How WISS Supports Transitions | Kindergarten to Grade 1

For adults, change is constant, and reactions to change have become part of daily life. However, for children, the process of change can be a challenging and often daunting experience. That is why it is crucial for teachers and parents to be well prepared to help children manage change and guide them through the transition phase.   

The transition from the Early Years to Primary can be a lot to handle for a young child. When this transition period approaches, parents have many questions and concerns. Will my child be able to adapt to the new building and the new teachers? What English, Chinese and Math levels should children have to transition into Grade 1 successfully? What can we do to help with this transition? Parents want advice on how to equip their children to tackle these challenges.  

It is important to note that each child’s processes change in their own unique way. For some learners, this transition will be a seamless one. For others, it might involve a level of anxiety, nervousness, and excitement. Transition to Grade 1 is a big step for our little tigers. However, their resilience and natural curiosity will contribute to them overcoming this transition phase.   

At the Western International School of Shanghai, we make this transition as smooth as possible for our students. Part of this is preparing our little tigers to cross “the bridge” to a new world filled with possibilities to explore, a new building, their new classrooms, get to know their new teachers, and new peers to bond, learn, and play with. 

There are various factors to consider when preparing for this transition. Through a series of WISS Parent Workshops, we make sure that our parents are well informed and equipped to help guide and support their children with this transition.  

Sessions are led by the WISS PYP Coordinators Lisa Kane and Inga Bela and offer an opportunity for parents to get advice, explore strategies, and receive tips on how to help their child cope. After the transition session in the Early Years building, parents were encouraged to explore the Primary building – the new spaces that would be their child’s home for the next five years.  

Don’t miss these WISS tips on successfully transitioning from Kindergarten to First Grade. 


Help your child name their feelings. Change can be exciting and scary. Reassure them that these feelings are normal and part of the change process.


Read with your child every day. Let them use their reading skills to decode words and use the illustrations to tell their story. What’s more-it is a warm way to spend quality time together. Fact or fiction-let your child choose! 


Set routines at home that your child can follow. Have them anticipate what comes next and show their independence as they plan and prepare. Dressing, brushing teeth, packaging bags. All ways for your child to practice daily skills and show what they can do. 


Clear sleep routines are important for our children’s health, well-being, and neurological development. Limit screen time before bed. Set a calm atmosphere as your child prepares for sleep. Gentle music, soft lights, and stories are all ways to set the tone for a peaceful night’s sleep. 

Value your child  

Your child is unique. Help them to understand that as you acknowledge their strengths and abilities. Look for ways to respond to their interests and focus on processes as they build new skills. Listen to their ideas and let them take the lead as they make suggestions for family play and activity time.  

Build friendship

Arrange play dates with friends from the same grade level. Help them develop their social skills as they find ways to play and communicate with each other. Give them the opportunity to take turns, negotiate and compromise in play. All excellent skills for collaboration and future learning.   

Do you want to learn more about WISS and the IB Programs we offer? Visit the WISS website.

Written by

The Western International School of Shanghai (WISS)

The Western International School of Shanghai (WISS)

The Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) is a forward-looking school that has been inspiring young people from around the world since 2006. Our diverse and compassionate community is unique and provides the ideal environment for students to explore their passions, to develop holistically, and to succeed.

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