Talking Transitions

Is your child part of this year’s project? Read the letter HERE to see…

There are many transitions that our little ones experience before they are five.

Every day brings new experiences and new discoveries, even the smallest changes – things that we adults might find easy, can sometimes can be a huge challenge for our little ones; getting dressed, going out, having lunch, a bath, brushing their teeth or even going to bed!

Our little ones love the familiarity of their daily routines, so when really big changes happen, like a new baby arriving, moving home, starting at a pre-school, childminder, nursery or even starting at big school, it’s important to understand how these may affect them and how we can support our little ones through changes big and small.

For more information and ideas follow the link

One of the biggest changes that our little ones experience is leaving you to begin their journey to school!

Why not watch this short film ‘Going to Nursery School and Making New Friends’ with your little one before they start at their new early years setting.

Our award winning ‘Talking Transitions’ project aims to ensure that all children starting their journey to ‘Big school’ across the ABSS areas and Southend, experience as smooth a transition as possible.

Schools and their early years settings, (pre-school, day nurseries and childminders) come together to form geographically based ‘satellites’ of early years communication and language expertise. The satellites then devise and create fun experiences and activities that focus on children’s emotional wellbeing and their speech, language and communication (SLC) development as they get ready to start school.

One way parents and carers can help our little ones with their chatter is to take part in our annual Chatter Challenge:  


Download and print your version here!


What else can help you and your little one to feel confident, happy and ready to say hello to ‘big school’?

A big part of the Talking Transitions project is to create exciting events and experiences that support your little one’s communication and language skills throughout the holidays, your new school team might invite you to:-

Visits: Schools will invite you and your little one to come and visit the new class and meet their new teachers. Many schools now have virtual tours to watch at home together to help your little one to become more familiar with their new surroundings and encourage them to talk about starting school

Getting to know you sessions: The Reception Class teachers from your little one’s new school may visit their early years setting, so that they can join your little one in their play, share stories and get to know them before they start school

Have a go sessions: You will be invited to join various fun themed activities hosted by your little one’s new school, offering you the chance to experience a little flavour of early years learning

Family lunches: School lunches can be really scary for our little ones, a noisy hall, strange smells and new tastes, so, if you are invited, why not join your little one for a lovely lunch experience helping them to feel more confident about the whole lunch time thing!

On our way to school: Practice your new route to school. During the Summer holidays, help your little one become familiar with their new journey to school, whether by foot, bike, car, bus or train encourage your little one to look out for familiar landmarks, and say things like “first we pass the post box, then we cross the road …”


If you have any questions about this exciting pilot project, please contact: Sian Ansell: or Lynsey Weston:


Want to know more about how to find a ‘Primary School’?

Your little one will start school the year they turn 5, usually in the September before their 5th birthday.

It’s a big step for both of you and being prepared can make all the difference.

If you are looking for a Southend school and would like more information about the application process click here:

Starting to think about which school you’d like your little one to join?

Why not…..

  • Contact schools and arrange a visit in the Autumn term before your child starts school and before you have to get your application in to the school admissions board which is usually early in January
  • By visiting a school you begin to build up a good picture of how each school runs and where you see your child being happy.
  • You know your little one better than anyone else so which school will be best for them? Gather as much information as possible to help make your decision.


Information for School Staff and Early Years Settings Staff

The Talking Transitions project has three main aspects:

Learning together – Provides opportunities for feeder settings and schools to share and build on their existing knowledge and expertise regarding children’s SLC development. This is achieved through the 10 week accredited Elklan SLC training course for 3-5’s which is jointly delivered by health and education (Lynsey Weston Sian Ansell the EY Communication Specialist Teachers and Isobel Wratislaw Highly Specialist SLT)

Working together – Offers opportunities for ‘Thrive Time’ conversations. Members of each individual satellite come together to focus on the children who will be leaving their early years settings to start school and share an overview of children’s likes and dislikes, their strengths and challenges regarding their development, especially their communication and language needs. This ensures that successful strategies supporting children’s needs are shared so that the children’s new teachers ‘know’ each of the children, ready to welcome them when they start.

Being together – Brings Primary schools, Pre-schools, Day Nurseries, Childminders, children and their families together through a variety of fun and engaging activities all of which aim to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of their role in supporting their little ones communication and language development particularly over the 6 week summer holiday!