What you are about to read is the third newsletter of the Good Start to School (GSS) project coordinated by the Nakladatelství Dr. Josef Raabe s.r.o. publishing house. It is an international European Erasmus+ project that falls under Key Action 2 (KA2) with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary as participating countries. Our partners for the project are the branches of the Raabe publishing house in Hungary and Slovakia, Masaryk University in Brno, Kindergarten Maršovice, Kindergarten Čtyřlístek in Prague, Kindergarten and Elementary School Pilsen Božkov, Jan Amos Komenský Kindergarten and Elementary School in Bratislava, and Kindergarten Fasori Kicsinyek in Budapest.
The outputs of the GSS project help the social-emotional development of the child at the kindergarten during the entire time when the child attends the kindergarten, and emphasis is put on a smooth transition to elementary school. They also allow for better communication between the kindergarten and parents, who can then follow the progress of their child in cooperation with the teachers.
In the past months, the partner kindergartens have carried out thorough testing of the outputs of the GSS project, which are:
As all the participating kindergartens had already gathered a sufficient amount of experience and documents for the evaluation of the outputs, we got together for a meeting that lasted several days and that allowed us to discuss everything in detail.
At the end of March, we spent six days in Budapest, attending an international project meeting. The main aim of the session was to carry out the internal evaluation of the course of the project, to ensure mutual exchange of experience with the testing of the PREDICT tool, the Methodological Guidebook for Teachers, and of the Practical Guidebook for Parents, as well as to define the direction of the future development of all these project outputs.
What did we accomplish?
What did the teachers of the partner kindergartens say of the meeting?
“During the discussions, we obtained several inspiring ideas about working with children and parents that were presented by our colleagues from Hungary and the Czech Republic, and we gained a deeper understanding of the differences between the state education programs for kindergartens in Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.” (Jan Amos Komenský Kindergarten and Elementary School, Bratislava)
“The presentations and the exchange of experience with our colleagues brought up new topics for discussions, and new impulses for our work.” (Kindergarten and Elementary School Pilsen, Božkov)
The work and education meeting was significantly enriched thanks to a visit to our partner kindergarten Fasori Kicsinyek.
How did the participants like the visit to the Hungarian kindergarten?
“The meeting had a very pleasant atmosphere, which was further enriched thanks to a visit to kindergartens in Budapest. We got the chance to gain a deeper understanding of what preschool education looks like in Hungary… It is more calming and less stressful for the teachers, and for the children, as there are other educators working with the children in the group. What was inspiring for us was to see the gradual shift changes during the day.” (Jan Amos Komenský Kindergarten and Elementary School, Bratislava)
“I was surprised at the level of involvement of other specialized personnel, such as the psychologist, speech therapist and special-needs pedagogue into everyday work with children.” (Kindergarten and Elementary School Pilsen, Božkov)
The broader teaching public has been getting acquainted with the PREDICT tool and with the other project outputs. In the Czech Republic, an article about the PREDICT tool and the other outputs made the front page of The Teachers’ Newspaper (No.16, 2017), the project outputs are being presented to headmasters and teachers of kindergartens that participate in education seminars provided by RAABE, or in education events attended by the headmasters of the GSS project partner kindergartens. The reactions have been very positive, and they motivate us for future work on further development and testing.
By the end of June, the authors will have re-worked all the outputs in line with what was created through mutual consensus at the international meeting in Budapest. In parallel, the partner kindergartens will be working on the testing of the PREDICT tool.
After the summer holiday, the outputs will be ready in all language versions, and these new versions will be tested. Involved in the testing will be both the current partner kindergartens, as well as a number of other kindergartens. Thus, we will gain invaluable feedback from teachers who are not involved in the project. We are already looking forward to this stage, and we will naturally bring you detailed information about its course in due time.
The Good Start to School project is presented through the following channels:
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A pleasant spring to all of you!