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Early Years Transition

We are always delighted to welcome new children and parents to our ‘Team Burnopfield’ family and school community. At Burnopfield Primary School, a child’s social and emotional wellbeing is paramount to ensure a smooth and positive transition into school. We would always encourage the opportunity for visits to our Nursery and Reception settings to establish a strong and effective partnership with our parents. 

At the start of the journey in both Nursery and Reception, parents are invited to a welcome meeting hosted by the Early Years Staff. This is an excellent opportunity for parents to gain an insight into the daily routines, procedures, curriculum, uniform and the exciting learning opportunities that take place in our settings. This is also the perfect time for parents to ask any questions, or share any worries, ensuring that both children, and parents, are ready for this new start. 

Prior to children starting both Nursery and Reception, parents are encouraged to complete a short profile about their child, giving our dedicated staff team an opportunity to get to know each child individually, and allowing them to create a learning environment based on the needs and interests of the children. 


Nursery Transition

For those children starting in our Nursery it is a huge step, and an important part of their learning journey. Before children start with us, our Nursery staff will invite children and their parents to attend a stay and play session in a small group setting. This is the perfect opportunity for positive relationships to be established in the comfort of a quiet environment.  

Starting Nursery can be daunting for all involved. At Burnopfield Primary School, we work closely with our parents to ensure this is a smooth process through a graduated approach. These steps are often build on  in groups of approximately 6 children at a time.

  • Step 1: Stay and play session with parent - one hour in a small group.

  • Step 2: 2 hour visit without parents. 

  • Step 3: Full 3 hour session without parents. 

Our Nursery Team will communicate timings and dates with parents during the Summer Term, and early into September. 

Entry to Nursery is staggered and children are invited to attend in small groups. This enables staff to get to know the children quickly and allows children the opportunity to become familiar with the adults and the setting in a smaller group.

Reception Transition:

Children attend our Reception setting from a wide catchment area. Most children have previously attended our Nursery provision, but there are some who join us from other Nurseries. Our Reception staff work closely with each Nursery to obtain information about each child, we sometimes even go and visit the children in the Nursery settings during the Summer term before starting in Reception.

During the Summer Term we invite the children starting Reception to attend a taster session. Children are given the chance to explore all areas of the provision, including our Classroom, Outdoor Learning Area and Adventure Garden! Children are also invited to participate in a school taster lunch session alongside the Reception Staff and their parents. 

Throughout June and July our Reception Team will send out information posters to parents via email to support the transition process over the Summer Holidays. These will also be uploaded to the website. Children will be sent messages from the Staff Team including photographs of themselves so they can get to know the adults in the setting. They will be given photographs of each area of the indoor and outdoor provision. This is a perfect way to get to know the environment they will soon be settled in to.


All of these transition experiences create an invaluable starting point where essential information can be exchanged between staff, parents and carers. If you have any further questions, or would like more information, please contact Mrs Emma Huntley (Early Years Leader) through our school office (01207 270397) 

Transition to Secondary School

In Summer 2, the children would begin transition work. In school, this would be through weekly PSHE sessions and lots of discussions within class to prepare the children for their move. We would discuss:

  • Similarities and differences between Burnopfield Primary and secondary schools.

  • What we are excited about.

  • What we are afraid of.

  • Rumours that we have heard.

  • Look at example timetables.

The secondary schools would also arrange a visit to the school – usually in the form of assemblies or lessons with the children. Some even bring back ex-pupils to help ease the worries.

The children would also participate in transition day where they get to go and spend the day in their new school.

Information is gathered and shared about each child through discussions with staff members from the secondary schools to ensure every child’s individual needs are catered for.

Here are some links to our local secondary schools transition pages:

Tanfield School

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Whickham School

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North Durham Academy

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