Guest Editor Associate Professor Kenneth Poon
The transition from kindergarten to primary school is a huge milestone for both children and their parents. In preparing children for this, emphasis has to be given to the pre-transition period – namely the preschool years – when schools introduce and equip young children with the foundational skills such as creativity, independence and routines, to name a few, for primary school.
Local and international research have also shown that the preschool experience can significantly facilitate a child’s transition in various ways. This includes the academic, social and emotional aspects of the transition that children experience. The provision of quality support and structure can make a positive impact for these young children as they prepare for the “big move”.
However, for a holistic and successful transition to occur, there also has to be appropriate support at the other side. Primary school teachers play a significant role in receiving these children as they first step foot into the primary school scene. And it doesn’t just end there – parental support and involvement are also crucial factors that influence, to a large extent, the child’s ability and confidence to cope with the changes that occur during the transition period.
This issue of SingTeach delves deeper into the point of views of education researchers, kindergarten teachers, primary school teachers and of course, the parents as they share more about their experiences in supporting children before, during and after their transition period. We also feature one NIE research study that explores the links between children’s self-regulation skills and academic outcomes in Self-Regulation for Positive Schooling Experiences.
As a researcher, educator, psychologist and parent, it is only my hope that our Singaporean children experience a positive kindergarten to primary school transition that will facilitate their first steps into the formal education journey for many years to come. As every child will experience many transitions throughout their growing-up years, a successful kindergarten transition is one good step towards a successful transition for life!