The University of Edinburgh, UK Supporting migrant and BME children’s transitions to primary school

This study will investigate the transition experiences of migrant and black and minority ethic children (BME) and their families in one large urban setting in Scotland. It will develop understanding of the challenges faced by this group of young children as they transition from early years to primary school. It will explore the approaches used to lessen these challenges, with specific attention to how Froebelian principles are used by specialist transition workers, nursery staff, and primary school teachers in their work with these young migrant and BME children. The findings will address a significant gap in our understanding of the transition needs of migrant and BME children and will shed light on approaches used to supporting transitions for this group and the extent to which they reflect Froebelian principles. The study will be conducted over one year, commencing in January 2017. A mixed methodological approach will be employed, involving: participant observation of a specialist transitions service for migrant and BME children and their families during their transition to primary school, play based interviews with children and interviews with their parents/primary care giver post transition to primary school, observation of and interviews with specialist transition workers, and interviews with nursery staff and primary school teachers. The study will work within guidelines for ethical research involving children and will ensure that participants are well supported and sufficiently informed in order to ensure informed consent. The study findings will be shared through a range of knowledge exchange events, targeted at relevant stakeholders including children and their families, early years workers, teachers, social workers and policy makers. Findings will also be written up in a short briefing for practitioners and parents/carers and in at least two peer reviewed journal articles.

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