independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Helping schoolkids to take 'Little Steps'

MAKING THE TRANSITION TO SCHOOL EASIER

A PROGRAMME to help make the transistion to school easier for children was launched at DkIT recently.

The 'Little Steps to Big School' programme aims at building closer links between preschools and primary schools, making it easier for children to move into full-time education.

It is a joint initiative between Louth County Childcare Committee, DKIT and Louth Leader Partnership.

Isolde Gavin, Programme Director of Early Childhood Studies at DKIT expressed her delight at the college's involvement with the project:

' The Early Childhood Studies students in DKIT had the opportunity to get involved in learning in real world settings across communities in Louth. By developing these resources from the perspective of the young child, they have greatly enhanced their understanding of the needs of young children as they take their Little Steps to Big School. Hopefully, they have created something of value to the schools that facilitated their work. Those creative ideas can also be adapted easily by other schools and services to meet the needs of young children'.

' Louth Community Childcare welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively with Louth Leader Partnership, DkIT Childcare Providers and Primary School staff to develop the Little Steps to Big School transitions project', said Claire Woods, Coordinator of Louth County Childcare Committee. ' The resources developed for the project are designed to allow them to be used by any preschool or school who may be interested in doing so'

Louth Leader Partnership's Education Coordinator Hugh Doogan said:'' The transition to primary school is perceived to be one of the most important transitions in a child's life and this project gives those working in pre-schools and indeed in Junior Infant classes the resources to support them in this.

Extensive consultation took place with the childcare services and the schools who were involved with the pilot project in developing the resources and materials and comprehensive training was also provided. The materials were used in the pre-schools from February to June 2012 and during this period an evaluation was carried out by a number of Early Childhood Studies students from DKIT. It was a real collaborative effort'

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