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  • Publication
    Children's School Lives in Junior Infants
    This report is the third in the series from Children’s School Lives, an innovative, longitudinal research study involving almost 4,000 children in 189 primary schools. One of the defining features of the study is the strong emphasis it places on listening to and learning directly from children about their experience of being in primary school in Ireland. This particular report introduces us to the youngest children in the study. The multiple perspectives gathered from the children themselves, their families, teachers and school principals, converge to provide us with a rich, detailed picture of the children’s first year in school. Uniquely, this period incorporates the months just prior to the arrival of the Coronavirus on Irish shores and the weeks immediately after the commencement of the first national lockdown in Spring 2020. Early childhood is a time of being and becoming, a time which provides important foundations for children’s learning and for life itself. We know from research that the first six years of a child’s life, their early childhood years, are particularly important for their holistic development. We also know from research that a positive transition from preschool to primary school is a predictor of children’s future success in terms of social, emotional and educational outcomes. Yet, despite this knowledge, relatively little research exists in the Irish context on children’s initial experiences in primary school. The Children’s School Lives study responds directly to this research gap by capturing, through multiple voices, comprehensive insights into the children’s initial weeks and months in their primary classrooms.
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