Child-centred approaches to transitions between school and OSHC
A shared vision between schools and outside school hours care (OSHC) is important for children's wellbeing, learning and development. Evidence shows that a child-centred approach helps with successful transitions. We spoke to the principal and OSHC coordinator at Kuluin State School about how they approach transitions.
Pam Kildey: The children are the center of everything that we do here. So, as part of the school as part of Kuluin and OSHC. They are our main priority and that's why it's important that those partnerships exist. Not only between OSHC and the school, but between OSHC and the individual teachers. Between the school, OSHC and the families, and between any other specialists that happen to come into that equation as well.
Corrie Connors: So, I would see the OSHC team regularly because they're using our facilities. It's all closely linked to shared spaces in the school before or after school.
Pam Kildey: We have access to the whole school as that makes it easier for the children, which is transitioning from OSHC to the classroom or vice versa. And it's very familiar. So, the children don't feel any fear or uneasiness when moving from one area to another, and the staff are often there by their side to assist them when they're in those transitional periods, as well.
Corrie Connors: You've really got to tap into the nature of what's going to work for the majority of those kids, based on the interest that they're coming through with. So, for instance, if you've got a type of learning activity that might take a child 5 or 10 minutes longer to complete, you make an adjustment around that because the intention is to do the learning. They just might need more time to do that. If you've got a child who's in the gardening club who would like to have a little bit more of a team approach rather than working solo or independent, you make adjustments around that. Some kids learn best in that way of learning.
Pam Kildey: By building up a children's ability to make decisions and to allow themto have that collaboration and be part of the decision making within your program. You're creating a whole new generation of decision makers. They need to be able to make decisions and that is not something that just comes naturally to everybody.
For us, having children make those decisions means that takes some pressure off the staff. And if you've got children taking some of that pressure off because they're making their own decisions and they're coming up with the ideas, that makes for a happier and easier place for everybody to be.
You will see that at school, if the kids are spending a lot of time playing handball, then that will overflow into OSHC and we will see handball being the main priority for them on the afternoon. So, that happens with their learning as well. If they're really working on something at school and then loving to be part of that at after school care, and we don't struggle with getting children to participate when they're doing those things as well.
We just keep reminding ourselves that the children are why we're here. They are the only reason that we do what we do. So that is very important to us. And we want the children to know that as well. And we try and teach that while also teaching them the respect for that.