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ERIC Number: ED502599
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Pages: 169
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
ISBN: ISBN-1-8447-8441-X
A Study of the Transition from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1. Research Report: SSU/2005/FR/013
Sanders, Dawn; White, Gabrielle; Burge, Bethan; Sharp, Caroline; Eames, Anna; McEune, Rhona; Grayson, Hilary
National Foundation for Educational Research
This study set out to provide an evidence base concerning the effectiveness of the transition from the Foundation Stage (which applies to children aged three to five years) and Year 1 (for children aged five to six). The study had two main aims: (1) to provide a solid evidence base about the effectiveness of the transition from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1; and (2) to improve understanding about how best to support children's learning during this transition. The findings suggest that there are some issues that present challenges for children, staff and parents during children's transition to Year 1: (1) Teachers said that they were able to manage the transition, but felt that some areas remained problematic. The biggest challenge was posed by the move from a play-based approach in the Foundation Stage to a more "structured" curriculum in Key Stage 1. The introduction of the full literacy hour and the daily mathematics lesson was identified as challenging because it was difficult to get young children to sit still and listen to the teacher; (2) School staff thought that children needed certain skills in order to make a good start in Year 1. These included being able to care for themselves and to carry out tasks without adult support, an ability to listen to the teacher and to sit still; (3) While staff thought that most children coped well with the transition to Year 1, certain children were identified as more likely to experience problems. These included children who were younger/less mature, were less able, had special educational needs or spoke English as an additional language; (4) Interviews with children highlighted the influence of the curriculum and pedagogy on children's enjoyment of learning. Children valued their experiences in Reception and regretted the loss of opportunities to learn through play. Some were worried by the workload expected in Year 1, found writing difficult and were bored by the requirement to sit and listen to the teacher. On the other hand, children enjoyed the status of being more grown up, and some welcomed the learning challenges presented in Year 1; (5) Parents wanted more information about transition. They wanted to know what would be expected of their children, so they could help them prepare for Year 1. They would have liked to meet their child's new teacher before the beginning of Year 1; and (6) The case-study schools had adopted a variety of strategies aimed at smoothing transition. These tended to focus on three areas: induction of children into Year 1, continuity of practice between Reception and Year 1, and communication between staff, parents and children. Appended are: (1) Search strategy and methods adopted in the literature review; and (2) Sampling characteristics of the telephone interviews and case-studies. The findings from this study indicate that the transition to Key Stage 1 does pose challenges for schools, children and parents. On the positive side, most staff felt they were managing the situation and most children seemed to be coping well with the move to Year 1.
National Foundation for Educational Research. The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2DQ, UK. Tel: +44-1753-574123; Fax: +44-1753-637280; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Foundation for Educational Research
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom