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Supporting children through transitions in early childhood education in England: perspectives of educational psychologists and school staff

Sims, Elizabeth 2019. Supporting children through transitions in early childhood education in England: perspectives of educational psychologists and school staff. DEdPsy Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This study explored the perspectives of school staff and educational psychologists (EPs) regarding two normative, vertical transitions that take place within the early years of children’s education in England: the transition from nursery to Reception (YR); and the transition from YR to Year One (Y1). A wealth of international literature (e.g. Shields, 2009; Boyle et al., 2018) has explored the important issue of children’s transition to compulsory schooling (YR in England), the success of which can have long-term implications for children’s development (e.g. Hugo et al., 2018; Margetts, 2009). Furthermore, in England research has shown that the subsequent transition to more formal learning in Y1 can be challenging (e.g. Sanders et al., 2005; White & Sharp, 2007). Three focus groups were conducted with sixteen members of school staff in one school and semi-structured interviews were carried out with six EPs to provide a timely update to existing research and to address gaps in the literature.Participant’s views towards both of these transitions were sought, with a particular focus on: emotional factors; neighbourhood and community influences; how to support children with additional needs; and the past, present and future role of EPs. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Five main themes were identified for staff: ‘supporting social and emotional wellbeing’; ‘the jump up to Year One’; ‘caring about partnerships with parents’; ‘our hands are tied’; and ‘targeted support for additional needs’. Five main themes were constructed for EPs: ‘starting school is key’; ‘Year One: a highly significant transition’; ‘anxiety’; ‘collaborative approaches to support’; and ‘an evolving role for EPs over time’. The findings are discussed and a range of implications for EPs working in early years settings and schools are described.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdPsy)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 July 2019
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2019 12:12
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/124065

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