PTLT explores the role that arts based experiences can have in supporting a positive transition to school. School readiness and the transition to school are much written about and debated in education policy and guidance (Early Years Foundation Stage, DfE, 2017), and education research (OECD, 2006; Kagan, 2007; Brown, 2010; Pacey, 2013). PTLT aims to open thinking and discussion about these ideas of school readiness, prompting teachers, preschool educators and others involved in early childhood education to think about what readiness means to them?
PTLT took a ‘social pedagogic’ idea of school readiness as a starting point to explore how arts based interventions can support the development of children’s social and emotional skills in preparation for starting school. It shares the perspective that supporting school readiness involves working with multiple partners, including children, pre school and school based educators, and where possible, families. The structure of the project is based on the idea that in order to support school readiness we need to understand the complexities of children’s learning processes and use this knowledge to create ready schools and classrooms.
In particular PTLT was concerned with developing a better understanding of children who might be considered vulnerable during this transition, or at risk from not being ready to access learning in a school environment. This focus on vulnerable children reflects a wider concern, recognized at local and national levels, that significant numbers of children find this transition a challenging experience which can affect their learning in primary school and beyond.