Tanunda Lutheran School’s fifteen new Foundation students who started school this term as a part of TLS’ mid-year intake are well and truly settled into their new classroom with their teacher Miss Justine Gallasch.
Most of these children have been members of the TLS community since commencing their journey at the Early Learning Centre at age three and a half.
For students commencing in Foundation, two intakes are offered, one in term one and one in term three. Offering a mid-year intake in addition to one at the start of the year is one of the many ways TLS is attuned to the needs and readiness of children starting school. “You can tell that they’re ready to start school,” says Miss Gallasch. “It’s a great advantage that we have the ELC at the school, it’s not a huge jump,” notes Miss Gallasch who has noticed a strong level of confidence in her Foundation students, “Whilst there are differences between the ELC and School, there is a strong continuity between the two.”
TLS is recognised at a state level as having a strong and successful ‘Transition’ program between ELC and school. Intentionally throughout the year staff move between the two environments, “At TLS we don’t see transitions as a ‘one off’, rather as we are transitioning all the time,” explains Foundation teacher Mrs. Barbara Watson.
Last term the transitioning Foundation students formally visited school on several occasions to experience school life and familiarise themselves with their classroom and environment. “This eases the level of anxiety some children experience about starting school,” explains Miss Gallasch.
After visiting Tanunda Lutheran ELC and School last year, Ashlee Francis of Encounter Lutheran College said, “I saw enormous value placed on the role of the environment as a motivating and animating force in creating a space for relationships and a place to produce a sense of well-being and security. (With) emphasis placed on providing a rich foundation and a seamless transition program that supports the continuity of children’s learning through the early years …there is a commonality between environments for the children to feel secure, confident and connected.”