Successful transitions from prior-to-school to school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Year: 2006

Author: Perry, Bob, Dockett, Sue, Mason, Terry, Simpson, Tracey

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

A team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers from three NSW universities has spent the last two years investigating what might be done to make transitions to primary school as successful as possible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families. Some of the initial work of this project was reported at AARE in 2005.

The project has worked in 15 different sites across NSW assisting local educators and communities to develop their own transition to school programs. These programs have been based in the local communities and have relied on a set of guidelines for effective transition to school programs that have been previously developed by the authors of this paper. In spite of this common base, there is a wide variety of transition practices in the programs. Not all of the practices are transferable to other contexts but many have been duplicated quite successfully.

In this paper, the team reports on its findings over the entire project, provides examples of good practice from a wide range of contexts, sets some challenges and sounds some warnings for future practice in ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience a successful transition to school.