Post sponsored by

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Education Review Office

New research, published today, from the Education Review Office (ERO) has found that children starting school at the same time can have many benefits for children, whānau and schools.
Traditionally New Zealand children started school on their fifth birthday. Recently some schools have changed this to children starting school in scheduled groups.
ERO also found that starting in groups supported children’s wellbeing and friendships with other children. Nine out of 10 principals said cohort entry had a positive impact on child wellbeing and two-thirds of whānau thought their child’s friendships with other children were better with group entry.
In addition to this, both schools and whānau agreed that starting children in groups provided an opportunity to build strong connections between schools and whānau.
“Starting children at school in groups is something exciting that schools could think about as an option for welcoming children to school,” says Ms Shinoda.
“This could be particularly interesting to consider in the wake of the impacts from Covid-19. From our ongoing research on the impact of the pandemic on education, we know that teachers have been struggling with their workloads, there are concerns around student engagement, and that stronger connections between families and schools can make a positive difference.
ERO recommends that schools thinking about group entry consider their local community’s needs and context. To support those who may be considering group entry, ERO has produced some resources with key things to think about. These resources and the full research can be found on ERO’s website.