In 2010, Professor Fisher wrote Moving On to Key Stage 1 (Open University Press) about the transition of children from the EYFS into KS1. It examined what is known about how children learn when five, six and seven years of age, and what this means for the ways in which they should be taught in KS1.
But political times have changed, she argues. In 2010, schools were being encouraged to ‘build on’ good quality EYFS practice to ensure that children’s experiences as they made the transition to KS1 were smooth and seamless. Now, teachers are being urged to ‘get children ready’ for school and teachers report a KS1 curriculum influencing children in the EYFS rather than the other way round.
Professor Fisher is now writing a second edition of Moving On to Key Stage One, and wants to know about the pressures (if any) on Reception and KS1 teachers in 2019 and the impact these are having on children. To this end, she would like to invite Reception and KS1 teachers to complete a brief, four question (anonymous) survey about their experiences in order for her to address these issues in the new book.
If any of you work in schools where transition is positive and children maintain a balance of adult-led and child-led learning right through KS1, then she would also like to know the name of your school that so she can contact your headteacher. She is keen to include a new chapter in her book about how leadership affects the experiences of children and what gives some headteachers the courage to support a positive child-friendly transition for their children from EYFS to KS1.
Professor Fisher says, 'Transition should never be a shock! When children move into Year 1 they should find an environment where they are at home with how they are taught and motivated by opportunities to learn in their own self-chosen ways – just as they were in the EYFS. Children in KS1 learn in ways very similar to children in their earlier years, even in what they learn will be more advanced. Attempts to enforce learning that is entirely led by the teacher means that some children will find their day onerous and dull, will loose motivation and may start to feel failures because the things they were best at – creating stories for puppets, using their imagination in role play, designing complex structures in the block area – no longer have a place in their learning day.
'Every child in KS1 should have a chance to shine and thrive. Effective transition should be smooth and seamless for all children.'