Section 5 - Transition from Pre-school to Primary
Most nurseries already have ‘moving on’ arrangements with local primaries, and it may be that your child will move smoothly up to primary school. The discussion between these two schools will include easy transfer from one stage to another, and should take into account the individual needs of all pupils.
In many ways the movement of your child from preschool to primary, should be relatively simple. If you are already in contact with a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) then your child should already be being dealt with at PRESCAT (Pre-school Assessment Team) meetings, although this may not necessarily be the case in all areas If not, then it is important for you to have your child referred for a visual assessment as soon as possible.
Assuming that your child is going into a mainstream school the Head of Service in your authority will work with Educational Psychological Services to determine the best level of education for your child. You will be included from the start of the decision-making process. Once the options have been discussed, you will be encouraged to visit primary schools to discuss your child’s needs and to get to know the teachers and other staff who will be working with your child at school.
It is the job of the TVI to make sure that the school of your choice knows about the support needs of your visually impaired child, but you also have a responsibility to make sure that the arrangements are put in place.
There are a number of matters for you to think about:
- Will a TVI be providing additional support to your child?
- How will your child access the 5-14 Curriculum? Will he learn to read with ordinary text, use Large Print, or learn through an alternative medium such as Braille, audio-tape or Moon? Will adaptations to resources and course work be necessary or specialist equipment be provided?
- Should a Personal Learning Plan be implemented to meet your child's special educational needs?
- Will specialist visual impairment awareness training be given to all school staff and in particular the classroom teacher?
- Will a classroom assistant/SEN auxiliary be necessary within class time to assist your child with class work?
- The teacher must think about the layout of the class and whole school including access in and around the school.
- Access in and around the school - mobility orientation.
- Where your child will sit in class.
- Signs around the school.
- Transport arrangements.
- SEN auxiliary support at intervals and lunchtimes.
- How will your child mix with other children in the school.
The Nursery stage is split into two periods íV the ante-pre-school year (3-4 year olds) and the Pre-school year (4-5 year olds.)
January to June - this is usually the time when children requiring additional visual impairment support are first discussed at PRESCAT (If you have a PRESCAT meeting). Parents/Carers are informed and consulted on future possible primary placements.
January – by this time Parents/Carers should have visited possible schools and come to a final decision as to future placement of their child. Your child will be discussed at a VIAT (Visual Impairment Assessment Team) meeting – which is the primary equivalent of PRESCAT. (Please note that some areas may not have a VIAT.)
End of February - enrolment of all pupils into schools will have taken place.
January to June – TVI will liaise with Deputy Head Teacher (DHT) in charge of Infants at your chosen school. Information about your child’s visual needs will be transferred at this stage.
Easter to June íV induction visits for all children. Information about these visits will come directly from the school to the parent; thus developing a direct link between home and Primary school.
The Primary school may invite Parents/Carers to planning meetings to 'iron out' any issues surrounding access to the school and curriculum.