to wonder if children are cognitively ready for the demands of the new curriculum?

(128 Posts)
kim147 Tue 09-Jul-13 07:35:32

So the new curriculum is out. High expectations in maths and English. Thing is though - are these expectations too high for your average 5 year old / 6 year old - or is saying that a part of a problem of low expectations?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23226339

Understanding of numbers to 100 - some will and some will struggle as their brains just find this concept too difficult.

And if your child does not meet these expectations - will they be failing or just a child who is not quite their yet?

Pantone363 Tue 09-Jul-13 07:45:51

The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

5/6 years olds knowing their 2,5,10 times tables

Back to reading aloud in class (embarrassment is such a good teaching tool)

When's the next election?

isitsnowingyet Tue 09-Jul-13 08:02:08

Hope it's very soon for the next election, as Gove is a megalomaniac and needs to be stopped!! Some kids in reception are learning their numbers ie 1 to 10 - so what's the rush? In other European countries, they don't even start school until 6!

Times tables? At 5? Good god some kids are only just getting started on counting past 20. I knluwbthey have lots to learn but they are still only little there's only south they will take in. Fine if there's able kids in the class that can have this as extra but I doubt there's any hope of the whole class learning it.

Sirzy Tue 09-Jul-13 08:21:41

This worries me as DS starts school September 2014 and from what I have seen all this new curriculum will do is remove any enjoyment from learning.

What happened to individuals? I am all for pushing children but that has to be within their ability, and I struggle to see how anyone but the very brightest 5 year olds could grasp such concepts.

I would much rather see a move towards a more play based curriculum for the whole of ks1, but this appears to be the polar opposite.

CarpeVinum Tue 09-Jul-13 08:22:08

The thing is, if they want Singapore's high maths standards, shouldn't they be importing the whole programme rather than picking bits of it ? It's quite specific, I was going to use it with DS when we HEed for a while, but found it hard to get my head around in terms of teaching, so didn't.

Reckon to import teachers wpuld require some training to become familiar with it.

And I think the cultural aspects have to be facotred in too. High standards can carry specific costs in terms of pushing, motivations, sanctions and time lost to pure play. Have those been observed, measured for cultural suitability and "childhood" cost ?

This ac. year gone is the first year my son has been in British education. Admittedly you don't have to try too hard to look good when compared to the Italian system, but I have been blown away by the quality of the existing programmes of study and the teaching stratagies.

I'm so happpy with it I tap dance sometimes.

Don't fuck it up now I am actually enjoying his schooling rather than being reduced to puddle of stress by it !

Please!!!

Oh and news reports showing kids playing Minecraft at school is no help at all in my push for moderation on that front while DS bounces up and down going "look! look! it's bascially homework mum !"

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 09-Jul-13 08:26:21

I am glad the expectations are high. Neither of my children are especially academic but I want them to be pushed.

Sirzy Tue 09-Jul-13 08:28:09

The problem is pushing too much too young can do a lot more harm than good. As young as 5 it is as much about encouraging a love and enthusiasm for learning as anything else.

BalloonSlayer Tue 09-Jul-13 08:29:09

Hmm well maybe a bit too high but I was hmm in the extreme to hear that the maths target for my DCs' schools' reception was that they would be able to count up to 10 by the end of it. Surely most 3 year olds can do that?

I'd certainly welcome a bit more of a challenge for the children.

Sirzy Tue 09-Jul-13 08:31:33

The problem is balloon that depends on what they come in able to do. Some children come into school with no academic knowledge at all, some struggle to grasp things so for them being able to count to 10 would be an achievement.

That is why targets need to be personalised based on the ability of each child to ensure they are pushed but within their current ability.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 09-Jul-13 08:32:33

In every Y1 class I have taught we have done fractions.

MrsMelons Tue 09-Jul-13 08:36:05

The trouble is that the expectations are very low at the moment, there is little scope for challenging the children who are academic and even children like my DS2 who are pretty average IMO are way above average as can count to 10 etc when starting school. The expectation for end of YR was numbers to 10 or 20 and very little else (this is in a school in the top few in the LEA)

I don't think 5/6 yr olds generally struggle with 2,5,10 times table, most of them can count in those in Y1 so not a massive issue IMO. I think learning through play all the way through KS1 would not suit all children and would certainly hold back children capable of more. DS1 suits a more formal learning but DS2 is definitely better with learning through play however I think it is important for DS2 to become used to more structured learning in Y1/2.

I don't think it is about being 'pushed' but about ensuring the scope is there for children of all abilities, I would worry about the fact children would be labelled below average when would have been average before but as long as schools/teachers teach to the individual then it shouldn't be an issue.

katykuns Tue 09-Jul-13 08:36:34

My daughter has already found the transition from reception to y1 difficult, her confidence was shattered and her behaviour poor because she couldn't handle the pressure. She is getting to grips with things only now in y2 with a brilliant nurturing TA and enthusiastic teacher. I really will consider removing her from school and home educating her if this pressure gets any worse. I feel that the endless assessments and formal learning attitudes have had a detrimental effect on her educational attainment. I equally DREAD DD2 starting school, and she is only 14 months!

RobotBananas Tue 09-Jul-13 08:37:57

Are some children in reception really still learning 1-10? confused

noblegiraffe Tue 09-Jul-13 08:40:02

Doing fractions in Y1 isn't an issue. Understanding what is meant by a half, quarter etc is very important. Lots of concrete examples with shapes and pizzas and manipulation.

Giving a 5 year old the calculation 1/5 + 2/5 = 3/5 isn't teaching them understanding of fractions. It's rote learning of arcane (to them) rules.

hermioneweasley Tue 09-Jul-13 08:40:41

It's a difficult one. Our children will compete in a global marketplace and education needs to prepare them for that. I understand what Carpe says about you probably need the whole system, including parents who value education and have high expectations.

I waiver between wanting my kids to enjoy their childhood, and researching Mandarin tutors for them!

Panzee Tue 09-Jul-13 08:42:24

RobotBananas very few.

MrsMelons Tue 09-Jul-13 08:53:11

katykuns - that is awful and why it is so important that the schools teach to individuals in an appropriate way. Making standards higher should not affect this if the teachers are good but unfortunately the pressure put on teachers may hinder this.

In DS2s class there are children who are challenged a lot as they are capable and need it but DS2 is not very confident so they ensure he is not pushed too much but work on the confidence side of things with him as that is what he needs.

CarpeVinum Tue 09-Jul-13 08:53:26

including parents who value education and have high expectations.

That sounds so positive. But having lived in Asia...it didn't always look positive in practice. It was often draconian.

I'd deffo be returning to home ed if the "pastoral" side involved in acheiving those sorts of results became part of the package. I don't know if those kinds of results are even possible unless you are prepared to lean very hard on children and swipe huge chunks of their free time and make study their only prioriity.

Has anywhere imported bits and bobs of Singapore Maths, sans the "pastoral/parental" attitudes aspect and made a sucess of it ? Cos I thought it was falling out of favour somewhat even amoung the charter schools in the states that had fallen in love with it about five or six years ago. Still seems to be popular with homeschoolers over there, but it is a lot easier to build intensity into homeschool and still leave time over for kidness, cos of the one to one aspect. So don't think any demostrable gains in that area are relevant to an import into mainstream ed.

AnAirOfHope Tue 09-Jul-13 09:02:01

Im a bit worried about the age targets and the fact most schools are failing currently with a lot of grade 3 schools in the area. I also think that these changes require alot of parent support, a lot of work for the children at home and not every child has that. If the teachers are looking at more challenging work the basics could be forgoten.

The posatives is more IT and computer programming which I think is so needed in schools.

I would like to see more science in y1 and reception.

CarpeVinum Tue 09-Jul-13 09:02:55

Neither of my children are especially academic but I want them to be pushed.

Well do that then.

In all the countries with high levels of sucess the magic by and large does not take place at school. It is the parents seeing academic sucess as part and parcel of their responisbility, even when it is a case of DESPITE the school.

I know the frustrations of a crap system and poor practice better than most. I've been in a state of unarmed combat over here for years. But unless it is in you to fight for a better education, provide the stimulous, support, space and resources (which don't have to cost any money) all the political tinkering in the world won't make any real difference for your child.

And extension work is easy peasy for a parent to provide. It's when you are trying to catch them up and stop them falling behind even further that the issues begin. Which won't improve by merely lifting the bar higher and then expecting magic to happen.

I'd like to see international seminars and think tanks made of teachers from all over the place sharing the realities ofmtheir classrooms with each other, using classroom recording, personal experience realting and sharing of student/parent perspective. The whole picture, not just a temp. and u fpunded love affair with bits and bobs in somebpdy else's programmes of study. Then maybe we'd get somewhere by lettingn the professionals at the coal chalk face get a better idea of how differening elements mesh and which elements are deserving of greater priority within their own education culture.

MiaowTheCat Tue 09-Jul-13 09:05:10

Haven't looked at the full details of it - but I vividly remember teaching fractions of a shape in the simple terms of halves and quarters to Y1 on my final teaching practice - and that would have been a good decade or so ago (it was just after the original numeracy and literacy strategies had come out and got bedded in).

Mind you - I taught a Y6 class once who had no fucking clue about equivalent fractions (this lot had ridiculous gaps in their knowledge with the most surprising things) - just couldn't get it at ALL until I brought two cakes in - cut one into halves, one into quarters and told them they had the choice of one half of one or two quarter bits of the other - which one would get them the most cake... cue them looking at me like I was daft because they were the same. Penny dropped... cake eaten... they'd just had people banging on abstractly about fractions for years, never done anything practically and it hadn't clicked into place for them at all because of that!

bumbleymummy Tue 09-Jul-13 09:10:51

Some children will be fine and others will struggle. It's pretty much impossible to find something that will suit everyone.

I think counting in 2s,5s and 10s is an achievable thing for most five year olds. Tbh I think a lot of people underestimate what their children are capable of.

ToomuchIsBackOnBootcamp Tue 09-Jul-13 09:13:59

I am just sooooo glad I live, and Ds is educated in, Scotland. <unhelpful> Ds had a NQT last year, who was lovely, from down south, who basically implied (off the record, overheard) she sought out a job up here to get away from all Goves mad ideas and a future of utter upheaval in teaching. Yes our Curriculum for Excellence has many flaws, and there will be many changes to secondary school soon, but at least it's done with some levels of co-operation and understanding of the ideals involved.

Gove is a nutter.

lurcherlover Tue 09-Jul-13 09:19:29

Gove needs to worry less about the curriculum and more about tackling social deprivation.

DH is a primary school teacher. He works in a nice school in a leafy suburb. Reception kids come in being able to count to ten, write their names, plenty can read simple words already. He did teaching practice in a really poor school, high percentage of FSM etc. Loads of reception kids couldn't actually speak in sentences - he was genuinely shocked. He used to compare their ability to speak to our two-year-old. These children had to be shown how to turn the pages of a book, because they'd never been read to. For them, I imagine leaving Reception being able to count to ten would be an achievement.

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