'Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.' (Robin Sharma)by Robin Sharma
Sad. Happy. Excited. Nervous. These are just some of the emotions that many of our students (and parents) will be going though at this time of year. It is about now that we begin to look ahead at the year to come and start to consider the transitions that we are about to go through.
Whether this is moving to a new year group, class or campus within Doha College or further afield to a new school or even a new country, each student will have already started the transition cycle.
For students, transition happens with regularity throughout their educational journey. Each time this happens, whether you are a Pre-School student or a young adult about to embark on higher education, the start and end point may differ, but the process through which they all go is the same.
For example, the first-day starting Primary school is one that is often etched into the memories of mums and dads across the world. For many, it is the first time their child has been without them for any length of time. Our inaugural 'Stay and Play' sessions were introduced this year to help that initial transition into Pre-School. Parents came with their children and spent time in the Pre-School hubs, meeting teachers and teaching assistants and playing with their children. They also met their very own cuddly 'Dash the Dolphin' who will be waiting for them to play with when they return to school in September.
The huge importance of feeling a sense of belonging and familiarity with new environments, people and places is one that we must never underestimate. As our Year 6 children take the big step into Secondary school one of the things we strive to achieve is a sense of the familiar. The students visit the secondary site on several occasions, each time meeting key members of staff and student mentors.
With that in mind, the highlight of our week last week had to be the long awaited, heavily anticipated 'Move-Up' day which provides an opportunity for students from Pre-School all the way through to Key Stage 3 to spend time across the day meeting their new teachers, acclimatising to the environment they will be in from September and taking part in memorable activities that will support their feeling of belonging when they make their move to their new class.
Our Year 6 students, in particular grasped the opportunities of the day with both hands. They made new friends, took part in exciting lessons and thanks to our mentors only got lost once or twice.
However, transition is not just about moving forward but also about looking back. David Pollock the renowned co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, said 'you need to leave well to enter well.' At Doha College this is supported in a multitude of ways, from leavers productions, award ceremonies and certificates that recognise excellence and achievements, to an array of social events that allow the student to dress up, laugh, cry and enjoy time with their friends and peers who may or may not being going on the same journey as they are in the future.
Many of you will have begun this transition process at home as well and this is when having the opportunities to say goodbyes, reminisce on past histories, create parting gift with friends, maybe even apologise for past hurts, and leave with good memories, all help with making that new start one that begins well.
So wherever your transition journey takes you, embrace the change, enjoy the challenge and remember, 'Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.' (Robin Sharma)