Transition and change are an inevitable part of all children’s experiences and the way they are planned and supported with the child and their family at the centre will make all the difference. It is important to remember that transition is a journey not an event. Values that include care and compassion, with a focus on developing a ‘sense of belonging’ and sense of achievement within our early years learning communities are vital to supporting successful transitions in and out, and through, our settings.

For early years professionals, the main transitions that we will need to consider are

  • Receiving and settling children into our settings
  • Supporting children moving between rooms or classes in our settings
  • Children transitioning from nursery into primary school reception classes.
  • Moving from reception into Year one.
  • Enhanced transition processes for children with SEND

There are also a myriad of transitions and changes that occur through the routines of the day, week and term that children will also need support with. The ordinarily available provision (OAP) document will be useful to refer to when considering transitions for all children.

Click here for the Ordinarily Available Provision

Click here for the Unique Transitions

Unique Transitions is a Bristol Early Years guidance document  developed to support the transitions of children in early years through the Covid pandemic and recovery phases, but is equally relevant at any time.  It includes practical examples of great practice, things to consider and extensive further links.

Building on EYFS

In Bristol there is a group of leaders and teachers from over 30 schools engaged on a research project to support and learning of children from reception and across year1 with Dr Julie Fisher and in conjunction with Phil Nicholson of the University of Suffolk.

The Building on EYFS Project in Bristol is aimed at understanding the impact of building on EYFS pedagogical principles to support children in Year One.


The research has three main aims:

  • To understand the impact of introducing play-based pedagogy on the learning outcomes in English & Mathematics in Year One in schools in a Local Authority (Bristol).
  • To assess children’s wellbeing and learning dispositions (via the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning) at various points throughout their time in Year One
  • To investigate how teachers and headteachers experience and perceive the process of extending play-based pedagogy into Key Stage One in schools in one Local Authority in England

If you would like to find out more or join this research project please contact

Early Learning Contacts

Nicola Theobald, Early Years Improvement Officer
Kate Hubble, Senior Foundation Years Consultant
Nicky Bale, Foundation Years Bristol Standard Consultant
Beth Osborne, Foundation Years Consultant Birth to Three
Kate Irvine, Interim Foundation Years Consultant
Ali Carrington, Interim Foundation Years Consultant