This research is a qualitative case study which sets out to examine

This research is a qualitative case study which sets out to examine the perception of what is deemed as a successful transition. The early years of a child’s life can influence his/her educational outcomes and life chances. Through consultation with early year’s practitioners/teachers/parents/carers nationally, the study aimed at reviewing the importance of keeping parent/carers involved throughout a child’s transition, capturing their thoughts, feelings and experiences and understanding from reflection what improvements / enhancements would support parents/carers during their child’s transition period. It was evident from participant responses that factors such as; the need for clear, concise and transparent communication and the sharing of key information were paramount in ensuring a successful transition. Parents wanted their children to be happy and safe and to succeed, so co-constructing transitions with parents in a positive climate and sharing goals, values and expectations all found to support a child’s transition. The study also revealed the implications in children acquiring effective transitions and the demands/barriers that early year’s practitioners/teachers face in settings/schools in supporting this transition.IntroductionThe rationale and my motivation for this research study has come from my own professional experience as an early year’s practitioner managing a committee run charity pre-school. Prior to this I worked with an early year’s team for over 7 year’s in the attached mainstream link school in both Nursery and Reception classes and previously as a childminder.Young children are faced daily with negotiating a series of pathways, transitions and border crossings during their early childhood. First hand I have witnessed increasing tensions between settings and schools and from parents not being involved/supported through a very important transition in their child’s life. This led to my interest in understanding what more could be executed to support a child’s transition from an informal setting into a formal school provision. Research has shown that parental involvement in a child’s early education and care experiences has significant long-term benefits and can ultimately improve a child’s educational and developmental outcomes (DFES) 2002, DFES 2003b, Sylva 2004, DFES 2005, Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) 2007. I have chosen to look at the transition that a child embarks on when they reach 4 years of age whereby, they leave a pre-school/nursery setting and move into full time education within the reception year and whether enough support is received by parent/carers. In addition to this, any lessons that can be learnt in settings/schools for future successful child transitions. For many years I have been heavily involved in preparing children for this transition and understand that it is a huge step and can be stressful for both the child and their family. It is also evident that this is an even bigger step for children with EAL, SEN and/or those with additional needs and it is apparent that different settings and professionals all have their own particular ideas on what works best for them and that many settings/provisions have multiple barriers to overcome. By adopting a mixed methods approach, my research investigates the issues relating to transition and how my findings show how the transition experience could be greatly improved to enhance the smooth continuity between pre-school/nursery and the reception year at primary school. I also review current practice, research and explore the sharing of good practice consequently recording some successful practices/innovative approaches for which settings can use and build upon.This study is framed by the following research questions:1. What is meant by a transition?2. Why is it important for parent/carers be involved in a child’s transition?3. What/Why is information sharing key to a successful transition?4. What are the barriers to a successful transition?5. What is seen as a successful transition? Literacy ReviewMethodology:Brymann (2011) in Vansom (2014), researchers use this method of data collection in situations when the research area has no right or wrong answer as it depends on the people’s personal views or situations then the answer may always differ. Research using the interpretive method involves questioning participants regarding their personal interpretation of events within their own professional and personal environment (Brymann, 2011 in Vansom, 2014). Due to the nature of my research it is deemed that the study will be conducted in a way that practices the interpretive method. The favoured methods of data collection when using the interpretive method is that of interview and observations with the aim of collecting qualitative data (Denzin and Lincoln, 2008). Flick (2002) in Denzin and Lincoln (2008) suggests many researchers use multiple methods in obtaining the answers to their question. As this can further validate the results. He refers to this as triangulation. Triangulation is described as when the researcher uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods for the purpose of their study (Roberts-Holmes, 2018). Quantitative methods involve the collection and analysis of data collected from a sample population. The preferred data collection method for quantitative research is surveys. However, interviews and observations can be used too (Creswell, 2014). Morgan (2014) suggests that the mixed method of research practice has grown in popularity over the past few years. He continues to suggest, that when a researcher chooses to use a mixed method this will strengthen the accuracy of the results.To achieve the sample size and area of choice, I chose to produce an internet survey to post to potential participants. Cohen (2018) explained that internet surveys have the benefit that it can reach a much larger and wider selection of samples. In addition to this it is a considerably quicker method compared to paper surveys that would need to be posted out and then returned, therefore, data can be analysed as a quicker rate. In contrast to this, Guest (2016) suggested that internet surveys also pose the problem that the participant may not fully understand the intended survey and data collected may not be wholly accurate. However, I have also chosen to use the mixed method of data collection, based on the aim of the study. This provided me with a detailed analysis of professional’s opinions as to how to best support children from pre-school’s/nurseries as they transition into the reception year. The questionnaire I produced gave the participants the option of not only rating the questions on a scale of importance but will also give the opportunity for the participant to state their opinion, beliefs and findings within a comment section. This method of data collection gave me the opportunity to analyse participants individual experiences in order to build a case.

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