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Life changes: supporting transitions from early childhood services to school

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Children in Europe, Issue 22.
Publication Date: 
31 Mar 2012

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Making the transition from early childhood services to school is a big event in a child's life.There is wide variation in the age at which children start school across Europe, but whether this takes place at four or seven years of age, children benefit from help in making the adjustment.

This issue will consider how educators and families can support children through the transition and ask if the emphasis should be on children preparing for school - or schools adjusting to the needs of their youngest children?


A sound Foundation: transitions in early primary education in Wales
Marian Morris and Lisa McCrindle report on a Welsh Government study looking at transitions between primary school levels

Working together is the key
Countries tend to base their approach to transitions on the theoretical framework they favour. Wilfried Griebel and Renate Niesel introduce the key research that shapes our thinking

Labels are for bottles
Education and care go hand in hand for our youngest children. So why do we reinforce distinctions in the language we use, asks Gemma Núñez Ponsa

All about continuity
Ensuring smooth transitions calls for strong organisation and top quality management, as Rita Aupaix explains

Challenge of choice: organisational transition
Serv Vinders describes how changes in Dutch family life are having an impact on early years services

A step along the way
It isn't only children who benefit from seamless continuity in services. There are implications for the workforce too, says Helle Johanneson

Making children central
Mixed age classes can transform learning, teaching and transitions. Francesc Bitlloch and David Altimir describe a Bressola school in Perpignan where children and adults learn from each other

Learning and thinking together
Changing patterns of thinking are tackling long-standing educational issues in Italy, as Mattia Pratissoli shows

Too big for kindergarten
The flexibility of Zurich's Grundstufe offers every child the best opportunity to learn, regardless of age, developmental stage or individual needs. Regina Kesselring guides us through a typical day

Making the first move
Aileen McLean shows how Scotland's new educational framework is helping forge strong supportive links between preschool and primary education and care

Cultivating excitement
Transition affects parents, teachers and children in similar ways, wherever they live. Julia Plachecka introduces a training scenario that can be tailored to different groups - and different countries

Why are there bars?
Finding out how children view transition can be the starting point for finding answers, says Kostantina Avlami

Attending ‘big school' soon
We need to encourage and strengthen children if they are to step confidently out of their ‘nest' and into ‘big school'. Juan Pedro Martinez suggests ways to smooth the path

Building on success
If our aim is only for children to feel good, we may be selling them short. It's more important they are able to live and learn together, according to Philippe Meirieu

Friedrich Froebel and valuing childhood
Froebel has been inspiring educationalists since the beginning of the 19th century. Lucia Santos tells us why