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“I thought it was going to be really cool but actually it was a bit boring”: Children’s perceptions of the transition from Foundation Stage (Maternelle) to Year 1 in an International School

Wilders, Charlotte (2016) “I thought it was going to be really cool but actually it was a bit boring”: Children’s perceptions of the transition from Foundation Stage (Maternelle) to Year 1 in an International School. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Research across different international contexts has identified how social, physical and pedagogical changes influence children’s early educational transition experiences. Concerns have been raised regarding children not being ready for these changes and thus undergoing a negative transition experience, which can impact on future learning and well-being. This study aims to gain a deeper understanding of children’s perspectives of the educational transition they make from a Foundation Stage setting to Primary School (Year 1), in an English section of a European school in Brussels. I employed a case study approach, utilising the following multiple-methods, interviews, drawings, photographs, small world play and tours to enable the six child participants to recall and explain their transition experiences. I again used interviews to gain the perspectives of the children’s parents and the teaching staff who were involved in this transition. Findings indicated that whilst the children talked positively about this transition they expressed negative feelings towards changes related to discontinuity in pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning, and towards the rules governing their new environment which influenced their perception of classroom ethos. The children related identified changes to their responsibility to adapt, and the negative feelings were strongly associated with the desire to belong; in other words they wanted to belong and were aware that in order to do so they must adapt to meet the demands of these significant changes. The conclusion revealed that current policy privileges a ‘child ready’ approach to transitions; that is, it is the children’s responsibility to adapt in order to be ready. Whilst the children did manage to adapt and conform they still desired more continuity of familiar experiences and expressed concerns associated with changing demands. The recommendation was thus made that policy makers and educators should search for solutions to minimise challenging changes by considering how schools can adapt to be ready for children.  

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.714304
Depositing User: Mrs Charlotte Wilders
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 13:17
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:40
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16830

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