From Preschool to School

Lapset koulutiellä

Starting school is a significant event for the child, the guardians, and the school personnel. In school, the child will be working with different adults than in preschool, and in order to maintain the continuum of development and learning support, cooperation between the family, preschool, and school is essential.

Transition to School

Starting school is one of the biggest changes in a child's life. The year in preschool education prepares the children for school by familiarizing them with school culture and teaching important skills that are needed in school. In Vantaa, the preschool groups work in cooperation with the elementary education by arranging events and school visits. Therefore, school becomes familiar to the child already during the year in preschool. Additionally, schools arrange introductory visits for preschoolers in May.

The first year in school forms a foundation for the whole education. During the first year of school, children develop a perception of themselves as learners and members of a group. In order to maintain healthy development, it is important for children to gain confidence in their own abilities to learn and get along with classmates and adults. Therefore, it is very important to ensure a successful transition to school. Studying in a large group with only one adult is a challenge for all children starting school. The aim of cooperation between preschool education and elementary education is to ensure easy transition from preschool to school.

EsKo Data Transfer Model from Preschool Education to School

EsKo data transfer has been developed to support children's transition from preschool education to school. EsKo data transfer is used in all Vantaa's preschool education places and comprehensive schools. During the year in preschool, the teachers observe the children in accordance with a consistent observation method. Through observation, the teachers gain important information on the child's learning abilities: What kind of learner is the child? What kind of teaching methods are beneficial for the child? What are the child's strengths? What kind of support does the child need? This information is utilized when preschool education is planned. Additionally, the information is utilized in the child's transition to school.

The data transfer from preschool to school is done together with the guardians in the spring semester of the preschool year. The preschool teacher and the guardians have a discussion about the child's preschool year and transition to school. The preschool teacher fills in the EsKo data transfer form to be sent to the school, and the guardians sign it. The aim of the data transfer is to ensure the child's easy transition from preschool to school and the continuum of learning support.

Some children need learning support that can be provided alongside with regular education. These children do not need an assessment of school readiness, but the required support is evaluated during enhanced EsKo data transfer. Enhanced data transfer is used with children who need practical support measures right from the beginning of school (for instance, children who react intensely to new situations and very shy children). Enhanced EsKo data transfer ensures sufficient support for the child's beginning of school. All data transfers are done together with the guardians.

Assessment of School Readiness and Need for Special Support

Children in need of intensive special support will be directed to the Flexibly to School process, with the guardian's permission. The process includes possible assessment of school readiness and planning of child-specific support.

The assessment of school readiness is done by the psychologists of Psychological Services or Family Counseling Clinic, school psychologist or psychologists working in special health care. Some of the assessments are purchased from private service providers. The assessment is necessary if the child needs to be placed permanently in a small group with a special education teacher (special support). The assessment is also needed, if the child's school entry needs to be postponed.

Postponed School Entry and Extended Schooling

Read more about starting school a year later or earlier on the Basic Education website.