Transitions in learning communities

The transition to a new learning environment is a major event in a child or young person’s life.

What are transitions?

Transitions are periods of change and continuity.

They are a period where children and families must adapt to new circumstances, expectations, people, environments and routines. Transitions are an important time to consider continuity between environments, expectations and relationships. 

The transition to a new learning environment usually brings changes to a child or young person’s relationships, physical and social environments and daily routines. Transitions also bring challenges and opportunities for social and emotional learning. 

This is also a time where educators, schools and early learning services adapt to their new entrants, and respond to their needs. 

While education transitions bring exciting opportunities, some children and young people, and their families, can find these changes stressful. Ideally, learning communities start to prepare for a transition in the year (or years) before the change. 

  • Impact of transitions in education

    For some children and young people, change is stressful.

    Transitions in education require children and young people to adapt to new circumstances. The experience is different for everyone, and some children and young people, and their families, need extra support. 

    There are many ways that educators and families can support children and young people make positive transitions to early learning services and schools, including by identifying when support is required, and how to access and offer support. 

  • Types of transitions

    These are some common type of transitions in learning communities:

    Children and young people also experience transitions throughout their day, with children in early learning settings experiencing room transitions, transitions during care routines, supported self-care and end-of-day to home transitions. These fact sheets provide information on how educators can support children, young people and families at these times, including those experiencing difficulties.

    Note: A fact sheet on the transition to early learning settings for children from birth to age 3 is being developed.

  • References

    Educational Transitions and Change (ETC) Research Group. (2011). Transition to school: Position statement Albury-Wodonga: Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education, Charles Sturt University. Retrieved from