4.3. Vocabulary ability upon entry to primaryschool and in Primary 6 Before considering which factors may help or hinder a relative improvement in languageability, it is worth exploring the relationship between the two measures of vocabulary ability used in the analysis – that is, the measure obtained around the time the children started primaryschool, and then when they were in Primary 6. As shown in Table 4-2, we see a strong relationship between the two standardised scores, with around 17% of the variation in standardised vocabulary scores in Primary 6 explained by the variation in scores at the start of primaryschool. In other words, a substantial proportion of the differences in children’s expressive languageability at the time they are in Primary 6 appears to be explained by their ability around the time they started school. This also indicates that children’s languageability at primaryschool entry is closely related to their ability towards the end of primaryschool. Nonetheless, the proportion of variation explained is not as large as has been found in some other studies (see e.g. Goodman, Gregg and Washbrook, 2011), and a rather large proportion of the variation in language skills at the time children were in Primary 6 does not appear to be explained by their earlier ability – at least the way it is measured here. On this point, it is worth bearing in mind that the analysis uses two different measures of expressive vocabulary, something which (despite the use of ‘standardised’ scores, as outlined in section 2.2) is likely to have introduced higher levels of uncertainty in the analysis than if the exact same measures had been used at both time points. Even with this caveat, however, the results suggest that although children’s expressive languageability around the time they start primaryschool appears to play an important role in explaining their level of ability towards the end of primaryschool, other factors are also important.
The GrowingUp in Scotland study offers a unique opportunity to consider a range of important issues related to early years policy on supporting parent-child activities and improving children’s early language development. Using data from the two birth cohorts, born six years apart, this report has considered changes in the frequency and nature of parent-child activities and in children’s languageability. In particular, the report has examined whether known social differences in both of these aspects have changed over time and what may have influenced such change. In addition, data from the second birth cohort was used to measure parents’ engagement with aspects of the Bookbug and PlayTalkRead initiatives – for Bookbug, receipt and use of the initial Bookbug packs; for PlayTalkRead, whether parents had accessed the website. This makes it possible to assess the penetration of these particular aspects of the initiatives amongst parents with young children in Scotland. It also allows us to see how penetration varies amongst parents with different social characteristics. Finally, it allows us to assess the extent to which engagement with these programme
So far as change in vocabulary ability is concerned, maternal age shows some difference in impact across different educational groups. In the main model, maternal age was not statistically significant, although the relationship between having a mother aged under 25 and change in ability was negative. However, the interaction results suggest that there appeared to be some positive effect of being a younger mother in the lower educational group. This is likely to reflect the temporal nature of the qualification data in that younger mothers are, by the very fact that they are younger, considerably less likely to have had the chance to obtain qualifications at further and higher education levels. Thus lack of
Although private nurseries tend to have lower quality ratings than LA nurseries, type of pre- school provider does not have an independent and significant impact on child development outcomes. This seems at odds with the findings that care and support grade is significantly associated with a positive changes in development. We may assume that because the care and support grade of LA primaryschool nurseries is consistently higher than that for private providers, that children attending primaryschool nursery classes would show a greater improvement in their vocabulary ability. To explain this apparent anomaly, it is important to remember that the analysis has shown that there are some socio-economic differences in the type of pre-school children attend. Children attending private pre-school provision are more likely to be from households with a higher income, more highly educated parents and live in the least deprived areas. Earlier analysis of GUS data (Bradshaw, 2011; Bromley, 2009) showed that children from these more advantaged backgrounds have better development outcomes even before they begin their pre-school education and that these better outcomes can be explained, in part, by differences in their experience of a rich, home learning
In relation to conduct problems, the results of the revised model suggest that children who live in stable lone parent or repartnered lone parent families, those with poorer general health and those who have experienced harsh discipline are all at a greater risk of their conduct problems increasing in the pre-school to primaryschool period. In contrast, parents of children whose mothers are non-white, who live in higher income households and/or who experience higher levels of parent-child social interaction are more likely to report a lower conduct score at age 5 compared to age 3. Analysis in section 4.4 showed that difﬁculties with emotional symptoms were particularly likely to have developed in the pre-school to early primaryschool period. Findings here suggest that the presence of siblings and living in a higher income household can protect against the development of such difﬁculties in this period whereas having poorer general health and multiple delays in early motor development are associated with a greater risk of developing emotional difﬁculties. Ethnicity continues to affect difﬁculties with peers. Children with a non-white background are at a greater risk of developing peer problems during the pre-school period, as are those children with early language difﬁculties and those who experienced fewer visits to households with other children. It is possible that the language difﬁculties present earlier have persisted to some extent amongst these children making it more difﬁcult for them to interact with peers and to form friendships. A lack of early social contact with other children may also limit a child’s ability to
The table illustrates a number of notable findings. First, neither household income nor parent’s level of education have an independent relationship with perceptions of school readiness. Instead, after controlling for these dominant socio-economic characteristics, the key factors associated with perceived school readiness are the child’s pre-school experience, and their cognitive and social, emotional and behavioural development around the time they enter school. Irrespective of social background, children who demonstrated average or above average cognitive ability and those with no social or behavioural difficulties were more likely to have an average or above average school readiness score. Cognitive and social development are two aspects often used to define school readiness as noted above. This finding indicates therefore, that whilst the school readiness items used in GUS did not directly measure the child’s ability or development in these domains, parental perceived readiness is closely linked to the child’s cognitive and social development. Such connections may also explain why those children who were younger than 5 and older than 5 years 6 months (and thus had been deferred) at the point of entry were less likely to receive an average or above average readiness score.
Furthermore, the increase in the amount and flexibility of ELC is a feature of the Scottish Government’s emphasis on, and aim to shift the balance of public services towards, early intervention and prevention (Scottish Government, 2007a; Scottish Government, 2008). Rather than being seen as a separate stage, the pre-schoolyears are viewed as part of a wider learning process. In policy terms, this view has been exemplified in the development of the 3-5 curriculum in the late 1990s as well as in the inclusion of the pre-schoolyears within Curriculum for Excellence Early Level (Kidner, 2011). As an example of this, the ‘early level’ of the Curriculum for Excellence spans both ELC and Primary 1 and is designed to make the transition to primaryschool as seamless as possible. Teachers (as well as ELC practitioners) are encouraged to meet the needs of children through active, hands-on and play-based learning. This means that children are able to benefit from less formal, alternative learning environments – for example, outdoor settings and/or other forms of activity – which may bear more similarities to ELC settings or play-based learning (e.g.
Good early communication ability was also more important for children whose parents had no or lower educational qualiﬁcations. The data suggested that amongst the lower education group, those children who were reported to have better communication and language skills at 22 months were more likely to show an improvement in vocabulary over the pre-school period. This ﬁnding suggests that by assisting children from at risk groups with their communication development from the earliest possible stage would continue to have beneﬁts to their language development throughout the pre-schoolyears, and possibly beyond. It is imperative, however, that this intervention occurs as early as possible in order to inﬂuence emerging language skills at 22 months and is undertaken as a preventative rather than reactive measure as our ﬁndings suggest that it is particularly difﬁcult to address existing language problems for children in this group in the pre-school period. Preventative policy is necessary because other research has indicated that disadvantaged parents are less likely to have the knowledge and skills necessary to detect early developmental delay. Furthermore, research on GUS data (Mabelis and Marryat, 2011) also shows that parents in more disadvantaged
• It was also found that the incidence of ‘risk’ (measured by low cognitive scores in relation to national norms) was reduced from one third to one fifth over the pre-school period for the sample of pre-school children in the study, suggesting that pre-school itself has a significant positive impact on young children’s cognitive outcomes. Some types of provision appeared to be particularly beneficial. This conclusion was supported by analyses of data for ‘home’ children (pupils who had no pre-school experience before starting primaryschool). Analyses for the main EPPE study (reported in EPPE Technical Papers 8a and 8b) show that, even taking into account the important differences in background between the ‘pre-school’ and the ‘home’ sample, the ‘home’ sample have significantly poorer scores in Pre-Reading, Early Number Concepts and Language development when starting school. We might expect that this group of children would make more progress than the pre-school group in the first years of primaryschool as they catch up. However, this was not found in the analyses of cognitive and behavioural gains over the first two years of primaryschool. This suggests that additional intervention may be needed to help such children to catch up with the pre-school group.
ance can be transformed within the distributed lead- ership perspective to have even greater impact. An example of this is school counselors working with math teachers and a media specialist in one school to incorporate more direct advocacy for student suc- cess. In this case, the school counselors and math teachers worked together to develop ways to incor- porate the use of specific data to encourage a posi- tive “mindset” for achievement and success for all students. These school counselors joined the math teachers in their classes to share statistics with stu- dents regarding how education affects lifetime salaries in order to encourage a higher degree of aca- demic motivation and understanding of course rele- vancy. These interactions transformed the formerly mundane procedure of simply presenting course signup sheets for students to complete. Next, the school counselors worked with the school’s media specialist to provide the students with training on Web sites that gave students opportunities to explore data related to the income earning potential of various occupations. Each leader in this informal team brought his or her own unique skill sets and perspectives that were then “stretched” over the dis- tributed leadership goals.
The standardised scores for each of the sub-tests have a mean of 50 and standard deviation of 10, and the scores are bounded between 20 and 80. A child whose standardised ability score is equal to the norming sample will have a score of 50, a child with a score of 40 has an ability score one standard deviation below the mean score of the norming sample, and a child with a score of 60 has an ability score that is one standard deviation above the norming sample. Because of differences in the content of the BAS-II and BAS-III assessments, the BAS-II scores for BC1 need to be adjusted before they can be compared with the BAS-III scores for BC2. This was done using information supplied by the assessment authors. Note that, because of this adjustment, it is not possible to convert differences in average cognitive ability scores to developmental age in months, as has been done in a previous GUS report (Bradshaw, 2011). The mean standardised scores on each assessment for each cohort are shown in Table 5.9. As the data show, children in BC2 had a slightly higher vocabulary score than children in BC1. This difference is statistically significant. There was no difference in problem solving ability. As noted above, whilst children in each cohort undertook different editions of the BAS
Figure 4, however, shows that although the majority of mothers reported their children were positive about school, there were differences by mother’s level of education. Mothers with higher levels of education were less likely to say that their child was frequently reluctant to go to school or complained about it than mothers with lower levels of education. Only 8% of mothers with degree-level education said their child complained about going to school more than once a week compared to 17% of mothers who had Junior Cert level education (or less). Figure 4: 7/8 year olds’ attitudes to school (expressed more than once a week), reported by mothers with the lowest and highest levels of education
This report uses data from the GrowingUp in Scotland study (GUS) to explore the prevalence of, and many issues related to, non-resident parenthood in Scotland specifically in relation to young and very young children. GUS is a nationally representative longitudinal child cohort study funded by the Scottish Government. The study, which was launched in 2005, is following two cohorts of differently aged children through their early lives and beyond. Findings in this report are based on data from interviews with the cohort child’s main carer across the first three years of GUS. Although this report uses data from across the three sweeps, most of the detail on contact is taken from sweep 3, at which point data is available on 4193 children in the birth cohort (who were aged about 2 years and 10 months at the time of the interview) and 2332 children in the child cohort (who were aged about 4 years and 10 months at the time of the interview). Interviews for sweeps 1 to 3 were carried out between April 2005 and May 2008. 1 GUS does not ascertain the
Prior qualifications and school background: We find that students who had already obtained a degree prior to registering for a medical degree are significantly less likely to drop out, by around 2.4 percentage points, compared to a student with A-levels only. For the purposes of this comparison, we assume that the student with a degree had similar A-levels to those students getting into a medical school with only A-levels. This is a remarkably strong effect. It suggests that the creation of post-graduate medical schools could well have a beneficial effect on progression, ceteris paribus. The marginal effect on Highers shows that, compared to an A-level student, these students are around 2 percentage points more likely to drop-out in the 1990-92 cohort group, whereas in the 1998-2000 cohort group this effect is much smaller.
Parents and children were both asked questions measuring educational aspirations. Children were asked whether or not they wanted to stay on in education after they turn 16. Parents were asked how far in school, further or higher education they would like the child to go, with response options ranging from obtaining National 4 or 5 qualifications to attending university. Parents could also say they didn’t really mind.
Opportunities to learn literacy skills and continue to develop proficiency in their first language contributes to a stronger sense of identity and a stronger first language base on which to build proficiency in EAL. As children deepen their knowledge of their first language and learn to use it for cognitively demanding tasks they develop linguistic proficiency common to all languages. Providing bilingual learners with the opportunity to learn a third/fourth language adds to their intellectual and cognitive development. They will bring to the learning of this language, all the skills developed during the learning of their first language and English – listening skills, the ability to compare syntax and vocabulary in different languages, the importance of pronunciation and most importantly the value of taking risks in using the new language in order to become proficient in it. Even when an EAL learner is a beginner in English, and lacks confidence is speaking in English, he or she may feel able to contribute in the classroom when all the children are beginners in the new language.
norm in secondary schools. In some cases, it is worth considering in primary schools.’ The document presented a case study of a primaryschool which implemented setting for maths. The school reported significant benefits from the practice: it focused the range of attainment within a class; it reduced the pressure on teachers; it enabled teachers to maintain appropriate pace and challenge, and to make good use of whole-class teaching. The White Paper also set out national targets for raising standards: by 2002 80% of 11-year-olds were required to reach standards expected for their age in English, and 75% in maths. Schools were also required by law to undertake baseline assessments of all children entering primaryschool, in the basics of language and literacy, maths and personal and social development. These assessments were to be analysed by LEAs to help schools measure children’s subsequent achievement.
Permission was obtained from the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Catholic Education Office to approach all schools in the eastern region of Sydney (some thirty coeducational primary schools) to send entire classes to the VEC. A flyer was sent describing the VEC science excursion and age-appropriate eye examina- tion, inviting Years 1, 3 and 5 particularly to participate. The group of 1,936 children examined came from the eastern suburbs along the southern beaches of Sydney, and may be thought of as randomly selected with little likelihood of bias to the data as individual classes were free to respond. Children were drawn from twelve govern- ment and non-government primary schools and one pre- school and attended the clinic only once. During the 1996 Australian Bureau of Statistics census 14,785 children aged 4 to 12 years were recorded in this region (Randwick and Waverley precincts of Eastern Sydney) who came from a very broad range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds present, where 37 different languages might be spoken in the home . This was reflected in the chil- dren attending VEC. Census data indicate approximately 9% of the children in the current study were likely to be of Asian origin , a figure supported by our interpretation of family name for each child . Participation in the eye examinations was typically well over 90% for each class, with teachers reporting non-participation to be predomi- nantly due to illness on the day. Less than 3% of parents intentionally prevented participation, even if eye care had previously been sought. This particularly high participa- tion rate was largely due to the attraction of a an age- appropriate student-centred hands-on science lesson about eyes and vision  delivered alongside the eye examination.