Research: These factors increase the chance of a good start in primary education

For some children, starting primary education is not so smooth. Sardis’ research and consulting has established a scientific framework for improving the start in school for these children. Because which kids have the least good start? What is causing this? More importantly, how can childcare and education professionals improve (start) study time for these children?

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Although starting elementary school is a huge step in young children’s lives, most preschoolers take this step without many problems. Any issues are often a temporary mod or mod issue. For a (estimated) group of about 10 to 20 percent of children, based on foreign research, the start in primary education is less smooth and the problems are larger and of longer duration.

In this paper, Sardis addresses the following questions:

  1. What problems can be identified about starting primary education? Which children?
  2. In general, what are the causes and explanations for these problems?
  3. What are the conditions for a smooth start in primary education? What are the most promising actions in this regard? What are the advantages, disadvantages, returns and points of interest of various measures?

What are the problems and with whom?

Starting school can be challenging for four specific (partially overlapping) groups of children:

  • Children who did not attend a preschool (childcare or young child care with or without preschool education) (“totally beginner”)
  • Children of the early childhood education target group (educational deprivation policy)
  • Children with additional support needs/disabilities (appropriate education)
  • (Premature) Babies with a developmental advantage

Causes and explanations

Based on the study of literature, the causes and explanations of the problems are: the association between home and school, the connection between the provision of nursery school and primary education, and the relationship between primary education and the developmental needs of young children.

In the connection between home and school Parents play an important role. The way children are raised, the language provision (in the quantitative and qualitative sense) to which children are exposed in the preschool period and the level of developmental stimulation in the home setting influence the cognitive and non-cognitive development of children in early childhood. Some children of the target group start school in lower quality educational conditions that are difficult or not absorbed at all.

In the The relationship between providing nursery school and school It plays a role in the extent to which the provision of professional pedagogical development and pedagogical practices in preschool and education facilities is related. This applies at both the national and local levels.

In the Contact Primary education to meet the developmental needs of young children It comes down to how well schools can meet the specific developmental needs of young children at first. The conditions for implementation (continuous intake, group size, professional/children ratio) in the lower years of primary school do not seem favorable for this purpose.

Promising measures for a smooth start

Based on literature research, it has been concluded that there are three components important to a good start in school: a good connection between home and school, a good relationship between preschool provision and primary education and a good relationship between school and the developmental needs of young children. To fulfill these conditions, Sardis formulated several promising measures and points of interest. The measures were formulated based on a combination of research and expert assessment. Here is a small summary in the table overview:

Communication at home – education

Circumstances promising measures points of interest
Good connection between home and school. Actively involving parents and giving them a role in transition, a warm welcome, specific programs and activities for the gradual integration of children, stress reduction activities. Significant differences in the developmental level, characteristics, and backgrounds of young children (and their parents).
Building contacts and relationships with parents based on open communication and equality. Significant differences between the wants and needs of parents, not a “one size fits all” approach.
Children “receive” in their language and culture attention to multilingualism. Insufficient attention (ability and aptitude) to children’s own language (Dutch is the norm, lack of knowledge and skills in the field of multilingualism).

Nursery Provider – School Contact

Circumstances promising measures points of interest
Good relationship between providing nursery school and education Coherent curriculum (2 t/m
6, 7 years old) that provides support for preschool professionals
Providing primary education.
It requires purposeful choices, for example between a more cognitive curriculum or a more holistic curriculum.

Different insights into science, policy and practice on how young children learn and develop best.

View high quality tutorial before
Begins at school (particularly effective for
target group vve).
Childcare has less experience with goal-oriented program work based on a development-oriented rationale.
Start learning early
For example from 3 years to school,
Inclusion of young children/preschool children.
systems of child care and
Education is not prepared. Inexperience of ‘toddlers’ (young children) among primary school teachers and inexperience of ‘preschool’ among school principals.

Unknown What is the ideal group and
age composition.

The added value of starting earlier
Can be disputed with the school, proceeds from the start earlier
VVE/Development Oriented Compelling (ER).

Competencies of professionals on
Strengthening the “little kid” area
Through (after) the initial training structure
With a focus on sustainable learning and
Development in professional practice.
The conditions (time, place and resources) for permanent forms of vocational training and qualification vary between childcare and primary education.
At the local level, make sure
Coordination and cooperation on
Content, Auto Level, Continuous View, Subscriber
(Child) Unified vision and education.
Education is often dominant
Various cooperation partner
Norms, values ​​and (work) cultures
Difficult to bridge.

It flows in most primary schools
Children in from multiple preschoolers
Utilities, what intense
It makes cooperation difficult.

The link between education and development needs

Circumstances promising measures points of interest
Good contact for education with
Developmental needs of young children
Maximize group size in
The lower years of primary school
(eg 20 children) and reduce
From the ratio of professionals / children (eg.
1; 10); Dual.
More suitable personnel required, higher implementation costs (possibly air conditioning of rooms and premises).
cohort flow (flow
Groups of children, for example after
every holiday).
The childcare and primary education system is not designed for this purpose.

It’s time for kids to be a ‘toddler’ for some kids

Rich, spacious and coherent
The developmental stimulus program in groups 1 and 2 with a lot of studied
Activities and Opportunities for (Free
and supervision) playing, learning and
Development (game guidance and enrichment).
Requires specific experience from
Primary school teachers. Physical and emotional contact
It is sometimes difficult to meet the needs of young children in an elementary school setting, which can lead to the approach being “too school-based”.

And now?

As for follow-up, according to Sardes researchers, it seems reasonable to first conduct research into the current Dutch situation surrounding the start of primary education (at present, the research has only been conducted abroad), before developing and testing interventions.

Various professionals from science, policy, education, and practice can design, implement, and (re)evaluate (re)new (editor) practices from the beginning in primary education, in conjunction with participatory research. Specialists in pre-school and primary education facilities will have to play an active role in this.

Read the full Sardis research report here >>

Source: Sardis

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