Steps to School: Supporting Children with the Transition from Preschool to Primary School in Finglas
As part of the Better Finglas Early Years Programme, the transition from preschool to primary school has been identified as a key stage of a child’s life. Early years practitioners, primary school teachers and parents all play an important role in ensuring continuity of care for each individual child at this time. Transitions can be stressful for some children and they need to be supported during the process. The White Paper on Early Childhood Education (DES, 1999) recognises, for children that have difficulty making the transition to school, the gap between them and their peers usually widens over time.
Finglas is an area with many preschools and primary schools which can make it very challenging for settings to work together. For this reason Better Finglas established a working group to consider the development of a ‘Steps to School’ programme to support children’s transitions from preschool to primary school. The Transitions working group was made up of representatives from both the early years and the primary school settings, parents and the Better Finglas team and supported in the setting up phase by the expertise of Dr Mary O’Kane.
Our Steps to School programme includes both primary schools and preschools
‘Steps to School’ transition packs are given to each child starting junior infants in September. The packs contain relevant information for children and families including:
- A storybook on starting school
- Tips for parents to prepare children for school
- Information on Triple P Parenting Programmes
- Nursery Rhymes for children
Workshops are delivered to early years practitioners to support children’s transitions from preschool to primary school.
A transition form was developed to share information between preschool and primary school with parent’s consent.
Transition boxes were developed in settings to gather resources to support children in the preschool setting.
Photobooks which contain photos of local schools were created and shared with EY settings to help children engage in a conversation about going to school.