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21 August 2018

Principal Dr. Edward Goughan Shares His Thoughts on Transitioning for a Child

Published by Jessica Anne Tay

We recently held an information session for parents of our Year 5 students about the transition process from Year 5 to Year 6. This event and its importance to parents, as their child progresses through Elementary to Secondary, gave me cause to pause and consider our life’s journey in a school.

Our children’s lives progress so rapidly, and at such a pace, that I often wonder whether we are the ones who need counselling and advice! Children, in most instances, jump from one place to another with less reservation and more enthusiasm. It is comforting to observe their high levels of resilience.

Where the importance of ‘transition’ draws relevance might be captured in the phrase, ‘your life can’t go according to a plan, if you don’t have one’! It might be argued, then, that the movement from Year 5 to Year 6 is a significant leap, but I can counter that almost every day, in a child’s life, is a leap. For parents at AIS, events like the Transition to Year 6 session, are intended to instill confidence that there is a plan, that the lives of students progressing through the School have a rhyme and reason.

The negotiation of successive parts of the School, from ELV to Prep, or 5 to 6, or Year 9 to 10, even 11 to 12, are all pivotally significant not only through an academic lens, but in the developmental stages associated with a child’s physical, social, aesthetic, kinesthetic, sensory and emotional growth.

Looking for enlightenment ‘for all the journey we must take’, I resort to one of my more Quixotic sources, Carlos Castenada. There is a message in his words for all the crossroads of a school life, or life, more generally:

“A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use.”

Dr Edward Goughan (Dr G.)

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