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.

TheBookofRuth Thu 03-Apr-14 09:14:26

It's ridiculous, they're still babies to a large extent and should be allowed to be, not forced to grow up too fast.

I hate, hate, hate what's happening to education in this country. We should be helping children and young people to discover their talents and passions and inspiring a lifelong love of learning, not getting them into the system ASAP and cramming them full of information to be regurgitated on command as if they were fois gras bloody geese!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 03-Apr-14 09:15:59

Its complete and utter bollocks - have they never heard of experiential learning?

Mintyy Thu 03-Apr-14 09:18:22

Yadnbu. This gives me the utter utter rage! Why won't our stupid government look outwards to Europe and beyond on this issue? It really makes me feel almost despairing, truly.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 03-Apr-14 09:19:26

It's balls isn't it. He doesn't have a clue. He hasn't read the EYFS, he doesn't know what we already do with children, he doesn't know how children develop. We need to know:
- who are the children who start school 'not ready';
- which month they were born in;
- if they come from the social care system;
- if they come from disavantaged families/living below the poverty line
- have a disability/learning difficulty already diagnosed or diagnosed in later years.

I'm also a childminder and there is no way in hell that I will sit down and do formal learning with 2 year olds. I will:
- make mud pies;
- look for worms;
- play with carboard boxes (our main activity today);
- have teddy bear tea parties;
- read lots of books cuddled up on the sofa;
- have lots of discos;
- go out to the park.

End of. If any Ofsted senior manager wants to come to our discos I will send him a personal invitation.

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 09:22:24

I'm at a loss to know what has gone wrong to merit the need for all 2 year olds to be in school and all KS1 kids to be fed at school.

Are we all that poor at parenting,how many of us,when did it happen?

Yanbu. It makes me so angry and even more determined to home ed my children when I have them. Children need to be children. Why are we trying to put so much pressure on them so young? Other European countries do better than us educationally yet they don't start formal education until later, which is proof in itself that this is so ridiculous.

The cynical pay off me feels that by education ready they mean "able to sit still for long periods in quiet and do as they are told" and that they want more kids in classes from a younger age.

uselessidiot Thu 03-Apr-14 09:23:12

We were talking about this yesterday. The general consensus at work was that young children are being put under unreasonable pressure to achieve targets. This discussion happened in a group many of whom have child development qualifications.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 03-Apr-14 09:23:43

He said, more teacher led learning, not formal learning didn't he? The two things are very different.

All of those things you have listed could be the teacher ledlearning he is looking for, blueberry. Or they could be child led, depending on circumstances.

WaitMonkey Thu 03-Apr-14 09:24:26

Couldn't agree more.

adsy Thu 03-Apr-14 09:26:00

At my last inspection I was told 3 times that the emphasis now is on education of the child and how I am preparing them for school. This was in relation to the 18 month old who was with me that day.

juneau Thu 03-Apr-14 09:27:06

YANBU. Schools don't assume any knowledge of letters/numbers, etc when DC start reception. Of course, its very helpful to them if the DC know how to sit still and listen, and they have to be able to dress/undress themselves, go to the toilet unaided, use a knife and fork, etc, but academic knowledge is what schools are for - not the other stuff. Nursery, IMO, is for playing, crafts, learning social skills, and basic listening - to a story for instance. This new curriculum for pre-schoolers actually concerns me. When DS1 was at nursery they only did writing if they wanted to - no pressure whatsoever - but now DS2's nursery has a 'pre-school academy' with a uniform and a classroom shock I think its wrong!

This was a of criticism in ofsteds report for my DDs preschool. They visited in December and complained that many children - mostly 3 at the time - weren't ready for school. Fucking barking.

I have a lot of respect for childminders and what you do. I grew up with my mum and man childminding and always wanted to do it. Both left when they started putting a lot more emphasis on paperwork and observations. I'm a nanny and loosely follow the eyfs through choice but am happy to know that I don't have to, I don't think I could do childminding now, especially with the changes that they are trying to implement! I would love too when I have my own but the government and often are royally fucking early years around!

adsy Thu 03-Apr-14 09:27:52

Why do you need teacher led learning for toddlers?
this government hates home led learning and I don't understand why.
wouldn't surprise me if they banned childminders and home education altogether.

thebody Thu 03-Apr-14 09:30:56

totally agree.

by all means children should be toilet trained, able to use a knife and fork, able to follow and obey simple instructions, generally dress and undress themselves and be more or less socially cooperative.

that's school ready for a 4 year old. that's bloody ace for a 4 year old.

as a TA in year 1 I see children in the daily grind of numeracy, literacy, CVC words, the grind is endless.

they are 4 ffs.

all research proves we have it wrong in this country so why are we continuing down this path?

rabbitlady Thu 03-Apr-14 09:31:41

do children belong to the state? do we have a duty to make our children whatever a current government requires?

or should education and development be about the child's needs?

i am not against children being socialised. by the time they leave school they need to be ready to work. if they've had the kind of attention a parent who has time, a little money, and an enthusiasm for learning can give them, they start nursery/kindergarten with some knowledge and skills which set them up for learning effectively, so i can see why people might think its a good idea for everyone to experience that.

but babies are babies. toddlers are babies. little tiny children are babies. mothers and babies need each other, not structured learning.

ToysRLuv Thu 03-Apr-14 09:33:12

Absolutely bonkers! Ds is going to be nearly 5 when he goes to school next year, but still over 2 years younger than I was going to first grade in Scandinavia. His nursery (attached to school) teacher thinks it's madness, as well.

Aventurine Thu 03-Apr-14 09:33:12

He's not going to be happy until babies are sitting in rows doing rote learning is he?

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 03-Apr-14 09:34:14

I thought reception was about easing them into teacher-led learning and nursery was about learning to interact in a group and take responsibility for personal care to become more independent?

icclemunchy Thu 03-Apr-14 09:34:16

I was discussing this with my childminder this morning, the closest she gets to 'teaching' the children she has Is counting steps or look at that pretty red flower, what colours this one?

I send me 3yo to try childminder so she can have fun and play with other kids. Not so she can be ready to sit gcse's at 7!! What's so wrong with letting children be children, there's plenty of time for them to learn when they're older

They don't want individuals, they want robots who can be programmed to do what they are told.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 09:35:25

Once they've got all the 3yos lined up and reciting the times table, they'll be angsting about newborn babies not being "nursery ready". And then it will be about foetuses (presumably lower class foetuses, from one parent families) not being "baby ready".

Our excellent and highly trained CM (every certificate in the book, that woman!) got her only less-than-perfect comment from Ofsted because she was not providing enough IT provision for a 3yo. The CM thought (and we all agreed with her) that the 3yo would be better off playing in the sandpit.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 09:35:46

I think the press are blowing this out of proportion.

I've just heard the head of Ofsted speaking on Radio 4. He actually said school ready was things like being able to go to the toilet, doing up shoes, being able to listen for a while, knowing some colours/numbers, how to hold a pencil/crayon etc.

Just the things you talked about in your OP.

He also said that play was very important but that even 3 year olds need some structured play. I agree with this. That doesn't mean making them sit for an hour practicing writing. It means planning that "mark making" is included for every child, sometime in the day/week.

I think good childminders and nurseries do that anyway. He was specifically talking about some childminders and nurseries who don't do this.

thebody Thu 03-Apr-14 09:36:06

pixie I was a cm and loved my littie setting.

I had wall to wall pictures of the children doing cooking, picnics, gardening, topic work like going to the fire station, playing in the park, swimming, dancing, model making, painting, instruments,you name it we played it.

the Ofsted bloke barely looked at the room or chatted to the mindees.

he asked about learning journals and next steps.

we were actually enjoying the steps we were on.

gave up.

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 09:36:50

I do have a problem with nurseries for 2 year olds.I do think the abundance of young poorly educated staff will of course have an impact.

However I think kids being in their own home setting,with gran or a good childminder who have access to some good quality pre- school hours at 3 would have the best of both worlds.

I was a former teacher and then Outstanding childminder.Creating a home from home stimulating environment was my priority.Play,happiness and security was my biggest priority- I taught social skills,numbers etc by singing,modelling etc just like I did with my own children.They then went to the school pre-school at 3 for a few hours a week which I took them to and picked up from.All are doing very well and the vast maj of parents could provide the same themselves in their own home.

You don't need to stuff 2 year olds in an all day school nursery for them to be ready for school.My 3 would have hated it.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 03-Apr-14 09:37:17

I also want to know how many children who fall in the category of 'not ready for school' have been in commercial nurseries and registered childminders, as opposed to those who stayed at home with parents. I think he is barking up the wrong tree.

And RafaIsTheKingOfClay, as you commented on my post, Sir Michael Wilshaw wants to see 'greater emphasis on structured learning', which is neither teacher led play nor child led play, it's STRUCTURED LEARNING.

IncognitoErgoSum Thu 03-Apr-14 09:37:50

On Radio4, Michael Wilshaw said that 2yos need "structured learning". He did not go into details of what he meant by this (although he did mention independent toiletting). I'd love to watch him formally teach a 24mo to use a toilet... He obviously sees no difference between 24mo and 35mo (all are 2yo).

What percentage of 4-5yo start reception unable to use the toilet? How does that correlate with the list of factors provided by blueberryupsidedown? (And, BTW, correlation still does not imply causation - early years setting does not necessarily cause inability to behave as required in reception; the factors are interrelated and complex.)

blueberryupsidedown, I do agree with most of what you say but what do you mean about "discos"? I hope you mean dancing around to children's CDs, not flashing lights ...

Its a load of crap, and the 'fun' is being taken out of playgroups and preschools.

I am the chairperson of a preschool and recently had an OFSTED visit. One of our recommendations was to get rid of the indoor climbing frame and sticking table and have quieter, working tables instead.

Children should be able to look after themselves - take themselves to the toilet properly, be able to dress themselves, recognise their name, but beyond that, preschool should be about learning to socialise and interact with other children.

The problem is that there is so much stuff crammed into the foundation stage that most children need a head start.

And as Cory said, the inspector was quite astonished that we didnt have much ICT provision, bar one laptop and an Ipad which are put away after snack time. She suggested a bank of computers that would enable the children to have 'freeflow play'.

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 09:42:55

A bank of computers!shock

Yep. She suggested 4 or 5.

When we explained this just wasn't possible, funding wise as well as space wise (plus our own personal feelings that playgroup should be for playing!) she looked at us like we had offered her a shit sandwich and made mention of the fact that this wouldn't be overlooked at our next inspection.

RiverTam Thu 03-Apr-14 09:45:54

it's nonsense - isn't Reception Year meant to be about getting them ready for their formal schooling to begin at Year One?

Bardette Thu 03-Apr-14 09:46:51

The man's an idiot. However, just because everyone on here is a brilliant parent doesn't mean that every child has that advantage. At one of the schools I work in, at the start of the school year the reception class had 5 children who were not reliably toilet trained, many who could not use a fork and spoon, or dress themselves, over 50% who had speech and language levels of a 2-3 year old, and at least a third who could not sit still and listen to an entire story being read. For the first half term the staff have to concentrate on basic self care, social and learning skills. They had to teach some of the kids how to eat an apple!
Yes, this is the parent's responsibility, but for whatever reason parenting is not happening here. Getting the children school ready is not always about academics.
Oh, and after all the teacher's hard work Ofsted came in and criticised her for not doing enough handwriting practice hmm.

RiverTam Thu 03-Apr-14 09:47:05

DD's nursery is outstanding rated and as far as I'm aware she has never looked at a computer or anything like that in the nearly 2 years she's been there! What a load of nonsense.

thebody Thu 03-Apr-14 09:47:09

Gossamer yes so take away the physical play equipment and let the toddlers sit at a computer screen.

obviously that will solve the obesity crisis

you couldn't make it up could you!

blueberryupsidedown Thu 03-Apr-14 09:48:17

yes of course it's discos with 'bah bah black sheep' and 'old mcdonald' music, not will.i.am, and musical instruments appropriate for their age, not electric guitars. Come on.

But it's also music and movement where children choose what they do, what movements to make, not me telling me what to do.

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 09:49:01

I would be livid if my 3 wasted precious pre school hours in front of screens and funds(which could have been spent on play equipment)had been eaten up by several computers.

Enb76 Thu 03-Apr-14 09:50:24

My CM did an amazing job with my child and carried on with what I had been doing at home.

Wilshaw was correct in saying that many parents do this stuff already with their children, recognising numbers, know colours, being able to count to 10, holding a pencil correctly, having some language skills, etc… I'd expect all of this from a 3-4 year old and you start when they're tiny (well before 24 months) with things like colours and different animals etc.

The problem is that there is a proportion of children, often coming from low socio-economic backgrounds that have none of this learning (basic, basic stuff) and that it disadvantages them through their whole school career. I don't think they're saying that these children should not be playing but they should be learning at the same time.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 09:50:35

If general socialising is all that Wilshaw means by structured learning, then he will need to give clear instructions to Ofsted.

He also needs to instruct the Telegraph as they seem to have got the idea that "Ofsted will also:

� Call on nurseries and childminders to regularly assess children�s abilities in the three-Rs to identify those infants struggling with the basics who may need extra help"

There will also be a need for clear instructions to Ofsted about the age differentiation of nursery school children: as other posters have pointed out, there is a massive difference in developmental terms between a 24mo and a 35mo, in a way there isn't between older children.

The fact is that Ofsted are already criticising excellent CM's and nurseries for not sticking to their own rigid conception as to what constitutes learning.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 09:50:44

Incognito he did mention specifics.

"That means they can't hold a pen, they have poor language and communication skills, they don't recognise simple numbers, they can't use the toilet independently and so on."

juneau Thu 03-Apr-14 09:50:48

I do think the abundance of young poorly educated staff will of course have an impact.

Yes, this concerns me too. Most of the staff at DS2's nursery aren't exactly the most intelligent or well-educated people. I'm guessing that most left formal academic education at 16 with a few GCSEs (if that), and then did some kind of childcare qualification instead of A levels. If anyone is going to teach my DC, as opposed to just caring for them, reading to them, leading play, etc, I'd like them to have a teaching qualification, otherwise who's to say they'll do it right? Teachers have qualifications for a reason!

thebody my mum and nan were the same. Nan lived across the road so my sisters and I would run between the two houses, playing with all of the kids. Mum treated the charges as her own and we still see them regularly now as adults, man treated her charges like her own, thre were photos of all of the kids in both houses. Then when posted came they didn't care that the kids were happy and learning, they wanted proof of observations that hadn't been interrupted by buy crying, and the daily spoken contact mum had with parents needed to be written down. One idiot asked my nan to transcribe conversations.

They all came expecting to see different things too, with different opinions on things, so one thing that was perfect one would be something to be improved upon by the next assessor.

It's all bollocks.

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 09:51:46

Bardette but that was 5 children,why do all children have to be afflicted with formal education at 2?

Wouldn't it be better for HV to identify and target these type of families with parenting classes alongside some pre school hours at 3.I assumed that was happening.

juneau Thu 03-Apr-14 09:54:33

And on the subject of ICT, this is offered at my DS's nursery - for an extra charge, of course. He's not even three yet and I've been encouraged to sign him up as 'the children really enjoy it'. Um no!

Even weirder, French is also offered. French FFS! Most state schools don't offer French at age 4. I mean, I applaud the sentiment, but how fucking pointless. My DS is delayed with his speech and is only just starting to speak clearly in English, let alone French. Bonkers!

Its madness at the moment. I personally know of 3 childminders seriously considering quitting.

One has recently been inspected and the inspector downgraded her from outstanding to good because she refuses to fit a paper towel dispenser in her family bathroom. Lack of ICT provision was mentioned to her too. And the inspector didn't like nap provision. Couldn't really say why just didn't like it.

When my friend pointed out she was a home childcarer with the emphasis being on home she was told that she needed to try to be more like a nursery.

Oh and her paperwork was was pulled up as her planning was not extensive enough. She's an ex teacher ffs.

Juneau, my DDs nursery attached to the primary school teach French, the kids love it!

Shouldn't say that or we'll be lambasted for not teaching the children 4 languages next!!!

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 09:58:24

Bardette Thu 03-Apr-14 09:46:51
"The man's an idiot. However, just because everyone on here is a brilliant parent doesn't mean that every child has that advantage. At one of the schools I work in, at the start of the school year the reception class had 5 children who were not reliably toilet trained, many who could not use a fork and spoon, or dress themselves, over 50% who had speech and language levels of a 2-3 year old, and at least a third who could not sit still and listen to an entire story being read. For the first half term the staff have to concentrate on basic self care, social and learning skills. They had to teach some of the kids how to eat an apple."

I fully understand that. But how would taking away the sandpit, installing a computer bank and regularly testing toddlers in the 3 'Rs actually help with any of the things you mention?

What I would like to see is a more outdoors based, more hands-on type nursery provision, of the type they have in Scandinavia, where the children are involved in preparing their own meals and helping with everyday tasks. That would prepare them for apple eating (or at least teach them how to cut up an apple if they prefer it that way).

But that is not what Michael Wilshaw has in mind. He wants little mini-office workers who can do splendidly in their SATS.

IncognitoErgoSum Thu 03-Apr-14 09:59:06

ExcuseTypos, I agree he did mention some specific items.

"That means they can't hold a pen, they have poor language and communication skills, they don't recognise simple numbers, they can't use the toilet independently and so on."

But did he mean at age 2 or at the end of EYFS (31 August after 5th burthday, according to DfE)? He also said that 1000s of non-schol settings are failing children and that parents ("mostly parents with money") are raising children who can do these things. If that is not ignorant and prejudiced, I don't know how else to describe it.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:00:05

And for the record, my 4yo was not able to hold a pen or use a knife and fork despite having eaten every meal of his life at the family dinner table surrounded by adults with good table manners and given every help and instruction. He simply wasn't developmentally ready.

And if you start putting targest on 2yo potty training the same thing will happen. Some just won't be ready.

capsium Thu 03-Apr-14 10:00:24

If pre-school children need to be school ready, before pre-school do children need to be pre-school ready? Will we get pre-pre- school? Oh we do with nursery provision from 2yrs I suppose....but then will toddlers have to be ready for nursery? Will we get pre-nursery for smaller toddlers / babies? Hmm......

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Thu 03-Apr-14 10:01:07

It's nuts sad I really despair. I was originally planning to homeschool but my daughter was in a really lovely pre-school and has enjoyed year R. If it goes too far target driven it might be tempting. I'm already wondering about it for year 6.

I just don't see WHY he is constantly avoiding the voice of educators and EYFS workers. He just wants to replicate his pre-prep (presumably starting at 3) setting but that's not nec best for everyone. I specifically avoided a school nursery as it wasn't what I wanted for my child!

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 10:01:12

Glen I got round that by putting a basket of a Ikea flannels and a bin in the loo.Kids used a flannel to dry their hands which then went in the bin to be washed later.

Mad I know but it keeps the inspectors happy.

drspouse Thu 03-Apr-14 10:03:06

They grudgingly admitted on the radio this morning that perhaps some private and voluntary sector nurseries were just about OK.

Very pleased to hear that our Outstanding, massively over-subscribed workplace nursery might be all right.

The paranoid side of me wonders if this is also a ploy to make sure no families can have 2 working parents - because if there are only school preschools, which sometimes start at age 2, or sometimes age 3, but which only run school hours and school terms, it's pretty damn difficult to work a normal office job, let alone anything involving commuting/occasional early starts/late finishes.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:04:44

But it is true that thousands are failing. He has the facts and figures. Many children are not ready when they start school.

I work in a year R class. 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. There are 2 adults for around 28 children, that child is always going to be trying to catch up.

It makes me angry that people would complain that not all children deserve the same start in life.

Enb76 Thu 03-Apr-14 10:05:04

"He also said that 1000s of non-schol settings are failing children and that parents ("mostly parents with money") are raising children who can do these things. If that is not ignorant and prejudiced, I don't know how else to describe it."

It's not prejudiced if it's true. Lower socio-economic groups on the whole do worse than those with money. There are plenty of reasons for that but it's not prejudicial to point it out.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:06:56

Incognito, he meant before they start school, so he was talking about 4 year olds.

ClownsLeftJokersRight Thu 03-Apr-14 10:08:15

I heard this being discussed on R4 this morning and was hmming loudly at the radio.

I think if children are starting school unready for it then it is a pretty good sign that they're starting school too early and not an indication that they haven't received adequate preparation for it.

But then, imho we send children into full time education too young anyway.

Why not start making school 'uniform' babygrows and drop them off at the nearest school on the way back from the labour ward.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Thu 03-Apr-14 10:08:49

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-26853447

That means they can't hold a pen, they have poor language and communication skills, they don't recognise simple numbers, they can't use the toilet independently and so on.

Actually doesn't sound like he's asking for that much - though holding a pen and number recognition doesn't sound vital at that age or something that can't be picked up at school.

Have to say while the school nursery was great for my younger two DC - if they had been less well prepare the council run nursery attached to local children's centre would have been better environment - much more tolerant of toilet training needs with facilities set up there - school nursery didn't have them - and much more able to support entire family with the services of children centre.

Even so I know a staff member who retired from the council nursery - she told me obviously they'd wanted to prove how much they were improved the DC but when they did measures against their criteria biggest factor was the DC birthdates not attendance levels at their nursery.

Sir Michael added: "The corollary of not preparing children well for school is that they don't do well in reception and, if they don't do well in reception, they don't get on at key stage one, they find it difficult to read at seven, they fail at the end of primary school and that failure continues into secondary school.

^^THIS is the problem. Falling behind a at a young age shouldn't continue into secondary school.

My DC have fallen behind hit problems in reception and key stage 1, eldest has few issues in ks2. Their biggest asset is one parent not working flat out who is willing to provide help and support and has time to do so to them so they catch up.

The school does provide some support - but often my DC were struggling but not enough as others were much worse. I think smaller class sizes and more support would help here.

Headlines like this don't help push the responsibility back onto parents to make sure their DC have basic skills.

SirChenjin Thu 03-Apr-14 10:09:41

It seems like an eminently sensible approach to me. Why on earth would you not want all children to start school being able to fulfill their potential? There is a lot of hysteria over this and general misinformation, just as there always seems to be when we talk about raising attainment and achievement levels in schools in the UK.

NigelMolesworth Thu 03-Apr-14 10:09:49

I agree with the poster upthread who said they hate what is happening to education in this country. Where's the joy in discovering new things gone? Where's the fun? The creativity? Learning through experience? And that's not just for the kids, what about the poor teachers too - job satisfaction? Long term career prospects?

I have DD1(7) and DD2 (4). As far as I was concerned, getting them ready for school meant:
- making sure they could dress themselves
- able to take themselves to the toilet and wash their hands
- use a knife and fork and sit down at the table
- sit and listen to simple instructions

NOT
- reading, writing, doing formal maths.
- getting them ready to sit tests.

All this emphasis on formal rote learning drives me mad. All you teachers and CMs on this thread - you sound lovely. Keep doing what you are doing. You will set these children up for life. Governments come and go, education policies come and go, but what you are doing with these children will stay with them for ever.

Re poorly educated staff: that's a massive issue in my home town. There was lots of pushing of academics for those of us considered "too smart" and "too good" for 'trivialities' such as childcare and hair and beauty. Never mind that the former involved rearing the next generation and the latter involved chemicals and the skills of being able to socialise with just about anybody!

There was also the massive stigma in my two schools that if you weren't good enough to get decent gcses, you should go into either the above subjects or have kids hmm I still can't quite believe it yet I heard many teachers and adults say it! And still hear it when I go home!

Callani Thu 03-Apr-14 10:12:36

I heard him on Radio 4 and I found him infuriating. He was challenged on the fact that his own inspectors think that private nurseries and childminders are up to scratch as 80% of them get good or outstanding ratings. His response? "Well I think we have to review how strictly we're applying the criteria"

To me it sounded very much like he's decided he only likes pre-school nurseries so he's going to tighten criteria on the non-school settings to try to drive them out.

And he was willfully ignoring the importance of play based learning as well - a child playing with a sandpit is learning about physics and volume and cause and effect and object permanence in a far better way than could be taught at that age.

Burren Thu 03-Apr-14 10:12:45

We should give birth, put the babies straight into little uniforms and get them to practice sitting at a desk and putting their hands up before they cry.

This debate gives me a desire to hit early years bureaucrats over the head with a Fireman Sam annual. I mean, have they ever MET a two or three year old?

Forago Thu 03-Apr-14 10:12:47

I suspect this is like phonics all over again. They're having to introduce note structure earlier on to catch the poor little ones who aren't taught the basic skills that our 2/3 year olds are. Its a catch-all to try and bring up the one from more disadvantaged backgrounds who, as other have said, they can see time and time again are disadvantaged all the way up to adulthood because of this poor start. but as usual, kids who are doing perfectly well as they are get swept up into it. difficult to know what else they can do as they get caned at the other end for children leaving primary school in disadvantaged areas unable to read and write properly.

capsium Thu 03-Apr-14 10:13:06

I work in a year R class. 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. There are 2 adults for around 28 children, that child is always going to be trying to catch up.

Or perhaps this just reflects a natural diversity in child development, a natural range of achievements by this age group of children? Maybe the focus should be more concerned with making the Reception Curriculum and settings able to cater adequately for this range?

ReallyTired Thu 03-Apr-14 10:15:29

I feel that childminders and nurseries for three year olds should have seperate systems of inspection. Childminders provide a home from home enviroment which quite rightly is very different to a school. I feel that child minders should be let off the EYFS and learning journals if they enable the child to attend a school nursery without charging the parents for the entire day. A childminder inspection should focuss on quality of care rather than education.

I feel that three and four year olds really benefit from high quality staff with degrees. Degree qualified staff are in a better position to spot special needs. Degree qualified staff know how to organise differentiation through play.

Many school nurseries produce better outcomes with a ratio of 1 to 13. My daughter adored school nursery because of the mental challenge. I found that when my children were in private nurseries/ pre schools that the staff ended up chatting to themselves rather than interacting with the children. There was too much choice about activites.

With under threes having staff chatting to themselves is excellent for the children's development. Children who are learning to speak gain a lot from listening in to adult conversation.

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Thu 03-Apr-14 10:15:44

Yanbu, I don't understand what they think they will gain by this?

It's crazy and very, very sad.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:16:09

nigel no one has said that young children should be doing reading, writing, formal maths , or getting them ready to sit tests.

There is so much made up stuff on this thread.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 03-Apr-14 10:16:16

Hmm. I live in Belgium and my dd's school experience was pretty much as he is suggesting. Teacher led maternelle from age 2.5/3. It was not about formal learning, but gradually building up skills through play. They did lots of arts and crafts, baking, trips, activities to work on their motor skills etc. Basic counting, the alphabet and writing their name was covered in year 3. Dd loved it. The kids do cover all the points mentioned above re. eating, dressing, socialising and using the loo etc.

Obviously here there is all the much later start to formal education. My dd was 6.5 when she started P1. The whole class were used to the classroom and ready to learn. All of them went from 0 to reading by Xmas - free reading by the end of the year. Personally I much prefer this system here to the UK one, but I know it is not for everyone. (there is a 99% take up rate for maternelle though it is not compulsory)

Aventurine Thu 03-Apr-14 10:17:08

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.

Don't the parents play a role in teaching these things?

OhNoGeorge Thu 03-Apr-14 10:17:47

I work in a year R class. 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. There are 2 adults for around 28 children, that child is always going to be trying to catch up.

And those children who have been at home with a parent??!! These children are all under 4 FFS they don't need to be in formal learning in order to not 'fall behind'. It totally depends on the child's circumstances.

OhNoGeorge Thu 03-Apr-14 10:18:26

Cross posts aventurine!

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 03-Apr-14 10:18:37

"That means they can't hold a pen, they have poor language and communication skills, they don't recognise simple numbers, they can't use the toilet independently and so on."

Where is the evidence that "structured learning" activities help with most of those though? Surely what's needed is interaction and in the case of things like numbers a bit of simple counting games.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:18:48

SirChenjin Thu 03-Apr-14 10:09:41
"It seems like an eminently sensible approach to me. Why on earth would you not want all children to start school being able to fulfill their potential? There is a lot of hysteria over this and general misinformation, just as there always seems to be when we talk about raising attainment and achievement levels in schools in the UK."

Of course we all want them to fulfill their potential. It's about whether we believe that the best way to achieve this is to enforce testing of the three 'Rs for 3yos and downgrading nurseries and childminders who do not provide their charges with regular access to computers.

Any polititican can make noises about what they think is unacceptable or what they would like to see done. Those are generally things that no sensible person of any political colour could disagree with.

It's when they start talking about the methods they are going to use to achieve this that you have to listen.

Is it misinformation when childminders and nursery workers come on here to tell us that Ofsted are already downgrading them for aspects that some of us might think would be far more likely to achieve Wilshaw's stated aims?

Forago Thu 03-Apr-14 10:19:09

I think they're definitely going down the wrong path with ICT though, and I say that as an IT professional. you can see the theory, its a technical world now, we've got to get them ready etc, but of they saw how much 8/9/10 y olds ate glued to screens now they'd see there's no rush. I have a 9, 6 and 3 y old and I am quite happy that the 3y old has nothing to do with computer s and phones for now as I see how seductive it is for the older ones and the effort required by parents to make sure they don't overdo it.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:19:49

No capsium. Our school is in a village so the number of nurseries where the children come from is small.

The children who come from one nursey are consistently, year after year, not as school ready as those who come from the other 2 nurseries.

The fact is, one nursery is not as good as the other two.

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 10:19:56

Really I totally agree.

A relaxed home environment with children being taken to a highly qualified more educational setting a few hours a week.

The childminder can focus on a creating a home environment and the pre-school can employ degree educated staff.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 03-Apr-14 10:20:09

I am asking again, if Sir Michael Wilshaw could please enlighten us with the following statistics (I'm sure they are not hard to find), how many children who are not 'school ready'
- come from the care system or are under the supervision of a social worker;
- come from families living below the poverty line;
- come families where one or both parents have substence abuse issues;
- are from families that have recently arrived in this country as refugees and come from countries affected by conflict, or with parents who have recently arrived in this country as migrants and have English as a second language;
- have been diagnosed with a learning difficulty, disability, or indeed will be diagnosed later on (in many cases - if not most - children on the autistic spectrum, or with any form of dyspraxia either physical or verbal - are not diagnosed by the age of 4).

And how many of the children who are not 'ready for school' have attended registered childminding settings and/or commercial nurseries.

In terms of speech development, my absolute pet hate when it comes to children being 'not ready for school', NHS speech therapy services have been cut to an absolute minimum. Waiting lists are up to 6 months in some areas, and most areas will provide no support from professional speech therapists before the child is aged 3. In the past, speech therapists would have the staff/budget to visit schools to identify children with speech difficulties and provide therapy within the school. THis doesn't happen anymore, as speech therapy services have no budget or resources to provide quality services, especially within the early years.

Guineapig99 Thu 03-Apr-14 10:21:27

YABU - your post makes me glad i chose a nursery over a CM. It's all about learning through play - mark making rather than writing, counting games rather than learning numbers, - the year before reception children do need this or school is going to be a shock. It's about more focussed group things NOT about getting them to learn by rote.
they're talking about the nurseries & CM's that don't do enough of this.
the whole point of the free nursery hours is supposed to be to get kids ready for a school environment.

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 10:21:37

Forago I totally agree.

I have a G&T coding 10 year old.

He had buggar all screen time at 3.

Anniegoestotown Thu 03-Apr-14 10:21:55

I think the problem is no matter how many laws, how much legislation is passed and whatever OFSTED would like to happen every child will learn at their own pace. I actually think to treat children as the same, I.e. A 2 year old boy is not the same as a 2 year old girl and until they recognise this basic fact they will keep getting it wrong.

As someone upthread pointed out a 2 year old can mean a 24 month old or a 35month old. Add in the fact the 24 month old is a boy and the 35 month old is a girl and the gap increases.

I also think that the culture of, In Reception children should be able to achieve A and B. In Year 1 it is learning how to do C and D and if you get to year 2 and your child cannot do these things then your child is abandoned is not helping. Bringing this forward to nursery and if your child cannot do the things they want your child to achieve by a certain age what then? Is your child going to be abandoned? Is your child going to be written off before he or she has set foot in school?

I have a girl and a boy and the difference between their milestones at a young age was huge.

Are they next going to say all children should walk by 12 months and if they don't walk by that age then what.

A df's son didn't sit up unaided till he was 10months old, he didn't learn to walk till he was 23months old, he didn't talk till he was 3 1/2 and then you couldn't understand him properly. He was only just able to use the toilet a few weeks before he went to school. He is 15 now and heading for a bright career. He is doing 15 GCSES and expected to get As or A*'s in all of them. What would have happened if he had been written off before he had left nursery.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:22:28

Don't the parents play a role in teaching these things?

Yes of course, but point being made is that some parents either can't or won't. So to ensure every child has the same start, the state has to ensure nursery provides these things.

bakingtins Thu 03-Apr-14 10:23:20

But nigel aren't those things exactly what he's talking about?

My DS2 will start school in September (May birthday) and if he can't go to the toilet independently, dress and undress, sit and listen, communicate clearly, eat his lunch without help, count to ten, write an approximation of his name, know colours and shapes and numbers etc then I'd consider I'd failed him as a parent. He goes to nursery 2 days a week, I expect them to support him in acquiring those skills, though it's my responsibility primarily.

I know at my son's school they have a lot of problems with children arriving with no spoken English, not toilet trained, poor social skills, and though school do a marvellous job those children are massively disadvantaged from the start.
The criteria for the bottom levels of the skills on the EYFS made me want to weep, because I know there are children in my son's classes who are starting right from the bottom when they enter YR (I know they have changed the way they assess them again recently)

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:23:35

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:16:09
"nigel no one has said that young children should be doing reading, writing, formal maths , or getting them ready to sit tests. "

Today's Telegraph does seem to be saying that this is part of the new information given them by Ofsted:

"Ofsted will also:

� Call on nurseries and childminders to regularly assess children�s abilities in the three-Rs"

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 10:24:18

Guinea I think pre-schools ime are far better than nurseries particularly the school attached ones.I think you're misled if you think nursery equals good quality.

Many nursery chains employ young poorly qualified staff.Personally I think a home/child minder setting with pre-school access is far better.

I've been saying this for a few years now. What's next starting them at pre-pre-school to get them ready for pre-school.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:24:48

And those children who have been at home with a parent??!! These children are all under 4 FFS they don't need to be in formal learning in order to not 'fall behind'. It totally depends on the child's circumstances.

No one is asking any child to do "formal learning". Ofstead are talking about "structured learning" which as I said upthread, means planning and ensuring 3/4 year olds are able to hold a pencil, follow instructions, go to the loo, etc.

spikeymikie Thu 03-Apr-14 10:25:38

There

IncognitoErgoSum Thu 03-Apr-14 10:25:39

Enb76: Lower socio-economic groups on the whole do worse than those with money. There are plenty of reasons for that but it's not prejudicial to point it out.

So, shouldn't the government be targetting those families, rather than saying that the pre-school settings are failing?

ExcuseTypos: But it is true that thousands are failing. He has the facts and figures.

So why not give them?

I work in a year R class. The difference when a child has been to a good nursery/childminder and those who haven't, is astounding.

But were those children at a bad nursery/childminder? Were they at home in a poor environment (not meaning money but poor in basic resources and care)?

It makes me angry that people would complain that not all children deserve the same start in life.

I do think all children deserve the same start but it is not possible to ensure it. The DfE says that the best indicator of a child's success at school is the parents' input. Children from homes where the parents are not involved tend to leave school at 16 more disadvantaged than they were at 5. The educational setting is not as important as the home.

Retropear Thu 03-Apr-14 10:25:50

Excuse when did parents stop doing that?

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:26:48

� Call on nurseries and childminders to regularly assess children�s abilities in the three-Rs"

Well that's not what the head of Ofsted has been saying today. It's the media exaggerating and twisting things.

capsium Thu 03-Apr-14 10:27:33

Annie Lovely story about your df's son. My own DC received a Statement of SEN at 4yrs with quite a high level of funding. Since then has been discharged from NHS services and Statement has ceased, due to improvements. Now he is ahead of what is expected for the age group. Some would have written him off quite easily, the comments we received from supposed professionals were not all positive, I'm glad I never 'wrote him off'!

Boaty Thu 03-Apr-14 10:30:23

If parents are so poor at looking after their own children and the state knows better how come outcomes for 'cared for' children are so poor!

DC brought up in 'care' should have the best outcomes! The state is the expert hmm

DH was in 'care' from 14 months to adulthood..he is now mid sixties...he left school functionally illiterate, was emotionally/physically abused, and has struggled his whole life...if I had a £ for every time in 28 years I have heard 'I'm fick' I would be rich!
He isn't thick at all..he was just told it so many times it's his default setting. He should have had a better outcome than his half siblings who were brought up by his mother. Although obviously this was a long time ago I've not seen evidence things are any better these days.

It seems the Government want to remove children from parents to bring them up in a uniform factory farm type environment. Scary!

I'm sure there must be a conspiracy theory in there somewhere

WipsGlitter Thu 03-Apr-14 10:31:38

I think the issue is that the gap between children who do well and children who don't do well is school is already forming by the time they get to school. And this gap widens as time goes on, meaning some children are left far behind and disadvantaged in many other ways.

The Perry Pre-School Study is one where children who attended a high quality pre-school (HighScope) were tracked for over 40 years and the difference in outcomes for those children was marked. They were more likely to stay married, continue in education, and have a job, and less likely to be involved in drugs or crime.

Parental input is massively important, but sadly a lot of parents lack the skills to help their children.

Scholes34 Thu 03-Apr-14 10:31:44

Hmm. I live in Belgium and my dd's school experience was pretty much as he is suggesting. Teacher led maternelle from age 2.5/3. It was not about formal learning, but gradually building up skills through play. They did lots of arts and crafts, baking, trips, activities to work on their motor skills etc.

Mine did all this at a state nursery, but it was child led. At the age of 4 I remember by DS being able to put numbered bottles from 1 to 10 in the correct order, not because he'd been sat down and taught, but because the nursery was decorated with number groups and other information and he'd simply absorbed it all. On this particular occasion when the nursery was filming, there was a pile of numbered bottles and he decided (ie he wasn't asked) to put them in order. The first Foundation Stage year was spent by all three DCs dressing up, climbing trees (the nursery emphasised the importance of refining gross motor skills before attempting to refine fine motor skills), banging real nails into wood with real hammers, racing bikes round the garden, preparing and tasting a variety of fruit and vegetables, playing with water, playing in the sandpit, listening to stories, playing outside in all weathers (if a child wanted to play outside, then a member of staff had to wrap up and go outside with them). Altogether, this made them school ready, but with no formal learning to read or write and a minimal amount of teacher led activities. It was a marvellous, happy place.

Scholes34 Thu 03-Apr-14 10:32:50

Wipsglitter - ours followed High Scope.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:33:16

bakingtins Thu 03-Apr-14 10:23:20

"My DS2 will start school in September (May birthday) and if he can't go to the toilet independently, dress and undress, sit and listen, communicate clearly, eat his lunch without help, count to ten, write an approximation of his name, know colours and shapes and numbers etc then I'd consider I'd failed him as a parent"

My ds (similar birthday) didn't have the fine motor skills to write an approximation of his name or use a knife and fork. Does that mean I have failed as a parent?

He is predicted quite good GCSE grades- does that mean I have atoned? Or can there be no atonement for having failed as a parent? Do I carry this guilt to my grave? hmm

My dn did not speak clearly aged 4 and it took several years (as it often does) for speech therapy to have effect- so his parents presumably had failed too. At least they were fortunate enough to live in a country where services hadn't been cut.

Yes, I can see the arguments for picking up on these children early. But labelling people as failures because their children do not develop at exactly the predicted rate is counter-productive: it is just as likely that those children will write themelves off as failures if it is rubbed into their face too much. Ds nearly did.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:33:19

Retropear do you live in cloud cuckoo land? Unfortunately many parents don't do that.

incognito

There are figures. This is from 18 months ago but things obviously haven't changed.
www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9706275/Ofsted-third-of-five-year-olds-not-ready-for-school.html

And your last para is just excusing bad teaching. There are numerous examples of schools in highly deprived areas getting outstanding outcomes. If they can do it, so can others in deprived areas.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Thu 03-Apr-14 10:34:16

I've been saying this for a few years now. What's next starting them at pre-pre-school to get them ready for pre-school.

Starting playgroups, where they are left, at 2. Few years ago, when mine were that age, that was pushed at me. Many other parents bought into the idea.

Mine started just before 3 with a few morning to get used to being in a larger group and to give me time with younger DC. Youngest didn't. I don't think it helped them prepare at all - but they enjoyed it at time.

drspouse Thu 03-Apr-14 10:36:17

I work in a year R class. The difference when a child has been to a good nursery/childminder and those who haven't, is astounding.

But were those children at a bad nursery/childminder? Were they at home in a poor environment (not meaning money but poor in basic resources and care)?

Exactly this. For some children going to nursery (or a good childminder) will mean they are able to sit still/listen/eat tidily/take themselves to the loo which they would not have learned at home. Those children should be getting a free place at 2 already, and their families should be followed up to make sure they are starting to engage with the nursery to prepare them (also) for engaging with school. This is already in place, it doesn't need any kind of official change, it should just be happening.

Being able to use a pencil/crayon and recognise that books tell stories, and how you turn the pages, and that when you count the numbers go in a certain order, by the way, is not "pushing them to learn too early" - these are fairly standard skills for 3yos that they enjoy gaining. They should be able to get these in any rich play based setting though. It would have to be the woman with the 75 brats who's the unregistered childminder in Stella to not be providing these.

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:36:21

Why are people constantly referring to formal learning

Ofstead haven't mention it, they are talking about structured leaning, which is very different. confused

mrsjavierbardem Thu 03-Apr-14 10:38:46

I think kids could easily learn more basics earlier but in a fun way. We are so odd in this country about academic ambition, of course aggressive solemn rote learning is not what I would like.
We all know there is academic pressure that leads to robotic students and vulnerable stressed young people (eg Japanese suicide rate)
But, I think kids can learn far more earlier painlessly through play. I would aim for kids learning numbers and basic phonics so early that they get no whiff of being 'behind' or in a race. My experience of early reading has made me wonder whether a child needs to learn without knowing they are learning. There is a whole subconscious aspect to reading which makes it more organic and less conscious. The moment my son felt pressure to read or decode he lost his confidence and it was a slow trudge towards literacy. With dd I made sure she knew her letters & sounds so young that she feels always very confident around letters. I have thought its a bit like skiing, those amazing kids who ski brilliantly often started super early before fear and hesitation can do their destructive work. I think earlier through fun is much better.
Clearly this won't work for all but I bet it would set a lot of boys up for a much easier time in primary. The seven children in my dd's literacy and numeracy set (they are the group doing more advanced work) are all from homes which introduced literacy and numeracy very young through play. Most teachers despite what they may say in policy, seem, In my experience, to start really early.
Japanese kids seem to have several 'alphabets' while we're still going slowly and carefully with our ambitions. Surely there is a middle way?

bakingtins Thu 03-Apr-14 10:41:04

Sorry cory that wasn't meant to be an attack on anyone. I'm not disputing that children develop at different rates, or that some have SN that will affect where they are developmentally at the start of school.

It doesn't alter the fact that a lot of these disadvantaged children are only behind because they haven't had enough input from a parent or another adult to help them develop the necessary skills, and that starting school without them is likely to disadvantage them throughout their school career.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 03-Apr-14 10:41:10

I would say structured learning includes any activity that an adult plans with a learning intention. It's pretty much the same as adult led learning I think. It can be very different from formal learning, although you can if you want to make it formal. Not read the full report yet but I haven't yet seen anything that says Wilshaw is equating using structured learning synonymously with formal learning or rote learning.

- baking
- taking a walk in the local area and drawing children's attention to the things around them
- making a fruit salad
- visit to a local farm
- singing counting songs/rhymes
- playing counting games
- counting objects around us
- reading to a child/group of children and talking about the story

All things I would suggest are structured learning, and things I would imagine lots of MNers do with their own children without turning them into rote learning robots.

ReallyTired I agree with pretty much everything you've said, particularly with regard to better qualified staff and removing a lot of the EYFS requirements from childminders.

GirlsonFilm Thu 03-Apr-14 10:41:56

Knowing a lot or reception teachers I think theproblem is when children satrt school without being toliet trained, being able to get dresses/undress, eat lunch unaided and are not able to sit and pay attention.

The teachers think the reading writing etc should be left to them once the child starts school.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:44:51

If the new take is that this is all about children being given the practical skills to cope with the next stage in life- toilet training, pen holding, apple eating, story listening etc- then presumably new instructions will go out to Ofsted to stop fussing about IT provision and reading, and to give outstanding grades to those nurseries and childminders who focus on practical hands-on learning.

That would be a very positive development and I would be delighted to see it. But it is not what is happening at the moment.

And seriously, how many nurseries and childminders do you think there are out there who are not already working on toilet training and pen holding?

Is there not a very good chance that those children who arrive at school unable to do these things have either not attended a childminder/nursery setting at all, or have some slight developmental delay?

Ime the majority would be most likely to be the children of dysfunctional, ill or depressed parents who have not been enrolling them in any setting of this kind. And those are children you won't get at by increasing regulation of nurseries and childminders.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Thu 03-Apr-14 10:45:01

I absolutely hate, hate, hate the fact that littlies are being forced to learn and criticised for not knowing enough. They are children, for crying out loud - there is plenty of time for them to learn. Let them play and enjoy their childhood - this really does drive me mad.

When my daughter was at nursery I was pulled to one side and told "She doesn't know enough shapes" (at age 3 she apparently wasn't able to recognise a star). Well, she's 21 now, and guess what - she knows her shapes. Amazing, isn't it? My son was criticised for not being able to write his name when starting school (he was only just four, and dyslexic). He's now 18 and guess what - he can write his own name (and more). Truly amazing!!

Children learn at their own pace - just let them be children. Grrrr!

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:45:40

I agree with you mrs regarding introducing things at a young age.

I put a number square to 100 up on dds bedroom wall when she was 3. She would ask me to say the numbers with her, she then started pointing the patterns etc. she was alway a whizz at numbers. There was no reason at all for her to wait until she got to school.

I did the same with letters of the alphabet.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:47:35

bakingtins Thu 03-Apr-14 10:41:04
"Sorry cory that wasn't meant to be an attack on anyone. I'm not disputing that children develop at different rates, or that some have SN that will affect where they are developmentally at the start of school.

It doesn't alter the fact that a lot of these disadvantaged children are only behind because they haven't had enough input from a parent or another adult to help them develop the necessary skills, and that starting school without them is likely to disadvantage them throughout their school career."

I totally get it. But if they don't have that input from an adult, then they are probably not at nursery or at a childminder's. And in that case, how would more regulation of those places which they are not attending help them? Or are we actually going to make state childcare obligatory?

kategod Thu 03-Apr-14 10:48:09

I think it's reasonable to expect a child to be able to do the basics in terms of social behaviour. But even with Reception age children there is a vast difference between the youngest and oldest in a class in terms of their 'readiness' to embark on formal learning - even six months can make a huge difference - and some children don't get to that point until they are even older. I agree that most childminders/nurseries (at least the ones I've seen) do a pretty good job anyway. However, on a recent MN thread one poster stated that her child's nursery class had recently increased from 20 to 40 - I assume the staff ratio has increased too but it's hard to see in that setting how there can be much actual learning going on.

I do tend to bang on about schools in Finland but there they start primary school at seven and aren't their schools the best in the world?

OhNoGeorge Thu 03-Apr-14 10:48:23

OK excuse I should have said structured learning but that wasn't my point.

You stated that I work in a year R class. 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.

I was simply asking does is apply to children who have been at home with SAHP? As I'm sure you didn't mean it to come across that way, but like PP it seems increasingly that the government does! Obviously in some cases the child is better off in nursery than at home but not in most cases

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 10:48:53

I heard the interview too.

He actually said school ready was things like being able to go to the toilet, doing up shoes, being able to listen for a while, knowing some colours/numbers, how to hold a pencil/crayon etc.

I'd say that every single poster here agrees with what is actually being said. And disagreement is with an invented straw man.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:50:27

Come to think of it, ds' CM did get a bit stressed when she found he didn't know the word for a goat's babies, because that was on her list of what children ought to know at his age.

I refrained from pointing out that there aren't all that many goats in our urban neighbourhood and that a 2yo who can tell a male from a female mallard probably doesn't have a problem with his animal-related cognitive skills.

kategod Thu 03-Apr-14 10:50:45

Cory, I actually do think that some sort of state childcare pre-primary school should be obligatory - not at the age of two though! - and with an emphasis on teaching social skills rather than formal learning.

spikeymikie Thu 03-Apr-14 10:53:26

There are children who do not learn unless there is structure. In a room offering lots of activities my son wanders about getting more and more distressed. I realise that he is in the minority but the typical pre school and early years environment doesn't cater for children like him.

cory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:54:57

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 10:48:53
"I heard the interview too.

He actually said school ready was things like being able to go to the toilet, doing up shoes, being able to listen for a while, knowing some colours/numbers, how to hold a pencil/crayon etc.

I'd say that every single poster here agrees with what is actually being said. And disagreement is with an invented straw man."

I'd say disagreement stems from earlier experience of the difference between what is being said and how this actually works out in practice.

If what really follows from this is that Ofsted inspectors will encourage nurseries to work hard on practical skills and expand their range of such activities, ditching the computers and the testing, then I shall be delighted. So will most of us. But that isn't how it's gone in the past.

What we have seen in the British school system over the last few decades is very similar language translating into a constant overreliance on more and more tests. If Michael Wilshaw intends to put a stop to this, then I shall be all for it.

fromparistoberlin73 Thu 03-Apr-14 10:55:48

agree

Why on this issue wont they/cannot they look at what every other fucking country in the EU are doing????

really sad

ReallyTired Thu 03-Apr-14 10:56:02

"I absolutely hate, hate, hate the fact that littlies are being forced to learn and criticised for not knowing enough."

It makes a real difference for a child if special needs are picked up and help given at an early age. For example if a child has severe glue ear then it will be next to impossible for them to read with phonics. Surely its good for a nursery teacher to spot that a child struggles with listening and arrange a hearing test. Grommets or hearing aids can might a dramatic different to a child's speech and general happiness.

"I put a number square to 100 up on dds bedroom wall when she was 3. She would ask me to say the numbers with her, she then started pointing the patterns etc. she was alway a whizz at numbers. There was no reason at all for her to wait until she got to school. "

I feel that wider aspects of education are far more important than numeracy or literacy in the early years. A number line can be incorpoated in child initated play with skill into a role play area. Or you can have numbered spaces to park bikes in or play number games. Learning at this age needs to be concrete before you can move to the abstract.

IncognitoErgoSum Thu 03-Apr-14 10:56:58

Ofsted's press release says Pre-school children from poorer backgrounds need the support of professionally trained teaching staff to stop them falling behind as soon as they reach school age (my emphasis). That is not what Michael Wilshaw focussed on in the interview I heard.

The press release quotes Wilshaw as saying What children facing serious disadvantage need is high-quality, early education from the age of two delivered by skilled practitioners, led by a teacher, in a setting that parents can recognise and access. These already exist. They are called schools.

To me, the insistence on school-based nurseries seems not to match the previously stated goal. If 78% of settings are doing a good job, then the other 22% need to be improved - we do not need 100% of settings to be school-based.

mrsjavierbardem Thu 03-Apr-14 10:57:03

I agree, it's notabout not string them be children, it's about letting them learn some structural basics before they realise they are learning them, they learn everything through gradual, appropriate exposure through stimulation and fun, most kids can learn loads much younger, some can't but if we want our kids to compete globally we have to sit up and sniff the coffee, we are so scared of pushing kids because of the kids it doesnt suit : but that's crazy to me. Everyone can't be academic but we need To enable the majority to achieve higher levels and then face the challenge of not making the others feel like failures, yes it is uncomfortable but life is uncomfortable and the world is a really tough place so don't we need to respond by helping our kids prepare for the reality rather than how we wish it could be? Our kids won't get jobs in the uk in the future unless we assess the competition realistically. We don't need to ape the competition but we do need to stop saying ' diddums let them be children' . Of course! But we need to be braver and maybe push them a bit through play, that's all I'm suggesting. Personally I also would have them rote learn their time tables!

ExcuseTypos Thu 03-Apr-14 10:57:18

I'd say that every single poster here agrees with what is actually being said. And disagreement is with an invented straw man

I hope so Meridith.

I''m leaving the thread now as it does all seem a bit pointless.
I expect the thread will go round and round in circles, with the facts of what was actullay said being completely ignored.

thebody Thu 03-Apr-14 10:59:12

Kategod agree with your post.

as am ex cm, and a year I TA who has had 4 kids go through the educational system I think my points would be,

kids learn at different rates,

we start formal teaching of phonics and numeracy far too young, it should be through play always until at least 7,

we are not getting it right if our teens are as unhappy and stressed as studies show,

our EYFS teachers and providers are required to fill out fucking realm of targets and assessments which takes them away fromthe classroom doing hours of PPA time, that's why TAs are employed!!

I was a fucking fabulous CM but got good not outstanding because I too wouldn't out a paper towel dispenser in my toilet at home.. and I only had one lap top for the children to use, infrequently, as personally I felt playing outside and doing craft activities was far more beneficial than screen time.

I could go in but it's too depressing. we havnt got it right. we need to stop treating education like a political football or a personal quest Mr Twat Gove and look at the successful practise from other countries.

thebody Thu 03-Apr-14 11:00:58

and if the vast majority of our kids arnt meeting their targets at 4 then the targets are wrong not the kids!

Nennypops Thu 03-Apr-14 11:07:22

Absolutely. For various reasons ds1 didn't go to a nursery before he started school. He had absolutely no problems settling down in reception, and did extremely well all the way through primary school. His siblings did go to nursery schools but were in no way advantaged by it - in fact, ds2 had significant problems in picking up literacy and in many ways I think he should really have started school at least a year later.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 03-Apr-14 11:09:12

I def think that pushing letters and numbers to children too soon is counter productive, children need to play, alone and with each other, learn to take turn, socialise, explore, discover, listen. Too much (structured or unstructured 'learning' of letters and numbers) too early I have a problem with. Let children be children and explore their environment. If they learn to be curious, enquisitive, and learn about problem solving on their own - this will make, I believe, much more rounded children, and much more likely to understand the consequence associated with a behaviour.

Having said that, as a childminder, all of the children I have looked after have known their numbers and most letters by 2.5, without ANY formal learning, just through play. Counting up to 10 and being able to recognise digits up to 10, and known many phonic sounds. And learn to count up to ten in French and Spanish. All integrated, without sitting down or (idiotic) worksheets.

BoffinMum Thu 03-Apr-14 11:09:14

If you want children from poorer backgrounds to do better, shouldn't you get rid of poverty? <duh>

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 11:11:32

excusetypos perhaps I should repost that post from time to time, to remind people joining it that:

He actually said school ready was things like being able to go to the toilet, doing up shoes, being able to listen for a while, knowing some colours/numbers, how to hold a pencil/crayon etc.

And absolutely nothing to do with the introduction of 'formal learning'

PortofinoRevisited Thu 03-Apr-14 11:13:02

My dd's maternelle used to follow themes. For example Wheat. So they went to a farm. They went to a windmill. They played with flour. They drew pictures. They baked bread. They talked about the seasons. They brought in baked goods from different countries (quite a mix at dd's school) etc etc. They did similar with Weather and Insects and stuff. This is what school consists of here between 3 and 6. No tests, no uniforms, no pressure. Teacher led activities, yes, but lots of fun.

But as I said above, when they started Primary, the WHOLE class was ready. The differences between the eldest and the youngest and the boys and the girls had pretty much disappeared. They could all sit still, they could all use a pen, they could all go to the toilet. The teacher could get on with the business of teaching them to read and write.

My friend has a dd the same age as mine. She started "formal" education 2 years earlier than dd. It was disconcerting hearing how good she was a reading. Nowadays there is no difference between them at all. In fact dd can read fluently in 2 languages. So 2 years of work extra to get to the same end result.

Anniegoestotown Thu 03-Apr-14 11:21:37

I think that saying that the children who are not school ready come from a socially deprived back ground or don't go to the right sort of nursery or have parents not willing or able to put in the time and effort are missing the point.

Df is very very wealthy and her ds an only child, went to the best nursery in our neighbourhood, (very upper middle class area) and he was only just "school ready" and he is a September born child.
My ds was "school ready" just, despite being a summer born baby. He could read a few words, write his name and do simple sums.
By the end of year 3 he had gone backwards. He could not read, write, and scored an impressive 0 on his end of year Maths test. The homework, which he had to do as it was the national curriculum and every child had to do it (so his teachers said) was taking up so much time and leaving us all exhausted and emotionally drained that there never seemed to be enough time or enough energy to try and help him with stuff he needed to learn to do.

If he did not complete the homework as in a few times it was beyond him, he was shouted at in the front of the class. From a very happy, bright little boy he became a depressed shell. The best decision we made was to home school him but even now we have not got back that person who he was. He will still wake in the middle of the night after having a nightmare about the school he left 4 years before and we still have problems that are ongoing because of the teaching methods and general behaviour towards him. I really hope things will get better and I will get back my bright, sunny little boy but as the years role on I doubt we will ever come to terms with what happened at school.

During his first Parent teachers meeting it was pointed out to me that my 4year 1 month old could not write a paragraph. I was then shown a fellow classmates work (fellow classmate was a girl who had just turned 5) and was told my ds was failing. When I asked what they were going to do about it I was told that they were there to teach and if a pupil could not or would not learn then that was not their problem. This was ds's first school which only went up to year 2. He went to another school in year 3 which had the same way of doing things which meant he was going backwards not forwards. I tried to help him and for a while things were looking better but as the homework increased then the stuff I could do with him decreased.

What is trying to be achieved and how nurseries and school teachers will interpret it is open to a wide range of varying ideas of what it means.

BoffinMum Thu 03-Apr-14 11:24:34

He hasn't said anything about assessing very young children for potential SEN issues, and funding statements at nursery. I raise this because hidden SEN is thought by researchers to be a factor underpinning some of the 'school readiness' issues.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Thu 03-Apr-14 11:26:20

Gosh that sounds an awful school. Was it private? Shouting at a child is very wrong.

Forago Thu 03-Apr-14 11:38:21

I think you have to consider the demographics. Study after study has shown that one of the best indicators of a child's academic and career outcomes is education level of the Mother. We are on Mumsnet. Posting about Education. Lets face it, posters on here are likely (more likely than average) to be well educated themselves and/or very interested in their child's well-being and helping to maximize their potentials. Our children, on the whole, are going to be fine one way or the other, whatever Ofsted etc mandate. Any SEN will be addressed, our 2/3y olds will gradually be shown how to go to the toilet, how to hold a pen and a knife and fork. They will get regular and appropriate medical care. Reasonably good diets.

However, it is blindingly obvious to me - and I have nothing to do with Childcare or Education other than as a parent - that there are vast swathes of the population where this Does Not Happen. Government departments have to cater for the entire population. As a middle class parent I find it annoying that my childminder has to do meaningless paperwork (to me) yes, but what's the alternative I suppose? That the people in care or with crappy parents are written off - the people like the previous poster's husband grow up convinced they are "fick".

I think I can cope with a little bit more structure if they can demonstrate positive outcomes for children that aren't as lucky as mine. I do think they do need to start demonstrating it though - look at Surestart - pretty much written off as a failure now.

My children are lucky. I send/sent my children to a good quality (expensive) day nursery, a good nursery/pre-school attached to a school and also use a lovely childminder who does the things like baking and park trips during the week which I can't do while I'm at work. And if I really don't like the generic catch-all structures put in place by Ofsted I can opt out and send them to independent schools. I am educated and can help them with their homework and I can provide a comfortable house for them to live in, a good diet and a range of experiences like holidays and days out. I really don't think this applies to all children in the U.K.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Thu 03-Apr-14 11:40:32

He hasn't said anything about assessing very young children for potential SEN issues, and funding statements at nursery. I raise this because hidden SEN is thought by researchers to be a factor underpinning some of the 'school readiness' issues.

I wondered about this as all the DC I know who had problems in reception were later found to have underlying medical conditions or diagnosed with some form of SEN.

Plus aren't SEN levels higher in lower social economic groups?

I wonder how much of that is possibly due to family histories of such conditions and corresponding poor education outcomes being passed down, or SEN conditions having more impact on education due to fewer family resources to mitigate their impact or just poorer nutrition at key development times.

adsy Thu 03-Apr-14 11:48:56

guinea
what an odd post!
What part of my OP makes you think nurseries are better than CMs??

I said: "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"

does that offend you somehow?/

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 03-Apr-14 11:54:12

I am delighted that there are so many intelligent, excellent child minders and nursery nurses out there(ie think as I do.) In my experience, nurseries attached to schools get lots of directives from Reception Class as to what the children should be doing, as opposed to what is necessary for their development, just as the secondary school would send envoys to ensure lists of their targets were covered. I thought Michael Willshaw was going to be good when he was first appointed, but he seems to be increasingly hysterical in his approach to education for all ages. I agree, look to the continent for pre-school and nursery education; structured but not pressured.

Anniegoestotown Thu 03-Apr-14 11:55:29

Goodness. No these were both outstanding OFSTED rated state schools.

I returned him to a school in year 6 that OFSTED thought was not great which was the most fantastic school he had ever been to and wishes he had been there all along. They told me that he is very dyslexic and needs to be properly tested. He started senior school and in the first week the 180 new year 7 pupils sat down to a Maths test so they could be grouped in order of ability. He scored 98% and came 2nd behind a fellow classmate. In fact out of the 7 pupils who had transferred from the primary school where he had spent the previous year to this particular school they took the top 7 places in the Maths test.

So much for OFSTED reports.

ikeaismylocal Thu 03-Apr-14 11:59:35

Surely the sensible solution would be to not make small children go to school?

My ds has just started nursery in Sweden, for the last 2 weeks I have been going with him to help him settle in, it has been such an eye opening experience to see how they "teach" the children and what is expected of the children.

Ds is in a group where the age range is 1-4 years, the older group has an age range of 4-7.

In many ways they children are treated the same as adults, the food they eat is the same that adults would eat, no bland kids food. Ds had broccoli soup with crusty bread today, yeasterday he had quinoa and roasted veg with cheese. They are given china plates and real glasses, they have candles lit in the middle of the table to make it feel cosy. In contrast to this the children all get help getting dressed/undressed to go outside and they nap/rest after lunch.

there is no formal teaching as such, they make pictures with crayons but there is no pen holding training and not a hint of letter forming even with the older kids. The children are trusted with tools, they do woodwork and needle work.

The children spend more than half of the day outside regardless of weather, they are just allowed to play.

The 2, 3 and 4 year olds know the names of all the birds who come and sit in the trees whilst they eat their snack, they know which birds migrate and which birds mate for life. The 4 other kids in my ds's group each seem to have a personal passion that they talk about lots, one girl is obsessed with owls, she knows everything there is to know about owls, one boy is very interested in languages, he insists on saying bye bye to ds in a different language each day, one boy is interested in fashion, he likes to wear dresses and he matches his slippers to his outfit (he has special pink sparkly slippers for when he is wearing a dress because you must wear fancy slippers when wearing a dress).

The children are so kind to each other, they see themselves as a little family. they call my ds "our new baby" and they are so excited when he comes in the morning.

The older kids go on adventures around the nature reserve that the nursery is located in every friday, they build a fire and cook their lunch on it and then make dens and chase leaves and spot animals.They spend their days ice skating and sledging in the winter and making dens/doing plays/ growing flowers and veg in the summer.

The teachers are so kind and affectionate with the children, they cuddle them and kiss them, stroke their hair and touch their faces.

Part of the preschool curriculum in Sweden is that the child has the right to decide for themself, the children are encoraged to make their own decisions and if there is some silly behaviour it is ignored unless it is hurting someone or dangerous.

I saw the older kids enjoying their friday afternoon bonfire last week, it was one of those glorious early spring days, warm sunshine, clear blue sky, lots of wind. The leaves were newly defrosted and blowing all over the place, some of the kids were leaping up in the air collecting them and taking them into the dens they had built to make beds for themselves as they were bears just waking up from hibination, some of the kids were spotting spring flowers, a couple of the kids were sat on their teacher's knee having a cuddle the kids looked so happy and uninhibited. it crossed my mind that non of these kids could read or write, they have never sat in a classroom enviroment, in the UK all of those children would be in classroom bassed education every day, the older kids would have been in school for 3 years already.

I don't understand what the rush is to get children who are not much more than toddlers "school ready." Surely the focus should be on ensuring that children feel secure, happy, loved and respected, everything else will come naturally with an engaged and commited carer.

I started reception at 4 and 2 weeks, little things like I was too little to sit properly on the big chair and I weed in my pants because I didn't know how to undo dungarees and I wasn't allowed to sit on my teacher's knee even if I was upset or feeling ill made school a not very nice place to go.

Sweden does better educationally that the UK and more importantly studies have shown that Swedish kids are happier.

rallytog1 Thu 03-Apr-14 12:02:51

It's insane. Ofsted will no doubt be inspecting parents soon to ensure they're providing a structured learning environment.

bangs head against wall

Anniegoestotown Thu 03-Apr-14 12:06:15

My children are lucky. I send/sent my children to a good quality (expensive) day nursery, a good nursery/pre-school attached to a school and also use a lovely childminder who does the things like baking and park trips during the week which I can't do while I'm at work. And if I really don't like the generic catch-all structures put in place by Ofsted I can opt out and send them to independent schools. I am educated and can help them with their homework and I can provide a comfortable house for them to live in, a good diet and a range of experiences like holidays and days out.

But what happens if you do all of that and your children are still not able to read by the end of year 1.

The answer is nothing. nothing happens and your child is left to spend 6 hours per day floundering in a sea of literate people where they are effectively written off by the very people who are paid to look out for them and teach them. The homework that is set is designed to have them fail and feel like failures.

I have also come to the conclusion over the few years I have had to look at OFSTED reports that it is not necessarily the schools and the teachers that are outstanding but the tutors that are employed by the parents of children at the school

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Thu 03-Apr-14 12:12:38

rallytog1 let me help you with that. grin

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 03-Apr-14 12:18:33

Isn't 'readying for school' what Year R is for? I sort of thought the clue was in the name, 'Reception', like, come here before you go in properly and we'll point you in the right direction.

I am happy to be advised otherwise though. grin

Tanith Thu 03-Apr-14 12:20:17

I think Michael Wilshaw is doing precisely what his predecessor did to childminders in Autumn 2012.
Then, childminders were attacked for their track record on "school readiness" (just one month after the requirement was introduced and all providers were still squabbling over exactly what it meant!) and it started a series of attacks on childminders so that Liz Truss could introduce her Agencies.

Now, Michael Wilshaw is paving the way for the Government's policy to move daycare and nursery provision into schools by rubbishing the current providers. It's been going on for some time and the real reason for all this is the drive for cheap childcare - cheap for the Government, that is.

Why else would they be ignoring years of research into how young children learn and develop? Why else would they ignore the Early Years experts, the professionals, those who work with these children; those who influence our thinking and best practice and those who work with it daily?

In my opinion, Michael Wilshaw has proved two things:

1. He knows NOTHING about Early Years and how young children learn.

2. He's politically influenced to the point where he and his organisation can no longer be relied upon to deliver independent and unbiased opinion.

I wish we could remove ALL Early Years from Ofsted control. Inspection after inspection is proving they have poor knowledge of the sector and children deserve an inspecting body that knows what it's talking about.

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 03-Apr-14 12:20:36

ikea - I think the interviewer on the Today program this morning asked Wilshaw something similar wrt. Sweden and I managed not to hear his answer as DS2 had flicked Weetabix on the dog (by accident and dog ecstatically happy).

Forago Thu 03-Apr-14 12:26:35

well I guess that's the answer isn't it Annie - if I did all that and my child still couldn't read at the end of y1 I would: read with them even more often, speak to the teacher, nag the HT, get professional help, hire a tutor, see an educational psychologist, visit the GP, check hearing and vision, see private doctors if necessary, move schools if I felt it would help, assess for SEN. I would do whatever I could to try and improve the situation. I wouldn't just leave them to get further and further behind, but that's what happens to a lot of kids I think.

shakethetree Thu 03-Apr-14 12:34:02

I think a 4 year old should be toilet trained, able to hold a pen and put his coat on - what's that got to do with poverty? - people on low incomes have toilets.

LiegeAndLief Thu 03-Apr-14 13:06:43

I have a huge problem with this:

Sir Michael added: "The corollary of not preparing children well for school is that they don't do well in reception and, if they don't do well in reception, they don't get on at key stage one, they find it difficult to read at seven, they fail at the end of primary school and that failure continues into secondary school.

My ds did not do well in reception. He went unable to hold a pen properly, use a knife and fork or write something resembling his name. He did not learn to read and write until Y1. This had absolutely nothing to do with my failings as a parent or the failings of his preschool (which was one of these wonderful ones attached to a school!). It had everything to do with the fact that he was a premature August born boy with poor fine motor skills who was categorically not ready for school.

He did well in KS1 and reads brilliantly at 7, thanks to a wonderful reception class who let him go at his own pace, great teachers and interested and supportive parents. I object strongly to my lovely ds and all those other children like him being lumped into this generic and badly thought through statement.

capsium Thu 03-Apr-14 13:34:49

I wonder how much of that is possibly due to family histories of such conditions and corresponding poor education outcomes being passed down, or SEN conditions having more impact on education due to fewer family resources to mitigate their impact or just poorer nutrition at key development times.

I think this is a very controversial line of thought. The hereditary element suggests a certain predisposition and following on from this a certain pre-destination, concerning outcome. This is why some people 'write children off', it seems from an increasingly young age. However I think it important to recognize the plasticity of brain development and sheer range of diversity in a child's development.

Equally poor nutrition might be a factor but again it might not be.

The factor that seem so readily missed is how teacher beliefs and expectations concerning the educational potential of a child and how this can affect the quality of teaching and assessment. Low aspirations of professionals involved in educating our children, are especially pertinent when 'Early Intervention' policies are adopted, children can indeed be 'written off' from a very young age and sidelined into corridors, away from the classroom, working with TAs and 'forgotten about' by the teachers.

I wouldn't say this happens all the time but I have certainly experienced some of it, through my child being given a Statement of SEN. At various times it has been apparent to me that the CT has not been aware of (some written) comments TAs made concerning my DC's learning to me or attending different learning groups in school was preventing the work in class from being completed satisfactorily. Equally I have found out (from my child), he has not undergone the same teacher assessment process other children in the class have undergone (though not actually disclosed by CT). Later when he did, the results showed a huge jump in 'attainment'.

thebody Thu 03-Apr-14 13:47:46

ikeaismylocal sounds idyllic.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Thu 03-Apr-14 13:59:30

capsium I wasn't trying to be controversial but I do think there is more than the usual bad parenting that is so often blamed going on and was trying to express that.

I'm dyslexic as are many of my family. It has a genetic component - it's not whole story or fully understood - does mean my DC are higher risk than general in being diagnosed with this and may well have problems, and have, within schooling system.

In my case means I do extra phonics with them and look at many other ways of supporting them.

Higher numbers of dyslexics are found in the prison population than general population. Doesn't mean all dyslexia will end up in prison or won't do well educationally it's just something that else that needs to be overcome and not doing so has life chance implications.

The fact that support and understanding is more wide spread in schools now than when I was at school can only help this.

Low aspirations of professionals involved in educating our children

Oh yes I so agree with this. We are in a working class area often bad with low boys expectations from teachers and parents.

I've got very frustrated when it kept being given as a reason my DS was behind in certain areas. I accept generally boys may be behind girls development but that not a reason not to look at what is causing the problems or not to help individual boys to get past problems.

Lots of parental input and advice from primary school boards here and he's now in top sets and doing well. If I'd listened and just accepted it - I seriously doubt he'd be doing so well.

Anniegoestotown Thu 03-Apr-14 14:10:04

Forago they will not test for dyslexia at anything below age 8 and even then it is a wait and see policy. My dd is dyslexic and she only had her diagnosis in year 9 aged 14 and yet everyone of her teachers from Reception upwards had said they thought she was dyslexic. Ds is IMO much worse and no amount of reading each night and going through the earliest reader books helped. Ds got further and further behind because of the directive saying all children should be able to read by the time they enter yr 2 and should be doing X,Y and Z for homework. It is as if saying it will make it happen.

The look on ds's teacher's face was completely blank when I pointed out that the homework set was beyond him and could she set something for him that was achievable. It was like a mantra, "that is the homework, we are following the national curriculum and there are no exceptions. That is the homework he has to do it otherwise he will sit in all break and all lunch times until it has been achieved"

You can only get a child tested for dyslexia through an educational psychologist if the school recommend it. And most schools I have come across just take a wait and see policy. Apart from dd's private senior school.
What happens if the teacher, HT and everyone who could give you the help and referral needed will not. What happens if they remove the SENCO dept from the school and don't tell you?

Having got one at private and one at state I can say all your recommendations are laudable if you are dealing with a school you are paying for. State schools I always get the impression from some of them that you should be grateful your child is able to come to their fantastic school.

Yes we did move schools, dd and ds both been to 4 schools and apart from an OFSTED failing school and a private one the OFSTED outstanding ones were at best unhelpful and at worse downright atrocious. Would you like your child to be the subject of discussions between his teacher/fellow parent (her ds was a fellow pupil) and other parents in his class about how badly ds was falling behind. When I made the decision to home ed him a df told me her ds had said that the teacher had made a comment in class how ds was not going to be coming to school any more as he was going to be playing computer games all day.

Not all teachers want the best for your child and no amount of head banging helps.

The more I see of how education is run in this country the more I think it is designed for girls. Those with both dd's and ds's must see the difference between a boy of 4 and a girl of 4. Especially if the boy is the younger sibling.

capsium Thu 03-Apr-14 14:19:01

Hobbit Ah, I see.

The 'blame game' does frustrate me though.

To me progressing a child's learning from their individual starting point is something that should be the primary focus. There is too much hand wringing and talk of getting other professionals involved after said child displays a few 'warning signs' of a condition and then when the diagnosis comes often too much '...well they cannot do this because they have X.'

Careful teacher assessments and focusing on strengths I think goes a long way in education. Yes, when medical conditions are involved there are additional strategies that may help. However a lot of them are fairly common sense. When helping a child overcome difficulties with reading, observing a child attempting to read or write can give away a lot of information. For example problems with missing out words or getting similar words confused and you might be looking at eye convergence skills, and the eye's ability to focus on individual words and letters, figure ground discrimination, etc.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 03-Apr-14 14:19:37

well as a nursery teacher/reception teacher I would be happy with going to the loo on their own and not crying when they left mummy. anything else is a bonus.

children need to be children.

dd was being taught one more and one fewer (1 grape and one more is... 3 grapes and eat one is...) and to recognise names before the age of two... as she demanded it by grabbing my finger and jabbing it on the paper stating name (jab) "name" (jab)

ds on the other hand was not ready to read until half way through reception. he is doing absolutely fine now. he is not being taught any maths as he is not interested. he is learning lots of other things instead.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Thu 03-Apr-14 14:26:21

Those with both dd's and ds's must see the difference between a boy of 4 and a girl of 4.

Honestly - there is a difference but with my DC not as big as you'd think especially with DD2 being very like DS. Though I obviously can't account for how have a slightly older and younger sister has affected DS development.

Personally I've found it just as frustrating to be told DS is struggling to decode/write letters properly because he's a boy as I have to be told that yes DD1 is almost certainly dyslexic and that why she struggles to decode or still writes some letters incorrectly but we don't test till yr4 - then get to r4 there no point in testing hmm.

In both cases I just want my DC supported and helped to get over their problems and make as much progresses as possible and luckily most of their teachers have wanted that too.

Barbeasty Thu 03-Apr-14 14:45:03

All children need structured learning.

You don't just wait and hope your child magically learns to use the toilet. You teach them and build up to it.

You model the use of cutlery; you read to them; you point out colours.

The example earlier from Sweden of children dressing up and playing outside to develop grosse motor skills before moving on to fine motor skills is structured learning. The children are doing fun things but with a defined "learning outcome" and purpose/ next steps.

Do I want my child continuously assessed in the 3Rs? Yes. Assessment isn't (necessarily) taking exams.

Watching a group of 3 year olds playing hide and seek and noting that the seeker can count to 10 before trying to find the others is assessment.

And it's only by assessment that potential SEN will be found.

The skills being suggested are things which MOST children should be capable of when they start school, and which ALL children should have been given the opportunity and support to get as far as they can with them.

If your child isn't developmentally ready, or has SEN which means they need more help and support, that help and support will be more available if the 20 - something other children in the class who could manage the basics have been given the structured learning which means they are managing them.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 03-Apr-14 14:49:34

Can I just say something, do we agree that there are children who are not toilet trained before going to school nursery (aged 3-4)? Is there an increase in the number of children who are not able to go to the loo independently ie wipe themselves and wash hands properly, compared to 10 years ago? And is the solution proposed by Sir whathisface actually going to tackle that? And is it really a nursery nurse's job to educate children to do this properly, or is it the Parents?

Same goes with speech development. Are there any statistical data showing that there are more children aged 3-4 who are not at the expected level of speech development than let's say, 10 years ago? if so, isn't it the parents' role to engage with their child and make sure that their speech is developing well, at a good pace, from an acceptable age? Wake me up here, but please tell me that parents have something to do with this...

Anniegoestotown Thu 03-Apr-14 14:50:30

Barbeasty. What if the school just take the attitude that your child should be ready because it is said they should be.

drspouse Thu 03-Apr-14 14:51:05

Are there any statistical data showing that there are more children aged 3-4 who are not at the expected level of speech development than let's say, 10 years ago?

No, there aren't, despite handwaving from various bodies...

adsy Thu 03-Apr-14 14:53:06

barbeasty
my point is exactly that children learn in a home environment and in nurseries/ CM's.
My grip is the government seems hellbent on forcing 2 and 3 year old into a school environment as opposed to the childcare options which already, on the whole do a good job of aiding children's development.
The ones who are being neglected to such a degree that they haven't mastered the basics by school age are not going to be the ones using nurseries/ cm's

adsy Thu 03-Apr-14 14:54:05

gripe. not grip.

capsium Thu 03-Apr-14 14:55:49

blue But parents are having to delegate a lot of the 'parenting' to nurseries though. Nurseries will not toilet train, but because a parent may spend less time with their child there is not as much time to devote to toilet training.

Ditto language skills.

Childcare settings have a difficult job too. There is less time to spend with an individual child due to child adult ratios. Yet the economy needs parents to work.

This is why I think the blame game is harmful. We are talking about shared responsibility here.

adsy Thu 03-Apr-14 14:58:45

I agree capsium re. the ratios. CM's have far fewer children per carer than any other form of childcare, so how does the government think things will improve when you have school size classes for 2 / 3 yo.
If they are saying children aren't getting enough one on one for learning now I shudder to think what will happen with 1:20 ratios.

Forago Thu 03-Apr-14 15:03:23

Hi Annie - they weren't recommendations, I am no expert smile, Just what I would do if/when any of my children have educational issues. My eldest is only in y4 and a pretty average kid as far as I can see, no issues so far (apart from preferring football and minecraft over homework of course). The younger ones too - though we do have dyslexia in the family so I am aware to look out for it (my mother and brother, DP and his father are dyslexic) but no signs so far. Of course I have no idea (yet) how easy or frustrating it would be trying to get that or any other SEN diagnosed and supported. I think the point I was making more is that our kids have mothers, parents, who are interested and involved and would take action to try and improve things for their children (like you did with the home ed) - whereas some kids would just be left to stagnate in the same situation.

Funny you should say about state/private schools - where we are the private schools have a bit of a rep for only serving the able children and I know 3/4 families with children with SN who have removed them and sent them to the (worst rep) state primary in the area which apparently has much better SEN provision (you're right though, not the local Ofsted Outstanding ones which are seen as just as unsympathetic as the preps).

blueberryupsidedown Thu 03-Apr-14 15:09:11

As far as I understand, Sir Sir Michael Wilshaw is saying that 'Nurseries are not preparing children for school' (bbc). Is that not clear enough? He is blaming the nurseries. Clear and simple.

halfdrunktea Thu 03-Apr-14 15:16:14

Why can't the government look towards Scandinavia, for example Finland which is top of the educational league tables but doesn't start formal learning until seven?

I think introducing letters and numbers is fine if it's done in an informal, play-based way, but I don't think formal teaching should come until later - four or five year olds in reception are young enough. School readiness should focus on socialisation, going to the toilet unaided, doing up own coat and similar which previous posters have mentioned.

jay55 Thu 03-Apr-14 15:18:58

I'm certain the current government were never toddlers, I think they hatched from pods at eton at 13.

ReallyTired Fri 04-Apr-14 09:33:35

"Same goes with speech development. Are there any statistical data showing that there are more children aged 3-4 who are not at the expected level of speech development than let's say, 10 years ago? if so, isn't it the parents' role to engage with their child and make sure that their speech is developing well, at a good pace, from an acceptable age? Wake me up here, but please tell me that parents have something to do with this..."

I think that there are more reception children arriving at school with speech and language problems. However I think this is caused by massive cuts in the health visiting/ speech and language service rather than parenting.

It is really hard for a first time mum to know what is normal speech. Even if parents do recongise that little Jonny's speech is delayed then they don't always know what to do. Waiting lists for speech and language therapy and audiology are just far too long.

I am a fan of school nurseries, but many working parents find them completely impractial. We need better wrap around care so that all children can access school nursery for 3 hours a day. We also need to be realistic how much education a child can cope with at a young age. We need good wrap around care (prehaps provided by a creche or childminder) as well as good edcuation. Education and childcare are not the same thing.

There is a difference between formal teaching of maths and english and a teacher led activity. I feel that child initated learning has gone too far in the EYFS. Children enjoy structured activites like craft or learning to use sissors or any other skill in small doses.

The present system is like the emporor's new clothes. The idea that children learn and will be school ready with zero imput is naive. Well off parents help their tots learn the skills of concentration through music, gym or swimming lessons. My daughter can do proper breaststroke and front crawl (with correct breathing) at the age of four years old

She did not learn to swim so well through play or intensive hot housing. Our council organises well differentiated swimming lessons. DD has a lovely swimming teacher who relates well to under fives. The children have a lot of fun as well as learning.

Preciousbane Fri 04-Apr-14 10:20:49

I think you sound like a great childminder Adsy

juneau Fri 04-Apr-14 10:29:38

The nursery I use does toilet training! Otherwise how would the DC who are in there five days a week learn to use a toilet?

adsy Fri 04-Apr-14 10:31:50

Thanks preciousbane.
I know my way around a fish finger sandwich which I believe is an indicator of a good childminder on mn!

capsium Fri 04-Apr-14 10:36:25

juneau That is good. smile

However, I have heard of some that were not at all proactive or even active in this respect though. People do not always get lots of choice, either...

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Fri 04-Apr-14 10:46:41

I'd be gutted if my 2 year old was school ready, I love the playful innocence of toddlers.

But - dp and I were talking about this last night and decided that we thought that compulsory nursery may be good for some children from a young age.

Where parents are struggling or children are maybe not being exposed to good things then it could help. Maybe even with compulsory parental attendance for a session a week (so like parenting classes but more hands on workshops)

I know it would be a minefield but some children are disadvantaged and missing out.

ReallyTired Fri 04-Apr-14 10:51:55

"I'd be gutted if my 2 year old was school ready, I love the playful innocence of toddlers. "

No one is taking away the playful innocence of toddlers. Its about giving children good play opportunites and the chance to develop good friendship skills. Two years olds who attend nursery don't suddenly turn into frankenstien.

I think a nursery that only had children with social problems would be hellish. Every child would need one to one and there would be fewer children with good manners to act as good role models.

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Fri 04-Apr-14 10:54:46

Really my 2 year old goes to nursery - he loves it. Still doesn't mean I want him to be school ready.

AuntieStella Fri 04-Apr-14 11:22:47

In interviews yesterday, he said 'school ready' meant things like being able to go to the toilet, to use a knife and fork, to be able to sit and pay attention for a few minutes (eg length of a story), maybe know colours and count a bit.

Now I know that 2 yos aren't reliable at those things, but I am surprised that posters actively do not want those things for their toddlers.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Fri 04-Apr-14 12:51:43

The sweedish set up sounds bliss. Do they put a lot more funding into it? I love the idea of real food, real plates, outdoor play etc.

My daughter loves the play based reception and is doing very well...but it seems a shame that they're having to spend so much time lining up, walking nicely, sitting nicely etc.

ikeaismylocal Fri 04-Apr-14 14:12:14

I read that a place at a Swedish nursery costs the government 11000kr ( about 1100 pounds) all children are entitled to a heavily subsidised place, families pay asmall contribution which is means tested, high earners only pay about 100 pounds for a full time place, food and nappies included.

soverylucky Fri 04-Apr-14 14:16:53

The idea of a formal setting for pre-schoolers makes me shudder. Children of that age should be playing. Children learn through play. Always have and always will. I hate how childminders are now being given a role of educating children. A childminder is there to provide, comfort, safety and fun for a child. If they read a book about counting then that's great - that sort of thing has always happened but logging progress in a learning journal - wtf?

Retropear Fri 04-Apr-14 14:33:23

Auntie those things aren't hard and if there are no SEN issues very easy for the vast maj of parents to teach.

capsium Fri 04-Apr-14 15:10:33

I wish people would stop excluding children with SEN issues as being irrelevant to the discussion. If you look at the stats children with SEN make up a significant enough proportion to be included within a discussion like this. They should be included in what type of education is suitable for this age group. Maybe then education would be more inclusive....

AuntieStella Fri 04-Apr-14 16:26:44

Agree, retropear. And I think concern for children who are not managing those things (which is what was actually said) is totally correct.

But as there are posters on here who have said that don't want their DC to become 'school ready', then no amount of improvement to provision or encouragement of take up of parenting classes is going to make much difference. And I think that's a shame.

MiscellaneousAssortment Fri 04-Apr-14 16:56:26

My son has just turned four a couple of weeks ago. I'm very glad he was born in March not August as he really isn't 'school ready'.

I think he's got the loo thing, and the concentrating and listening thing, but he's not got a clue how to hold a pen and emotionally he's devastates each nursery morning when he has to leave me.

I hate the idea he might go through that pain every morning going to school and I can't keep him off or go in with him or basically do anything to give him a break and help him get used to the idea. It's all just rule driven not child driven. Hideous.

When I started school my parents had the choice to keep me back a term or to do half days and a staggered start. I personally think they chose the wrong option as I was miserable and it started a bad relationship with the school system, but that's my parents failing vs the education system failing.

And more practically he actively doesn't want to learn a better way to hold his pen, he's happy holding it in his fist, and gets very grumpy when I try and show him differently, so I've stopped pushing as it will become 'a thing' if I do. He just isn't ready to do it yet, and that should be ok, as he's 48 months old, and has a long time to get it right.

What I'm concerned about with all this politically driven change to education and early years, is that it won't be ok for children not to be ready. And it will make children very very unhappy, and stop them developing rather than accelerate it.

Gov et al. have their own agenda in making these changes, and that agenda is not driven by expertise or knowledge. That's the worrying bit.

Where is the choice and the personalisation to a child's development? Where is the relationship between school and parents? It's devolved into state as best, parents as problem. Children must be taken away at the earliest point possible to mitigate the bad effect the parents have on a child. It's a foul attitude and shows the governments basic disgust and disrespect of the majority of the population.

Tanith Fri 04-Apr-14 18:00:22

MiscellaneousAssortment I entirely agree with every word.

My DS started school at 4 unable to hold a pencil correctly. He struggled to use a knife and fork because he wasn't developmentally ready.

Yet he could read independently, add, subtract, knew his tables etc. etc.

Gove and Wilshaw would say he wasn't school ready. I daresay he wasn't. That's no reflection on either him or me.
It certainly meant nothing in the long run: he won an academic scholarship to a public school.

Wilshaw has revealed his utter ignorance of Early Years. It's extremely worrying that he and Truss and Gove are arrogantly ignoring the expert Early Years advisers that do know what they're talking about.
It's utterly terrifying is that these three have the power to do a great deal of harm to our young children with their ignorant blundering.

capsium Fri 04-Apr-14 18:40:15

AuntieStella

Agree, retropear. And I think concern for children who are not managing those things (which is what was actually said) is totally correct.

Thing is when you child does not manage all these things, you do not want 'concern', which is usually equated with worried hand wringing and waiting lists. You want action, positive practical help and encouragement for you child. You do not want any negative aspirations or assumptions that they will not be able to do anything.

capsium Fri 04-Apr-14 18:40:54

^your child. Typo.

fayrae Fri 04-Apr-14 18:58:03

"Children need to be children".

What does this statement mean? There is no "natural" state of childhood. The concept largely didn't exist before Victorian times.

IMO, we fetishize "childhood" and youth in this country far too much. How children turn out as adults is the main thing, the only thing really.

I don't think it is a school teachers job to teach children how to sit still and concentrate. It is their job to teach. Just like it isn't a university lecturers job to teach students how to research, write essays etc.

Waltonswatcher1 Fri 04-Apr-14 19:51:37

Op
My kids are all in serious trouble then according to that line of thinking !
Dd14 ds11 dd2
All kept with me exclusively until 4 1/2 yrs .
School ready ...
What the hell is that supposed to mean?

somewherewest Fri 04-Apr-14 20:15:22

The Scandinavian model sounds lovely, but comparing Finland or Sweden with the UK is not comparing like with like. Take Finland - its extremely socially and ethnically homogeneous compared with the UK (so very few children from non-Finnish/ Swedish speaking backgrounds for example). So broadly speaking the Finnish get better results, but they face fewer issues.

heisenberg999 Fri 04-Apr-14 20:27:44

I work in early years in a very deprived postcode and these changes that have come in yestersay are ridiculous. The children I work with have little basic skills such as table manners, speaking, using toilet etc and now again they want more abcs etc. We have to do a lot of thrive where we are due to the families that we work with and my main concern is childrens emotional and social wellbeing and not academics pre age 5.

ikeaismylocal Fri 04-Apr-14 20:30:13

The Scandinavian model sounds lovely, but comparing Finland or Sweden with the UK is not comparing like with like. Take Finland - its extremely socially and ethnically homogeneous compared with the UK (so very few children from non-Finnish/ Swedish speaking backgrounds for example). So broadly speaking the Finnish get better results, but they face fewer issues.

Sweden is most certainly not ethnically homogeneous, there are huge levels of immigration in Sweden.

In my sons class out of 5 children 3 have a non Swedish home language.

I don't think that the extra 3 years that British kids get at school is needed just to deal with the ethnic and social differences in the UK, if anything if kids were left to mature and develop in their own time it would probably creat fewer issues.

frumpet Fri 04-Apr-14 20:45:55

The most important thing to a child pre-school is to feel safe . Putting any sort of pressure on a child in these years could make them feel less safe. Very bad idea for future mental health imho .

Coldlightofday Fri 04-Apr-14 21:16:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hippo123 Fri 04-Apr-14 21:37:07

I do agree with you, but the problem is that more and more children now are entering school still in nappies, unable to follow instruction, unable to hold their concentration for even a few minutes, unable to put on their shoes, unable to eat using a fork and spoon, never mind a knife. I don't think holding pencils correctly, knowing shapes and colours etc is really necessary but these basic skills are.
I think people are presuming that being 'school ready' is much more than it really is.

somewherewest Fri 04-Apr-14 21:42:15

ikeaismylocal

I'm probably generalising too much from Finland, which comes up lots on threads like these. I've been a few times and have friends there (one of whom is Finnish/British and works with new immigrants to Finland) and the UK it really isn't. I would love to push the school starting age back at least a year in the UK, but I don't think following a Finnish pattern wholesale would necessarily bring about Finnish results.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 04-Apr-14 22:15:12

Yanbu this is ludricous, they are babies fgs! In other countries Chidren don't start school until they are 6/7, let abides be babies!

OlympiaFox Fri 04-Apr-14 22:49:28

They want kids being able to recognise their own name by the time they start school at four, what an evil government picking on parents and childmindershmm

The ten skills they listed as necessary for every school age child was shocking for the fact that people seem to think it's acceptable and even normal for a four year old not to have them. Special needs excepted obviously, there is no excuse for any neurotypical four year old not to recognise their own name, understand what no and stop mean, to be able to talk in sentences etc... My two year old can do all of them and she's only a spectacular genius to her adoring parents.

You can hardly blame the government for wanting to step in early to try and reverse the damage by neglectful parents who are producing four year olds who have been spoken to so little they can barely speak, let alone do anything else. They're years behind other children by the time they start school and the damage is already done, they'll never be able to catch up. They're condemned to a life of underachievement and there are social consequences to that; behavioural problems leading to criminal activity, lifelong dependence on benefits, the reproduction of that into the next generation, hence government concern.

There are only two options; mandatory sterilisations for these parents and forced adoptions for their stunted through extreme neglect children or government intervention. That's the nice option.

MiscellaneousAssortment Fri 04-Apr-14 23:12:45

I'm yet to see any evidence of this hideous rise in children being so developmentally behind. I think there is a problem, but no one has shown any evidence that it's got worse. Or that the help that used to be available wasn't working - like access to speech therapists etc.

I also think that forcing everyone through the same extreme measures does not have the result of scooping up the minority of children from troubled backgrounds.

There isn't a choice between sterilisation, forced adoption or
Gove remaking the education system as some fucked up homage to his prep school. These are not the only options here!

capsium Fri 04-Apr-14 23:15:44

You can hardly blame the government for wanting to step in early to try and reverse the damage by neglectful parents who are producing four year olds who have been spoken to so little they can barely speak, let alone do anything else. They're years behind other children by the time they start school and the damage is already done, they'll never be able to catch up. They're condemned to a life of underachievement and there are social consequences to that; behavioural problems leading to criminal activity, lifelong dependence on benefits, the reproduction of that into the next generation, hence government concern.

Views like these, if they become entrenched, internalised, are what makes life all the more difficult for parents and children, dealing with SEN. The assumptions you face are horrible.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 04-Apr-14 23:26:20

Olympia school readiness at 2! Good on your child, what a genius she is big at on the back. All children develop at different rates, at the moment my 2.3 year old s not ready to recognise his name or speak in sentences, plenty of time for that, his speech is delayed we are seeing SALT. My dd 7 paedritrician told me that a lot of development takes place between 3-5 years old. We had none of these re schools r nurseries back in the day, I was taught at school to read and recognise my name.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 04-Apr-14 23:26:57

Meant pre schools

OlympiaFox Fri 04-Apr-14 23:28:15

Capsium; there's a huge difference between a child who has learning difficulties and one who is severely neglected. It's extremely unfair to ignore the latter because you don't want to offend the parents of the former.

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.

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

Good for you and your 2 year old.

Well done!

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

2 year olds are still babies ffs.

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

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

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.

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 23:44:44

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

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!

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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