Greetings from Pretoria campus,
As the end of the year approaches, the recurring theme on our campus is transitions. Transitions include students arriving and departing AISJ, students moving on to the next grade, and preparing for new teachers and new students for next school year. It is an exciting time, full of possibilities!
As the school counselor, transitions to and from AISJ are an integral part of the work that I do with students. From admissions, to our PA welcome program, to monitoring their progress as they ‘settle in’, and eventually when students move on to a new school it is a continual process to help students adjust and it involves our entire AISJ community.
As students approach the end of their time with us at AISJ, we meet individually and in small groups and engage in activities around four themes: reconciliation, affirmation, farewells, and thinking about their next destination. The goal of the transitions program is to help them leave well so that the introduction to their new home is as smooth as possible.
Moving from one grade level to another is usually a simple transition for most students, however, in grade five to grade six and grade eight to grade nine, the transition involves a new setting and heightened expectations. The transition involves working with entire grade levels and this year it will include classroom guidance lessons with lots of activities in the coming weeks. We will also be celebrating these milestones and visiting their ‘next’ classroom to see first-hand what this new experience is like. In grade five, we will have our sixth grader for a day event and a ceremony to celebrate the entrance into middle school. In grade eight, we will have a visit to the Johannesburg campus for an orientation and lunchtime braai with our Johannesburg friends as well as an end of year celebration.
Preparing for next school year is accompanied by a mix of emotions and while we say goodbye to some very special students and staff, we also celebrate the new students and staff who will be arriving and the rebirth and renewal that a new school year brings.
All the best for a successful transition to you wherever next year finds you!
School Counselor, Pretoria Campus