Transitions to and from one educational placement to another can create a lot of anxiety for students and their families. At Demeter House, we endeavour to make those transitions as smooth as possible.
Transition Into Demeter House
- When a student comes to visit Demeter House for the first time we give them a Transition Booklet that they (or parents/carers) can make notes in and we encourage them to ask lots of questions and chat to our existing students and staff. They can take photographs of various areas of the school that we will print for them before they leave so that they can have a reminder of what the school was like and what they saw.
- Once a student has been offered a place, one of our senior staff will then do a home visit and, where possible, a visit to the student’s current educational placement. This is so that we can build up a clear picture of the student in different settings and hopefully have some strategies in place to help them transition before their first day.
- On the student’s first day, they will meet their Transition Keyworker. This member of staff will spend the morning with the student, showing them where to find important places and introducing them to people they need to know. The student will then spend some time with the class they will be joining.
- The student will continue to be supported by the Transition Keyworker on a daily basis for the first 6 weeks. They will also meet with them for an hour each week to discuss how they are feeling and what is going well or what they are worried about. We keep a journal of these discussions and how things are going and encourage parental feedback each week as well.
- After 6 weeks, we hold a review meeting. This is a chance for everyone to discuss how the placement is going, what concerns and successes there have been and what strategies we need to implement going forward. We invite parents and the local authority to this meeting as well as the SENCo, the Transition Keyworker and the Upper or Lower School Coordinators. We may also ask the Therapeutic Coordinator to join us if appropriate.
- Once the review meeting is held and we have planned the student’s next steps, the Transition Keyworker will hand them over to their new Keyworker, who will be their daily contact and support in school from that point on.
Transitions Out of Demeter House
Sometimes, students need to leave Demeter House. This may be because they are ready to move on to mainstream college or even back to mainstream schools. Unfortunately, in some cases, Demeter House may no longer be able to meet the student’s needs and the authority needs to find a more suitable specialist provision.
Whatever the reason for transitioning out of Demeter House, we try to be as supportive as possible to the student as they move onto the next stage of their life journey. We do this by:
- Offering to visit the next placement with the student if appropriate.
- Working together on a Transition Booklet to gather the students’ views about their move.
- Offering time with a life coach or other suitable person in order to set goals or targets for moving forward.
- Talking to the student about their next placement and making sure they have the chance to ask any questions they may have.
- Providing the next placement or the authority with any relevant information we have regarding the student’s educational needs and their emotional wellbeing.
- Liaising with the family throughout the transition process and answering any questions that we can or helping them to find the information if we don’t have it.
If you have any questions regarding transition, please contact Philip Eddleston or Sophie Stow in school.