Changing class or year group can cause a few headaches, especially now, with a year-based curriculum. A move requires a complete learning of requirements of the year, in some significant detail. As for assessment systems; each school may have a variation on several themes, for the new member of staff to get to know.
Change is hard enough for experienced teachers, but will cause considerable concern for a newbie, fresh from their university experience, suddenly having to make all the decisions for themselves. Hopefully, they will be in a situation where they have an experienced mentor, with the time and professional space to really mentor and be working in a school where they have some background planning available for the newbie to consider against the specific needs of their class.
It would help transitional decisions if a piece of work from the recent few weeks was chosen by each child, as an example of their best current work that they’d like their new teacher to see, perhaps even to have in their new book as they write their first pieces in September, to be able to compare with the earlier benchmark. It tells the new teacher what “good” is for each child, to calibrate and refine their expectations for the near future.
As a HT, the last exercise book of a year transferred to the next year, together with personal targets, to provide simple continuity and progression information to the receiving colleague.
Adults need reference points against which to make decisions. Children can see from one piece of work to another whether it’s a better effort or not. We need to use the available evidence to ensure that transition (and transfer) doesn’t mean that progress stalls because the children reset the expectation through a blank page approach.
There is a need for some (few) to have a fresh start, but all start from a known point, or they can regress through their own (lack of) effort. Teachers need to remain in charge of the learning agenda.