The Children’s Thoughts about School Study (CTSS) aimed to examine children’s own priorities for their educational experiences, in an effort to enrich the knowledge we already have about preparing children for the best start in school. The CTSS was part of the Preparing for Life (PFL) evaluation, which tested the effectiveness of an intensive parenting programme in promoting the school readiness of children living in a socioeconomically disadvantaged community. Few studies before this have attempted to incorporate what is meaningful to children themselves, when developing programmes that aim to improve children’s school readiness.
In the CTSS we spoke to 4- and 5-year-olds from Dublin, Ireland and asked them to:
- Feeling able and enthusiastic for school
- Knowing how to navigate peer interactions
- Having supportive environments with opportunities to play
- Strong links between school and family