Nursery-P1 Transition

A very warm welcome to all the children and families who will be joining our SMPS family from August 2020!

The Bear Hunt P1 Transition Project – based on Michael Rosen’s much loved book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”. Here is a video of our Nursery teacher Mrs Ferguson reading the story – Enjoy!

Some of the information is available in additional languages on the main Bear Hunt Edinburgh website. Click here

24th June 2020: Week 6 of our Bear hunt Project
(Please scroll down to see previous posts and general information about the transition from nursery to primary 1.

This is the final week of our ‘Bear Hunt’ Transition project and the nursery team have prepared a very special message for all, re-telling the story in their own unique way!

16th June 2020: Week 5 of our Bear hunt Project

This week’s ideas and activities for the Bear Hunt:

  • Near the end of the story, the family come across a cave; can you make your own bear den at home? Can you make a wee den in the window for your bear?Tweet your dens to us #BearHuntEdin
  • Can you draw a picture of your new school badge, or nursery logo? Or you could print it out and display it next to your bear in the window?
  • Going somewhere new might feel scary, that’s ok. With a grown-up’s help, can you write to the Edinburgh Bear and ask him any questions you have? Your grown-up can email them or send them to us at South Morningside.
  • Using any materials you have at home, make your own bear puppet. You can tweet it to #BearHuntEdin or send a photo to SMPS

You can use this form to send us a message (or email

9th June 2020: Week 4 of our Bear hunt Project
This is a big week for our new P1s as it is about visiting their new school. There is a special activity to do when you bring your bear to see your new school building, and we hope you will bring with you your drawing of yourself to put up so that your friends and teachers can get to know you! If you share a photo with us we can have our own online gallery of your drawings!

Ideas for Activities this week:

  • Make a journey stick for your hunt; put elastic bands or string round your stick. Tuck in everything you collect on the way. Can you talk about the things you collected when you are home?
  • Put a bag in the window for your bear – a real bag or a picture- so that other bear hunters can see.
  • Maybe you want to add pictures or photographs of what’s inside the bag?
  • With a grown up can you go on your own hunt? Walk to your nursery or school – are there roads? Trees? Signposts? Traffic lights? Talk about what you see on the way.

Don’t forget to share your photos with us!

2nd June 2020: Week 3 of our Bear hunt Project

Here are some fun ideas you might wish to explore this week…

  • Get your welly boots on and hunt for a muddy puddle! See if you can make a ‘squelch! squerch!’ sound!
  • Listen to the story again!
    Mrs Ferguson from our school nursery is reading it in the above video, and you could visit here and listen to composer Ian Stephens telling the story through music!
  • Make a bubble snowstorm to run through! watch this clip to see how easy it is to make bubbles with just a plastic bottle and a sock!
  • Try making the ‘Splish Splosh’ sound from the story. You can do this by collecting stones from your walk and throwing them into a tub of water. Can you leave a stone near bear in the window?

Don’t forget to share your photos with us!

26th May 2020: Week 2 of our Bear hunt Project
(Please scroll down to see previous posts and general information about the transition from nursery to primary 1.

  • Share pictures from your Bear Hunt adventures on twitter #BearHuntEdin
  • On your own Bear Hunt, see how many bears you can spot in the windows! Count them as you go… will you get to 10? 20?? 300??? 100??? What colours are they? are they big or small?
  • What about making a mini bear hunt, just like in the story? What will you use for grass, mud, snow? See what you can find in the house or collect natural materials on your walks to make a picture, map or model.
  • You could grow some cress to make ‘swishy swashy grass’!
    Wet some tissue or cotton wool. Put it in a clean, empty yogurt pot. Sprinkle over some cress seeds, cover with clingfilm and watch it grow! Here is a great little youtube video showing cress growing (with a tasty recipe as a bonus)

20th May 2020: Week 1 of our Bear hunt Project

Instead of our usual transition activities, we have to do things differently this year.  At SMPS we have planned a six week project around the theme Going on a Bear Hunt.  This week we are launching the project with our families in Morningside and across the city so all preschool children wherever they live can get involved.

What is Transition?

Transition is what we call it when a child moves from one thing to another.
There are lots of little transitions during the day – getting dressed, turning the television off, putting jackets on to go outside, all parents know that some transitions are easier than others!
Other transitions are bigger, for example starting a new nursery or school. All children need help to prepare them for transitions.

Moving on to P1:
Information for Parents/Carers

In Edinburgh, all Early Years settings and primary schools are working together on one big project using Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
This means that no matter what nursery they are enrolled in, or what primary school they move into, all children will be familiar with the same story and will have shared experiences. Research shows that shared experiences are one of the ways that we can support children during times of transition.
Your child would normally have started their transition into primary school this term. Due to the current restrictions the activities that your child would have taken part in have altered.
If your child is enrolled in a Local Authority nursery, they will already have links with the receiving primary schools. If your child is enrolled in a Partner Provider nursery or a Childminder, they may not be in a position to support the transition.

To make sure that no child misses out we have created a website, where we will share weekly ideas that you can use with your child to help them to feel positive about the move into school.
This website is live as from 18/05/2020.
We will be working to spread the word and try to get as many people from across our communities involved as possible, grannies, neighbours, uncles and more!
The really important thing to remember for all parents is that what you are already doing with your children at home IS supporting their learning.
Research shows us that in the Early Years children learn best through real life experiences, like helping sort the washing, preparing meals and just talking. None of the activities suggested to engage children with the story are intended to be stressful or time consuming. We hope they are things that might already fit into your daily routine.

P1 Learning starts with


We are also working with all primary schools across Edinburgh to ensure that all children, regardless of which school they go to, will have the best start to primary 1. Your child’s P1 classroom might look a bit different, with lots of opportunities for play and fun. The most important thing at the start will be making sure that everyone feels welcomed and finds something they enjoy at school.
Teachers and staff in schools are very aware of what a difficult time this has been for families. Your child will be supported and encouraged back into community life, with lots of chances to build relationships, make friends and play to learn.

8.8 Key Features of positive transitions practice from ELC to school:

practitioners/teachers who recognise that for every child the transition experience is unique to them, and who provide environments that are ready for children, that meet children’s needs and the needs of their families
induction programmes that value parents’ knowledge of their child and the learning children bring with them to school

To read more about ‘Positive Transition from Early Learning Centres to School, please visit: National practice guidance for early years in Scotland