We present to you the second newsletter of the project Good Start to School, which is coordinated by the publishing house Nakladatelství Dr. Josef Raabe s.r.o. It is an international European project Erasmus+, which falls under Key Action 2 (KA2), with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary as participating countries. Our partners comprise the branches of the publishing house Dr. Josef Raabe in Hungary and Slovakia, Masaryk University in Brno and elementary schools and kindergartens in the participating countries – namely Kindergarten Maršovice, Kindergarten Čtyřlístek in Prague, Kindergarten and Elementary School Plzeň Božkov, Kindergarten and Elementary School Jan Amos Comenius in Bratislava and Kindergarten Fasori Kicsinyek in Budapest.
The main aim of this project is to improve the quality of pre-school education and care. We would like to achieve this improvement in particular through improved communication between the school and the family and through facilitating the transition from kindergarten to elementary school. As the name of the project suggests, it is our goal to prepare for the children as smooth a transition to elementary school as possible. The main outputs of the project are:
All the project outputs are now in the phase of testing. The newsletter will allow you to take a peek behind the curtains…
The basis of the cooperation between the school and the family is the manner in which information is provided to parents about the progress and results of the education of their child, the manner in which parents react to this information, and whether the school and the parents cooperate on the development of the child, which should be the interest of both parties. Teachers are responsible for establishing contact with the family. Through their activity, they significantly influence the quality of the relationship and of the cooperation, as well as the manner of communication, its contents and course.
According to the Annual Report of the Czech School Inspectorate (2015), kindergarten teachers provide information to parents mostly in direct contact at regular teacher-parents meetings, in everyday face-to-face communication when they arrive with the children and when they come to pick them up, informally at events organized by the kindergarten and through the website of the kindergarten. Telephone and electronic communication is also very popular. Consultation hours are offered by 46.7 % of kindergartens, which, although it represents significant progress, is still a weakness in the area of immediate communication between the school and parents regarding the results and progress of the child’s education.
The central topic of the guidebook for teachers is the diagnostic and evaluation tool PREDICT (PREschool Diagnostic and Communication Tool), which we consider an important tool for the provision of information about the child, and well as “evidence” that should allow for high-quality communication between the kindergarten and the parents. Its sensitive use builds on the diagnostic professional competences of the teachers, and on their skills and ability to communicate acquired information regarding the results of education to children, parents, and other professionals, if necessary.
The evaluation tool PREDICT deals with the ten following areas:
The evaluation tool PREDICT was designed with the following objectives in mind:
The practical guidebook was drawn up by its authors with the intention of supporting communication between the kindergarten and the family. Part of the guidebook is a presentation of the diagnostic tool that is used by teachers to record information about the child. Information recorded using this diagnostic tool is supposed to support the quality of the cooperation between the kindergarten and the family, but mainly to improve the quality of the education process toward individual support for every single child.
The authors are convinced that communication between the kindergarten and the family forms an important part of pre-school education and care.
This is just one of the reasons why it is important that both parties be informed about the methods, procedures and sense of the individual steps while using the PREDICT diagnostic tool.
In spring 2017, another international project meeting is scheduled to take place, this time it will be held in Budapest. At this meeting, we will be evaluating the results from the testing of the project outputs. As soon as the testing phase of the project ends with the end of the school year, it will be the authors’ turn again to incorporate the results of testing and update the project outputs.
Presentation of the Good Start to School project can be found:
Follow our outputs, support the authors and give us feedback on how successful we are in meeting our goals!
We wish you a merry Christmas, and good health for the upcoming year 2017!