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- PublicationChildren's School Lives in Junior InfantsThis 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.
- PublicationChildren's School Lives: Preschool to Primary School TransitionThis report is focused on the transition from preschool to primary school. School transitions are one of six core thematic areas that CSL focuses on . The transition into primary school is a significant event not only in the lives of the children, but also their family. It is embedded in wider dynamics related to the personal, social, and cultural context of their lives, as well as the particular trajectory of children’s own emotional and cognitive development (NCCA, 2018). The focus of this report is to present some of the patterns evident in this key transition point from a range of perspectives. As such, the findings presented in this report draw on data generated with the CSL cohort in Junior Infants, as well as an additional sub-study (the ‘Preschool study’), undertaken in the summer term 2019 to explore the perspectives of parents, children and early years educators on the transition to primary school.