To think nursery age children don't need to be "school ready"

(226 Posts)
adsy Thu 03-Apr-14 09:08:11

Beyond being toilet trained, able to put on shoes/coats and recognising very simple numbers and shapes.
Head of OFSTED says that nurseries and childminders are failing children as they are not getting them school ready. he thinks there should be more structured learning for 2 and 3 year olds.
I am a childminder and see my role at that age is to ensure children can sit attentively for a few minutes, can use a knife and fork etc.
As it happens, I do also make sure I do lots of reading/ number games/ colour recognition etc. but I disagree that this should be in a structured environment as he suggests.
He says the good nurseries are those attached to schools, dismissing the thousands of excellent nurseries and childminders around the country.
I think that children already start school very young and if they only start to learn simple arithmetic at 4 yo, then so be it.
2 and 3 yos should be learning through play, the word structured fills me with dread in relation to what are essentially toddlers.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 05-Apr-14 18:12:17

Tanith I don't think it will realistically happen, you need money and resources to provide the facilities. 10 hours for infant and primary xhikdren and toddlers to be at school, your having a laugh

Tanith Sat 05-Apr-14 17:47:18

Unfortunately, Aeroflotgirl, the Ministers refuse to answer all those questions so we don't know. Liz Truss gave a fair idea of her strategy when she took part in a Mumsnet webchat a while ago: ignore, divert and privaricate and bulldoze on regardless.
2 year old provision within schools was first publicly mentioned in Liz Truss's More Affordable Childcare report. The Government also invited organisations interested in providing it to apply around the same time.

People were so pleased they "won" the ratios argument that they didn't notice the remaining proposals being slipped through. We haven't heard the last of those ratios, either.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 05-Apr-14 17:33:36

Aeroflot/Tanith. Pretty much all Belgian schools offer those facilities. Rooms/beds for naps. School building open 7.30 - 6.00 or 6.30. From age 2.5. This does not mean that all children are sat in classroom from aged 3 being force fed reading and writing. In fact, formal education does not start til the year they turn 6. Kids actually have fun, you know. There is structured, teacher led learning by people with a teaching degree in early years education. I know this is not for everyone, but it gives a degree of flexibility practically unseen in the UK system, and my experience has only been positive.

ebwy Sat 05-Apr-14 15:31:51

still reading through the thread, but need to reply to

The difference when a child has been to a good nursery/childminder and those who haven't, is astounding. It puts them at a HUGE disadvantage. If you can't hold a pencil/crayon, listen for a few minutes, follow an instruction, go to the loo on your own, you are at a HUGE disadvantage.

my 3 year old is in the school's nursery class
He could do all the above, recognise his numbers & letters and tell you what they were "that an A, that 3..." before he got there. Bilingually.

He can now write them all (badly, but can.) We're currently working on phonics and starting simple addition but he doesn't see it as working or learning, we just have fun and do books and win stickers according to him. We do crafts and "make messes" too. He made a hat recently.

NONE of that was taught in nursery, and with an intake of children every term, I don't see how it can be.

I taught him that after nursery, when his little brother has a nap. Nursery is more or less his social life while actual learning goes on at home.

so I'm afraid you are wrong. His nursery hasn't taught him anything except how to interact with other children (which is the only reason he's there anyway, I know I could homeschool his early years and ks1 easily enough, ks2 I'd need to buy some books first).

He's never been to a childminder and started nursery when he was 3 not before (though I could have sent him to the sure start one had I chosen to).

oh, and we're an "underprivileged" family with disabled & mentally ill mother and currently unemployed father, so what's-his-face's theory about those with money's children doing better doesn't work out either.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 05-Apr-14 14:39:28

It is unrealistic to expect any child of infant/primary level to be at school for 10 hours

Aeroflotgirl Sat 05-Apr-14 14:33:42

Tanith if that so it will fail flat on it's head. Will schools provide facilities for these 2/3,year olds to nap if needs be. Will they provide long breaks in the day so that 2/3 year okds can rest and unwind. Unless tgey have the staff and facilities and think about tge logistics very carefully, there is noway a toddler/preschooler can realistically be in school for 10 hours learning shock. That is absurd! Schools are not childcare facilities and are nit geared to cater for toddlers!

Tanith Sat 05-Apr-14 09:04:53

No, Olympia, what the Government and Ofsted are talking about is to have school for 2 year olds, opening from 8 until 6, in order to provide cheap childcare. In order to do this, they are blaming nurseries and childminders, claiming that we are failing by not having children "school ready" - that claim is not only wrong, it flies in the face of child development knowledge.

There is already provision for these disadvantaged 2 year olds: the Government just won't fund it properly. It's easier and cheaper to claim that the current system isn't working so they can force children into school at alarmingly young ages, despite the Early Years sector repeatedly telling them it's a bad idea.

hippo123 Sat 05-Apr-14 00:08:05

Indeed Olympia. A lot of you seem to be thinking about 2 year olds. What there actually meaning is 3/4 year olds about to start full time school who don't have the necessary skills to begin learning to learn. It's easy to think that severe neglect and abuse doesn't happen, but sadly it does. It's these children the government are trying to target, and with good reason.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 05-Apr-14 00:02:52

That is sad Olympia and yes there are children who come from very neglected homes, but also the parents would not give 2 hoots about these 10 objectives either, probably throw tge information in the bin, yes school has to fill the gap where parents do not.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 05-Apr-14 00:00:39

I have just read the list, some of which ds can do but there is 2 year gap between 2 and 4, yes I would expect a 4 year old to do all of these things, but not a 2/3 year old.

OlympiaFox Fri 04-Apr-14 23:59:40

Of course two isn't four, the point is the government is trying to teach children these skills from the age of two so that they're ready by four, not that they should have them already. I thought you meant that your child didn't recognise his own name verbally, that's what the government is referring to, they're not expecting them to recognise their written name. I have a teacher friend who's come across a couple of kids who were so neglected they didn't respond to their names because their mothers always referred to them as 'little shit' or similar and barely speaking because they were never properly spoken to, it's that level of neglect that the government is targeting.

usualsuspectt Fri 04-Apr-14 23:54:15

I wouldn't have wanted any of my children to start any sort of formal learning until they were in reception.

Even then I wasn't concerned if they couldn't read or write.

usualsuspectt Fri 04-Apr-14 23:49:13

I don't think many children never hear their own name.

If you have never met a toddler who doesn't know their own name then what exactly is the problem?

Aeroflotgirl Fri 04-Apr-14 23:47:44

Yes but 2 s not 4! Yes my ds can recognise his name verbally when I call it but not written, I would not expect that at 2.3 years. That is what foundation is for! What do you do with children starting school who have always stated at home and no nursery r pre school!

Aeroflotgirl Fri 04-Apr-14 23:44:44

Here here usual, I thought that is what nurseries or pre school be about.

OlympiaFox Fri 04-Apr-14 23:43:44

Aeroflotgirl; my child is perfectly normal and any normal child should have, at the very least, the ten basic skills listed by the age of four, most will have them much earlier. Babies know their own names ffs, I've never met a toddler who didn't recognise their own name. Unless your child is deaf or has serious learning difficulties, they will recognise their name unless they never hear it.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 04-Apr-14 23:43:04

Exactly, even at 3, that is what foundation or reception is fr, to prepare Chidren for year 1. A few months is a lot of development for a young child. Most Toddlers do not have the skills or development to handle school readiness. That schould be done in reception, like it was when I started school.

usualsuspectt Fri 04-Apr-14 23:42:14

Nurseries should be fun places, not bloody hot houses for government targets.

usualsuspectt Fri 04-Apr-14 23:40:04

2 year olds are still babies ffs.

usualsuspectt Fri 04-Apr-14 23:38:57

2 year olds should be no where near ready for school.

ladygagoo Fri 04-Apr-14 23:38:57

My DS is 19 months old. When he starts school he will have been age 3 the week before. (birthday is 29th Aug). I have been worrying about whether he will be ready etc for a while but I can't help thinking that I am wishing his life and babyhood away.
It all just seems so rushed, his needs aside, I want to enjoy him and nurture him at home for as long as possible without this pressure, I doubt we'll have another baby. I just find this whole debate thoroughly depressing.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 04-Apr-14 23:36:14

I totally agree usual, at 2 they are babies, nowhere near ready for school and should not be expected of them.

usualsuspectt Fri 04-Apr-14 23:34:31

3/4 year olds need to play. Not tick boxes on some government check list.

usualsuspectt Fri 04-Apr-14 23:32:30

Good for you and your 2 year old.

Well done!

Aeroflotgirl Fri 04-Apr-14 23:31:28

I went to play group at 3, and used to make models out if toilet roll cartons and painting, as it should. This was 35 years ago and standards were very good.

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