From preschool to primary school: ready or not?
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School readiness and transitions from preschool to primary school has become a much-discussed topic in the Early Childhood Care and Education Sector (ECCE) of late. The aim of this research project was to gain an understanding of school readiness and to explore what contributes to successful transitions from preschool to primary school through parental and professional perspectives. The first objective of this study was to explore the concept of school readiness from a parental and professional perspective. The second objective set out in this study was to gain an understanding of what contributes to successful transitions from preschool to primary school from a parental and professional perspective. The final objective of this study was to identify what impact the free 2ECCE scheme has on school readiness and transitions from preschool to primary school. A qualitative approach was taken to gather data in the form of semi structured interviews with parents and a focus group with primary school teachers. The use of thematic analysis as a method of data analysis proved beneficial, as it allowed the researcher to group recurring themes together. The researcher is satisfied that the aim and objectives of the research study were met through the use of a qualitative research method. The main findings conclude that school readiness remains a complex concept. The findings reflect the traditional view of school readiness as the participants locate school readiness along a maturanionist continuum which is concerned with placing the responsibility of school readiness on the individual child. Findings from this study reveal that parents and primary school teachers have a shared understanding of what contributes to a successful transition from preschool to primary school. The recurring contributions included the support from teachers and parents, older siblings, the familiarity of the school through open evenings, the proximity of the primary school and consistent, professional communication between all stakeholders.Based on the findings, further exploration of the ECCE scheme and the impact it has on school readiness and transitions would be beneficial. The findings from the study reveal that many parents welcomed the introduction of the scheme. The parents and teachers found that the ECCE scheme has had a very positive impact on school readiness and transitions. The findings also conclude that there are some issues remaining with the ECCE scheme.
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