You are reading the fourth newsletter of the Good Start to School (GSS) project, which is 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 include the branches of the Dr. Josef Raabe publishing house in Hungary and Slovakia, Masaryk University in Brno, Kindergarten Maršovice, Kindergarten Čtyřlístek in Prague, Kindergarten and Elementary School Plzeň Božkov, Jan Amos Comenius Kindergarten and Elementary School in Bratislava, and Kindergarten Fasori Kicsinyek in Budapest.
The outputs of the GSS project facilitate the social-emotional development of the child in kindergarten for the entire duration of its attendance, with emphasis on an easy transfer to elementary school. They also allow for better communication between the kindergarten and parents, who can this follow the progress of their child.
A new version of the project outputs s currently being prepared based on the feedback on their last version. What are the new outputs of the GSS project going to be like?
Its appearance will correspond to the practical requirements, so that the document would be usable for the entire duration of the child’s kindergarten attendance. It will allow for a more flexible record-keeping of the child’s progress in line with the reference of the respective teacher.
Connection to practice will be strengthened, practical examples and pictures will be added, for instance regarding illustrative samples of portfolios that document the development of the child.
Predict and Teachers
Teachers at the partner kindergartens are currently continuing to test the outputs and evaluations of the social-emotional development of the child using the PREDICT evaluation sheet. They are discussing PREDICT and its position among the diagnostic materials used. Teachers are also working to a larger extent with the electronic output of the project, which – among other things – allows for the monitoring of progress across the entire class, and for the identification of the areas that need further development. In one of our partner kindergartens, these results in electronic form, which allow for a quick comparison, helped parents decide whether or not to postpone the start of elementary school for their children.
Predict and Teachers
Our partner kindergartens are continuing to introduce to parents the evaluation of their children using the PREDICT tool. They discuss the outputs of our project with parents mainly at parent-teacher meetings, where they explain how evaluation is carried out, and what benefits it brings. The feedback that we received from our partner kindergartens suggests that parents consider the PREDICT evaluation tool helpful. They particularly appreciate the possibility easier to follow the progress of their child, and thanks to PREDICT to define the areas of their child’s social-emotional development that need to be developed further. Last but not least, PREDICT contributes to a greater appreciation of the teacher’s work by the parents.
Kindergarten teachers also started to introduce the outputs of the GSS project to the parents of children who are about to start their kindergarten education. This way, the project was introduced to parents at Kindergarten Maršovice at the occasion of the open-door day, at at Kindergarten Vřesinská in Pilsen, where it was presented directly on registration day. Parents are also reminded of the kindergarten’s partnership in the project by posters that are located on premises accessible to parents.
We try ti use all available occasions to introduce our project and its development to the teaching public. At Kindergarten Maršovice, the GSS project was brought to the attention of the participants of a meeting of kindergarten directors with the representatives of the Ministry of Education. Even though the objective of the meeting was mainly to discuss legislation and economic topics, the director of Kindergarten Maršovice introduced the project to the representatives of the ministry, who found the project very interesting.
The GSS project was also presented at education seminars provided by RAABE - “School Maturity, School Readiness, and How to Tackle Them”, or at seminars where teacher from partner kindergartens presented their contributions. A number of participants at these seminars expressed their interest in the PREDICT evaluation tool, as they do not have at their disposal a good diagnostic tool for the area of the social-emotional development of the child. Teachers mainly appreciated the emphasis on the evaluation of the social-emotional capabilities of the child, which a large number of them consider to be under-represented in comparison to the evaluation of cognitive skills. A number of teachers expressed their interest in participating on the testing of the outputs of the GSS project that are currently being prepared.
Although the summer break is almost here, there will be no break for the participants of the GSS project this time. Our goal for the summer is to prepare all the outputs of the project for the next stage of testing. After all the proposed changes have been implemented, and the outputs have been translated to the languages of all partner organizations, the outputs will be type-set in a new graphic design and printed in sufficient number, which will allow for testing on a broader spectrum. Involved in the testing will be not only the kindergartens that are already included in the project, but also tens of kindergartens that expressed their interest in helping test the project outputs.
The Good Start to School project is presented through the following channels:
Follow our outputs, support the authors, and give us feedback on how successful we are in meeting our objectives!
Have a great summer break and enjoy your holiday!