pre-school children as some understand reasons for going to school, can understand changes in school rules, and are able to talk about their expectations [like the amount of playing]. Other than gathering information, meeting with families and interviewing children within the school environment helps them to interact with the school facilities, educators, and other parents and children. The experience develops some familiarity and induces calmness that eventually eliminates anxiety.

Question 5: How beneficial is it for children to have an acquaintance or friend to start school with? How do you support this happening?

Teacher Paul: When a school-age child leaves home, they enter a new world and most may become anxious. Having friends helps them establish a sense of belonging at school, which boosts their self-esteem and improves their social skills. Acquaintances or friends help the children to develop skills for getting along with others and even become more knowledgeable in the areas of conflict resolution. To ensure that every child gets friends, I engage them in play-based learning activities. Such activities require children to work in groups, and helps them to connect and know each other’s capabilities. They then get to know each other better and become friends.

Question 6: What factors do you think place children at risk of a less successful transition?

Teacher Paul: First factor is absence of socialisation and lack of cultural connection between families and institutions. If a child faces difficulty understanding the difference between family and institutional cultures, they will have poor engagement at school. Secondly, institutions and educational levels involve different methods and expected outcomes. For instance, Kindergarten adopts holistic approach in the area of children’s development while Primary School predominantly concentrates on educational achievement. Given that parental behaviours greatly influence activities of Kindergarten children, including parents at Primary School level helps to maintain the rhythm of learning. Familial support may as well reduce the tension experience during transition. Pedagogical structure also matters. If a school maintains a rigid structure to control teaching content and distances educators, children’s engagement reduces and they may even start dropping out of school in the early stages.