In this way, parents from Kiel can make school enrollment easier for their children

cool.Lion can already count to 100, and Erik easily reads the word “exit” in the bus. Saying the alphabet is easy for the two daycare kids. Five-year-old Lion and Erik (6) are ready to go to school after the summer holidays. They are already looking forward to the start of school, the school cone and finally pocket money. But not all children look forward to the new phase of life with such great anticipation. And many parents are insecure. To facilitate the transition from day care to primary school, the city of Kiel has launched a survey among children and parents to find out fears, concerns and needs. Mothers and fathers can participate in the survey online.

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“It does not matter if it does not go well, but I’m still looking forward to school,” Lion says with a child’s refreshing honesty. In the summer, the five-year-old changes from day care institution Colorito pedico to Muhliusskolen. The goal of the city is for the Lion not to experience that something is not going well. “It can be a culture shock to go from daycare to school,” says Renate Treutel, head of the education department. “We want the transition to succeed right from the start and remove stumbling blocks.”

School enrollment in Kiel: It should be fun to learn right from the start

The motivation behind the city’s concern is clear: “If children do not enjoy school from the beginning, it will be difficult to learn,” says Treutel. In order for the coming 1st graders – around 1,900 children start school in Kiel every summer – to like going to school, the city now wants to know what moves the day care children before they start school – what they are looking forward to to what scares them, what they expect.

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“We want to involve those who are at stake more,” Treutel emphasizes. Therefore, children in twelve day care institutions are now being questioned by their educators, and the answers are being assessed by the municipal educational institute in Hamburg. A few weeks after school starts, the new 1st graders are asked about their first experiences in school.

Parents of first graders want better information flow

And the main characters are not only the children but also their parents. “Parents also have a lot of questions and uncertainties before they start school.” Treutel wants to know from them what they are thinking about and what the city, day care centers and schools can do better.

Anna Sellhorn-Timm, mother of six-year-old Erik, who is going to primary school in Suchsdorf this summer, gives an insight into the parents’ emotional world. “I sense a certain panic and madness among the parents. There are many uncertainties. ” According to Sellhorn-Timm, mothers and fathers want a better information flow. “What is the learning concept? What class should my child go to? What are the teachers’ names?” Children often know first thing in the summer if they are in the same class as their friends. “It is also important that children get to know the school before they start school.”

Renate Treutel: Small things can improve everyday school life

If the parents had the necessary information, the children could look forward to the first day of school more relaxed. “Kids need to be able to go to school without stress and worries,” Treutel says. Initial studies would have shown that even small things could remove the fear of the new phase of life. “There are children who feel uncomfortable before the first day of school because they do not know where the toilets are.”

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The results of the study will now be used to develop standards used in day care institutions – whether run by the city or privately – and in schools. One wish would be regular school visits or a visit by the teachers in the day care institutions. “But we also know it’s very time consuming,” says Franziska Berger, who heads the city’s education management department.

Exchange between day care children and school more than an “open day”

Claudia Peters, deputy head of Pädiko-Kita Colorito on Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, provides evidence of the time required for the previous exchange between future first graders and teachers that goes beyond an “open day”. “13 of our kids are starting school this summer, they are going to seven different schools.”

Parents can take part in the online survey, which takes about ten minutes until the end of June at www.kiel.de/kita-grundschule#umfrage. After the school year has started, mothers and fathers can also describe their experiences online. The publication of the results is scheduled for early 2023.

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