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Internal News - 13 February 2008

Health psychologist advises council on starting school

Dr Julie Turner-Cobb from the Department of Psychology this week addressed a conference organised by Bath & North East Somerset Council on the issues surrounding the ‘transition’ to primary school.

Dr Turner-Cobb has investigated the stress levels of children as they move from pre-school to primary school. In research published last year she discovered that levels of the stress hormone cortisol were elevated several months before the children were due to start school.

She has also found that under circumstances where they felt a greater sense of social isolation, the more extroverted children were found to have higher cortisol levels at six months after starting school.

The conference, organised by the council’s Early Years & Extended Services team, is focused on the responsibilities of parents, carers and teachers in the transition to school.

The team hopes to use the conference to look at the issues surrounding transition to school in order to build a ‘transition toolkit’ that draws upon the good practice happening between early years settings, childminders, schools and other professionals.