Following a consultation held earlier this year, and with the upcoming expansion of Early Learning and Childcare, the Council’s Education Committee agreed to change Primary 1 starting hours to a full day from the first day of term in August 2019.
Parents of young children across East Dunbartonshire were asked to complete an online survey in September and the Council received 1031 responses. The results showed 58.7% of parents opted to change to a full day start for Primary 1 pupils with 41.3% opting for the status quo.
Convener of Education, Councillor Jim Goodall, said, “From the feedback it was apparent that parents had a number of different reasons for being for or against changing the short day start for Primary 1s. Parents of children at full-time nursery raised concerns about confusing children with a shorter school day and many working parents highlighted difficulties with childcare arrangements during the short day start."
Over recent years steps have been taken to ensure a smooth transition from nursery to primary school for young children in East Dunbartonshire. Play based learning entitled ‘Play2Learn’ was introduced in 2016 and is now being rolled out across primary schools.
The approach aims to allow children to better access the early level curriculum at their own developmental stage, introduce greater challenge to the more able learners and give more uninterrupted time to the learners requiring it.
The Play2Learn approach is delivering learning and teaching that is allowing children to attain and achieve across the curriculum, specifically in literacy, numeracy and health & wellbeing.
Councillor Goodall continued, “Having considered the views of parents and teachers and with the upcoming extension to early years provision, it was agreed that children in East Dunbartonshire should start their primary school experience full time from day one."