Skolen – set fra børnehaven: Børns forventninger til og forestillinger om skolen.

København: Børnerådet.


The purpose of this study is to clarify how Danish kindergarten children envision basic school and their future schooling. The study investigates what the children look forward to, their considerations about school, and their concerns in connection with starting school.


The study shows that when the kindergarten children are asked about their expectations to school, they are concerned about social relationships as well as academic challenges. The majority of the children look forward to starting school and expect it to be exciting, fun and educational. Several children also stress the possibility of getting new friends. However, the study shows that 5% of the children do not look forward to starting school, and that kindergarten children can have negative expectations to school as well, for example that finding new friends will be difficult (13%), that going to school is difficult (34%), that they will be teased (30%), that the teachers are not nice (6%), that the teachers frequently scold pupils (26%) and that school is boring (26%).

The factors which seem to be most important for whether a child is looking forward to school are: whether the children think the teachers are nice; whether they think it will be easy for them to make new friends; or whether they think they will do well at school.

The study also shows that children who do not like kindergarten are more likely to have negative expectations about school. The difference between girls and boys is generally small, but a larger percentage of girls expect the teachers to be nice and to do well at school. A smaller percentage of girls expect the teachers to frequently scold pupils, and believe that they will behave badly at school.


The data material is based on a questionnaire survey among 966 children from 91 kindergartens in Denmark. The National Council for Children calls this group the "Mini Children's Panel". A total of 98.6% of the participating children are 5-6 years old, whereas the remaining 1.4% are 4 or 7 years old. The questions were answered at the kindergartens and were carried out individually. The children had to answer a questionnaire on a computer. They answered the questionnaire individually and without any interference from adults, but an adult was present in case the child needed help. Moreover, 13 qualitative interviews were carried out with 27 children aged 5 and 6 years from two different kindergartens.


Børnerådet (2013). Skolen – set fra børnehaven: Børns forventninger til og forestillinger om skolen. København: Børnerådet.

Financed by

The National Council for Children