Boereboom, J. & Tymms, P. (2018). Is there an optimum age for starting school in New Zealand?. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 21(2), 32-44.
Original Research Paper
Is there an optimum age for starting school in New Zealand?
John Boereboom* and Peter Tymms**
*University of Canterbury, NZ;
** Durham University, UK
Recent changes and reversals in school entry policy in New Zealand are a reflection of the widespread public and political debate about the optimum age for starting school. This raises the question whether there is an optimum age for starting school. The determination of readiness to enter primary school is a complex process. Identifying factors that contribute to a child's positive transition into school can help parents, teachers and the wider support network make a sound decision of whether or not a child is ready to commence primary school. This paper investigates the relationship between age, cognitive development and school readiness and concludes that at the national level there is no optimum age for starting school. The decision of when to start school is individual to each child.
Key words: Starting school, school readiness, optimum age, entrance testing.
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