The extensive transition sessions made available for children starting school at APPS, are held over four sessions, along with an information evening for parents, giving children an opportunity to enter school with confidence and a positive outlook (see flyer above for dates and times).
During the year, the Foundation team leader and Principal visit early childhood services and meet children and staff.
The Transition Learning & Development Statement provided by early childhood services, gives important information to the school to assist with planning support and learning programs for children starting school.
Parent/Teacher Discussions held in first few weeks of school for parents of our Foundation students, give teachers an insight into new families and students’ strengths, weaknesses and what excites them!
All new parents are invited by the Principal and Assistant Principals to a morning tea held in the first week of school, to meet and greet other community members.
Teachers implement assessments for Foundation students in the first week of schooling, which gives teachers an opportunity to ‘get to know’ children on a one to one basis and informs their teaching and learning.
Foundation students are welcomed at assembly by the whole school and presented with a starting school certificate.
Regular professional conversations between teachers across levels, ensures an understanding of individual learning needs. Also, an organised time for moderation between teachers within, above and below year levels assists with improvement in teacher judgements in curriculum areas.
Parent information evenings are held for all year levels in the first month of school to inform parents of learning and teaching programs for the year. Each teacher in the level presents information on a particular section of the teaching and learning programs for students and classrooms are open for parents.
The Student Mapping Tool, which is linked to CASES, tracks the progress of students requiring additional support and particularly those students at risk.
PSD (Program for Students with Disabilities) students are tracked through the Student Mapping Tool and regular SSG (Student Support Group) meetings are held with teachers, parents and ES Staff. Student individual files are kept from year to year and give new teachers an overview on individual students.
Prior to the following year, students visit other classrooms, to familiarise them with a new setting and photo boards are created to assist these students with a smooth transition to the next year level.
A buddy system operates throughout the school and ‘buddy classes’ meet on a regular basis to join in a curriculum activity planned by teachers. It is wonderful to see the older students working with the younger students.
Students are given opportunities for orientation days, from year level to year level, with three orientation days organised during Term 4 with one day for students to meet their new teacher and peers for the following year.
APPS has connections with local secondary schools. Orientation days are organised and we have an excellent relationship with Mullauna Secondary College staff, who organise special days for our Year 6 students.
Student entry forms from secondary settings give teachers an opportunity to inform the school of individual needs with visits from co-ordinators in secondary colleges encouraged. APPS ex students from Mullauna SC visit our school and speak to our students re life at secondary school.
We have many ex students from APPS return to visit the school, and have also had work experience placements at our school of many secondary students. Students from Vermont Secondary College have worked with all Year Levels in a Cross Age Tutoring Program for several years, organised by Vermont SC. This has proven to be an excellent link with our secondary students.
The school receives newsletters from secondary colleges with information about ex students and their achievements, which has been an excellent way for us to keep track of some of our students.
Teachers communicate with secondary settings, for our PSD students, through phone conversations and completing forms from secondary schools. Students are taken on informal visits to their secondary setting to familiarise them with the school and photo story boards are created for PSD students exiting APPS.
The Assistant Principals’ Network meetings held once a term, are attended by our Assistant Principals. These meetings are combined primary and secondary school APs. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss issues which affect all of us and to gain information.