New Entrant Teacher Survey

Dear Teacher

I am a student in the UCOL School of Photography, Arts and Design, Palmerston North. As part of my study I am undertaking a research project that sets out to investigate illustration as an educational tool for new-entrant school children.

To achieve this, part of the project is to determine the perceptions of primary school teachers about child readiness for starting school and any resources that may be useful for teachers and pupils during the transition into a new entrant class.

Participation in this survey is entirely voluntary. You will be asked to complete a brief survey that will take approximately 25 minutes to complete. Completion of the survey implies that you consent to take part in the study.

Responses collected will form the basis of my research project and the basis for a report. All responses will be analysed on an anonymous basis. Only my supervisor, Andre Te Hira and I will have access to the data collected. All data will be stored securely and destroyed after a period of 2 years.

There may be survey questions that you are uncomfortable answering. As your participation in this study is strictly voluntary you are under no obligation to answer any questions that you are not inclined to answer.

The closing date for submitting the survey is  20 May 2017.

Should you require any assistance with completing this survey, please contact Penny on 0273533481 or send an email to
Alternatively you can contact my supervisor, Andre Te Hira on 952 7001 or email them at

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this research.

Penny Purdy
Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging
UCOL School of Photography, Arts and Design
Universal College of Learning, Palmerston North

New Entrant Focus – Teacher Questionnaire

  1. What year levels do you teach? How old are these children?
I am currently not teaching - as I am the Acting Deputy Principal.  I have direct responsibility for the junior part of the school this year, that is, New Entrants - Year 3’s.  
I have taught across a variety of year groups - the last 3 years have been with Year 5/6 children (9, 10 and 11 year olds).  Prior to that, I worked with new entrant children.
  1. What experience do you have teaching new entrant children?
I have taught new entrant children for about 7 years in total across my teaching career so far.
  1. In your experience, are most 5 year olds ready to start school?  Why or why not?
I think this very much depends!  Some students are ready, some are not.  This depends on a variety of factors - early childhood education, family background, oral language ability etc.  I think that the order of birth can impact on this too.  Often the oldest child in the family is reluctant and nervous - they are paving the way, not sure about what school is all about.  By the time the second/third child arrives at school, they know what school is all about - they have been there everyday before and after school picking up their older sibling.  They have seen the reading books come home etc… For these children, school is often like a second home, before they even turn 5.
I think that we are getting more and more children arrive at school who are not ready!
  1. In what ways is a child ready to start school?
This is a tricky question, as we take students from where they are and take them from there (and there is such a huge variety!)….but, it sure helps if…
Practically, they can…
  • Go to the toilet independently
  • Pack their bag
  • Dress/undress (when we swim!)
  • Put socks and shoes on
Children who are able to share their ideas, interact positively with their peers, etc

  1. How do the Key Competencies as outlined in the curriculum relate to this?
The Key Competencies underpin EVERYTHING we do - so are incredibly important.  Children who are able to demonstrate these flourish in their learning and life at school.
  1. How do you, as a teacher, help a child transition into primary school?
  • Get to know each child as quickly as possible - relationship is key!
  • Help each child to build connections at school - with an older buddy (who looks out for them in the playground) - with other children in the class who may share similar interests.
  • Build relationships with parents.  
  • We provide school visits prior to starting school
    • Jump Start - children are able to come to this programme before starting school.  It is an hour each week where they visit the library, issue a book, meet one of our NE teachers, spend time in a NE class
    • School visits - two visits.  The first is an hour, to get the idea of what school is all about.  The second is 2 1/2 hours, to spend an extended period at school including time in the playground.
  • At times (if in need of extra transition) we visit children in their Early Childhood Centres.
  • Practical things like ensuring children know where everything is - toilet, playground, boundaries of where they are allowed to go etc…  We practise getting back to our classroom from different places in the school.
  • Ensure children are informed - talk about what is coming up and what they can expect.
  1. How long does this transition take?
Different for different kids - on average, I would say 6 weeks.   Some kids, it is 1 week - others take more than a term.  Each child generally has a wobbly day or week at some point - this is usually about week 3.  
  1. Are there teaching resources that you use to aid this transition?  Describe.
Not specifically!
  1. Are there NZ specific resources that you use?
Not that I remember!

  1. Should there be NZ specific resources available?  Explain.
Yes, that would be great!  Something specifically for our school would be even better.
  1. Do you think there is a gap in the availability of resources for new entrant teaching?
For the teaching of the curriculum areas, I would say no.  For the teaching of soft skills - like key competencies, values, transition to school; yes.
  1. If so, what sort of resource would you like to be able to use?
Big Books are always good!  Or a digital resource.
  1. How important is it that such a resource consists of a visual element? ie illustration
Absolutely critical
  1. Considering a visual (illustrative) resource, what sort of imagery do you think 5-6 year olds relate or respond well to?
One thing that comes to mind is that children like characters they can relate to and who pop up through different resources.
  1. Do you have IT or digital resources available to use in your classroom?  Describe.
Yes!  As teachers, we have laptops, iPads and our phones.  We have a large screen TV in each room with an apple tv - so are able to put anything on our devices onto a big screen.
In the junior school, we have a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of devices for our students to use.
Every child has a Seesaw blog where they can post learning.  Parents get a notification on their device everytime there is a new post.  Feedback can be given instantly - either orally or written.
  1. Have you thought of ways technology could be used for new entrant transition that is not available to you yet? Explain.

  1. Do you have a ‘dream list’ of resources that you would love to be able to use in the classroom? What’s on that list?

  1. Anything else you’d like to add or ask?

The researcher would greatly appreciate your consideration to be part of a focus group and/or your availability for feedback on product development later this year.
Please note your contact details below if you would be willing to participate.

Many thanks for taking part in this questionnaire.


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