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Starting School

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Starting School

A Handbook for Early Childhood Educators

Author(s): Bob Perry, Sue Dockett (click on the author's name for more titles)

ISBN: 9781876138240

Binding: Paperback

Size: 172mm x 245mm

Published by: Pademelon Press

RRP $49.95


Starting School, and the companion volume for families, Our Family is Starting School, emphasises the importance of relationships and of people working together. The authors believe that families, educators and communities working together for the benefit of children is a particularly positive way to encourage children to feel special, as if they belong within a community, and develop an eagerness to engage with school and education.

This book is organised into five sections. The first section highlights the importance of a positive start to school and introduces the Guidelines for Effective Transition to School Programs developed with the aid of research from the Starting School Research Project, which is based at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Essentially, the transition to school involves a range of stakeholders and a range of contexts and it is the interactions and relationships between and among these that determine the effectiveness of a transition. This section also introduces two of the contentious issues related to starting school: readiness and age. It asks who or what it is that needs to be ready and suggests that some of the focus on starting school age could be more productively redirected to ensuring that schools are the best possible learning environments for all children who are eligible.

The next three sections of the book are about planning transition programs. In each section there are some specific examples of practice that support the development, implementation and evaluation of effective transition programs. This section gives detail in relation to the people involved in planning the transition, the processes involved in the programs and the structures underpinning effective transition programs. It recognises that people will be at different points within this cycle and suggests that after reading about the whole process, readers direct their attention to wherever they are currently located. This book stresses that an awareness of all of the steps is important, but also encourages readers to consider what they have already achieved in their transition programs, rather than feeling like it all has to begin again.

The final section of the book is brief but significant. It is titled 'Beyond Transition' and signifies that while the transition to school is important, so too is what happens at school. Educators, families, children, other professionals and community members are encouraged to continually engage in discussions about teaching and learning, about pedagogy and practice within early education settings-be they prior-to-school or school settings.

Contents

Preface

Chapter 1: Starting School

Chapter 2: The Importance of a Positive Start to School Transition Programs

Chapter 3: An Ecological Model

Chapter 4: Thinking About Readiness

Chapter 5: Relationships

Chapter 6: Planning Transitions: People

Chapter 7: Planning Transitions: Processes

Chapter 8: Establish Collaborative Teams

Chapter 9: Identify a Transition Coordinator

Chapter 10: Facilitate Regular Meetings and Assess Current Practices in Transition

Chapter 11: Setting Goals

Chapter 12: Generate Ideas for Transition Activities

Chapter 13: Create a Transition Timeline

Chapter 14: Identify Issues or Concerns

Chapter 15: Revise Ideas and Timelines

Chapter 16: Implement Transition Practices

Chapter 17: Assess, Evaluate and Revise

Chapter 18: Planning Transitions: Structures

Chapter 19: Beyond Transition

References

Appendix 1: Survey of Current Transition Programs

Appendix 2: Overview of Current Transition Practices

Appendix 3: Summary of the Guidelines for Effective Transition to School Programs & Key Elements

Appendix 4: Indicators of Progress

Appendix 5: Brainstorm

Appendix 6: Some Picture Books About the First Day of School

Appendix 7: For Further Reading

List of tables and figures