An investigation into the value of the school readiness programme offered by the reception class.
In this research an attempt was made at establishing the value of the Reception Class programme. Bridging the gap between home and school has received a lot of attention in the past decade and although numerous suggestions have been put forward, a pattern of hit-or-miss has developed. This research aims to present a suggestion of successful entry into the formal phase of education for every child, regardless of colour, at a much lower cost for both authorities and parents. In an attempt to determine the success of the Reception Class programme, three measures were used: the First Grade Screening Test (AGS), the HSRC Test for 5-6 year olds and as a qualitative measure a questionnaire completed by the class one teachers of the school where the Reception children entered the formal phase of education in 1990. Results of these tests showed that the Reception Class programme was the most successful in achieving a high level of school readiness and on all three measures these pupils did significantly better than their peers who had attended pre-primary schools, crèches, day-care centres and those who had come straight from home. An analysis of test items showed that the Reception Class pupils had excelled in areas involving concentration and listening skills, fine muscle control and application of knowledge. The HSRC Test for 5-6 year olds showed evidence of well developed problem solving skills and a sound knowledge of mathematical language. Although the sample as such was found to be sufficient, a limitation of this study is the fact that all four the Reception Classes could not have been included in this research.