Shaping the transition from kindergarten to primary school

Interviews with pedagogical specialists

Term Paper, 2015

25 Pages, Grade: 1,0

Christina Stein (Author)


Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. "Transition"
2.1 Name and definition
2.2 Transition from kindergarten to primary school
2.3 The role of kindergarten and school

3. Methods part - Own investigation
3.1 Presentation of the interlocutors
3.2 Implementation

4. Shaping the transition
4.1 Basics
4.2 Transitional arrangement with the preschool child
4.2.1 Preschool programs
4.2.2 Picture books
4.2.3 Language, literacy and other precursor skills
4.3 Transitional design with the involvement of the school and the parents
4.3.1 Cooperation between kindergarten and school
4.3.2 Parent talks

5. Conclusion

6. End


1. Introduction

At the age of seven, and occasionally also at the age of six, most children are facing their first major change in life. The school entry is getting closer and closer and the last errands after backpack, bags and notebooks are done together with the parents. It is understandable that such a great event for the preschooler is the highlight of his young life. This is precisely why the child's current personal environment, his family and preschool institution, has an important role in the transition from kindergarten to primary school.

A successful start to school depends on a good transition process. This should be designed responsibly and child-friendly, especially from the point of view of the kindergarten and from the point of view of the pedagogical specialists. "The child has become a competent schoolchild if he feels comfortable at school, copes with the requirements set and makes optimal use of the educational opportunities for himself. One can assume that a successful start to school has a positive influence on the school career in primary school and beyond." (Griebel, 2010) In order to grant the child this positive influence as much as possible, an optimal transition process must be accomplished. 60 percent of preschool children show adjustment disorders at different times during the transition phase (cf. Beelmann, 2000). Whether this indicates the consequences of a flawed transition process is unclear. Even if experts agree that the transition from kindergarten to primary school is a drastic and important experience for the child, there are only a few studies in Germany about the design process itself. Therefore, findings or results on suitable and less suitable methods for transition design are also lacking. (cf. Hellmich, 2007) Accordingly, only theoretical assumptions and justifications are often used for this topic in the literature.

The present term paper takes a closer look at the transition process from kindergarten to primary school and focuses on the transition design on the part of the pedagogical specialists. The work consists mainly of a literature search and also refers to three interviews, which were conducted with pedagogical specialists from three different institutions. The aim is to get to know the ideas and implementations of the transition design and to compare them with the literature. The question that the following term paper would like to answer is therefore:

How do pedagogical specialists shape the transition from kindergarten to primary school?

In the following, the term "transition" will first be defined in more detail and a general insight into the transition process from kindergarten to primary school will be shown. This is followed by a short method section, which describes the procedure of the interviews and introduces the interlocutors. The main part, and thus the focal point of the work, deals with the design of the transition process and includes both current literature and the results of the interviews with the three pedagogical specialists. Finally, the final part should take up the most important findings again and draw a conclusion.

2. "Transition"

2.1 Name and definition

A transition, also known as a transition, is a striking change in a person's life that affects himself or his immediate environment. The start of professional life, new relationships or even the transitions from kindergartens to primary schools are decisive processes of change. (cf. Welzer, 1993) Thus, children, adolescents, adults and also older people are always confronted with transitions in the course of their lives. These take place in the private and professional areas of an individual and are positive or negative depending on the situation.

The accompanying changes in a transition present young and old with challenges that they have to overcome. In such phases, a person "leaves an old one and enters a new state. Such a transition is not simply an abrupt leap, it does not happen "all at once", but it has a temporal structure." (Bellenberg & Forell, 2013)

A transition process can infate fear or ignite a lot of anticipation and make you want something new. The development of such a transition always depends on the personal environment of the person concerned and how he or she helps shape and support the process. (cf. Griebel, 2008) The transition from early childhood to primary school is the first major step in a preschooler's young life. "Transitions in the German education system are decisive decisions for educational success, career entry and social participation. Therefore, coping with educational transitions has a significant influence on the educational biographies of children and young people." (Bellenberg & Forell, 2013)

2.2 Transition from kindergarten to primary school

For preschool children, as already mentioned, the transition from kindergarten to primary school is a big change. Experts assume that the children's entry into school is accompanied by enormous feelings. (cf. Faust, 2013) For the future primary school pupils, a whole new phase of life begins, in which they isolate themselves for the first time from their parents and become more independent. From the start of school, they face new challenges and experiences and become part of a new society. (cf. Jonkmann et al., 2010)

Although such a striking change is imminent, most children are looking forward to school. "They are curious and thirsty for knowledge, waiting impatiently to finally learn to read, write and calculate or to apply and present already acquired skills and knowledge" (Schorch, 2007). It is therefore, among other things, a task of the preschool institution and that of the educators to maintain this joy and to make the children self-confident and "school-ready" through good preparation. School ability is understood to mean "the sum of very specific behavioral characteristics and performance characteristics of a child, which it needs to perceive and take up learning impulses in the initial and the further school period and to use them in the sense of a learning debate, in order to accept and implement personality-forming (in the emotional, motor and social area) and content-related further developments (in the cognitive area)" (Witzlack, G., in Krenz, 2006).

A transition process is well done if a child feels emotionally and socially accepted after entering school and can cope with the requirements set (cf. Griebel, 2006). That is why it is important to design the transition in such a way that it offers the child the best opportunities to do so in its important phase. If the transition process to the beginning of school is not sufficiently and competently managed, this can have a negative effect on the future development of the child. "Successful coping strengthens the competence of children, while failure to cope increases the probability that subsequent transitions cannot be adequately mastered" (Hense & Buschmeier, 2002). In this way, all persons involved must be aware that the transition can have far-reaching consequences for the child's later life.

Twelve percent of the children show uncertainty and nervousness at the beginning of school (cf. Broström, 2003). Such disorders can lead to the fact that the preschool child can no longer apply what he has learned from kindergarten at school (cf. Griebel & Niesel, 2002). In order to avoid this, early childhood institutions and primary schools must be aware of the importance of the transition process for the child's development. Above all, it is up to the pedagogical specialists to carry this out in the best possible way in order to give the child all possibilities and securities.

2.3 The role of kindergarten and school

The task of the kindergarten and the school is to create a good basis for the child to ensure a successful start to school. This is best done when the institution and the school, together with the parents, are in constant exchange and thus help the preschooler to deal properly with changes and stresses. (cf. Akgün, 2007) The education and training plans of many federal states in Germany are increasingly receiving information and instructions on the transition from kindergarten to primary school. The fact that a child receives enough support in the institution and can thus develop further is only one of several requirements. In addition, the education plan also contains information on how the school and the kindergarten should cooperate with each other so that a successful transition can take place. (cf. Orientation Plan BaWü, 2011)

"The educational mission of the kindergarten includes the promotion of transition management skills and equips the child to be ready to become a schoolchild, while the school is responsible for the child becoming a schoolchild" (Griebel, 2010). Both institutions must be aware that the task of shaping transitions is to be taken seriously and that they must therefore also carry it out carefully. The pedagogical specialists not only have the task of promoting the children in the linguistic or mathematical areas, but at the same time they must also prepare them on the social level and strengthen their personality. "In a condensed form, the child has to learn to deal with uncertainty, with new people and spaces, with his own expectations and the expectations of parents and teachers. This requires social skills, frustration tolerance, self-confidence and the willingness to learn in a new group." (Akgün, 2007)

Among other things, it is up to the pedagogical specialists in kindergarten to make the transition as child-friendly as possible and at the same time to carry it out as school-preparatory as possible. In this way, they are to familiarize the preschool children with the topic of "primary school", develop strategies on how to best shape the transition and accompany the child throughout this time. (cf. Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 2012) In this phase, the educators - after the parents - are the closest contact persons for the child when it comes to the upcoming school entry. They are also responsible for the planning of learning and educational processes, as well as for the entire school preparation itself (cf. Freud & Roßbach, 2011).

Observing the development of the child and supporting it in the event of deficits is another important task of both institutions (cf. Akgün, 2007). The kindergarten and the school thus have a significant influence and at the same time also bear a great responsibility to make the transition for the child conscientious and child-friendly. "Educators and teachers aim, among other things, at promoting the basic skills and school-related predecessor competences of the children. But they also have a decisive influence on the moderation and communication of the transition process." (Akgün, 2007) It is largely up to them how well prepared the child feels at the end of the kindergarten period and how strong his anticipation or his fear of the start of school is.

3. Methods part - Own investigation

In addition to the literature sources, the present term paper also refers to the three interviews with the pedagogical specialists. For example, two kindergarten teachers and one kindergarten and one child and youth care home, as well as a childhood educator from a forest kindergarten, were interviewed on the topic of "transition from kindergarten to primary school". The questions were aimed at the design types, the value of the transition in the institution and the idea behind the implementation.

3.1 Presentation of the interlocutors

GS is 58 years old and works in a daycare center in Stuttgart-Münster. The institution consists of two crèche groups and a kindergarten group with children between three and six years of age. Since the daycare centre has only been open for almost a year, it does not yet have a clear concept and has not yet carried out many transitions (13).


Excerpt out of 25 pages


Shaping the transition from kindergarten to primary school
Interviews with pedagogical specialists
University of Education Weingarten
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
shaping, interviews, kindergarten, primaryschool
Quote paper
Christina Stein (Author), 2015, Shaping the transition from kindergarten to primary school, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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