Tough new tests for children at 5 and 11?

(62 Posts)
mrz Mon 08-Jul-13 06:54:25
Pozzled Mon 08-Jul-13 07:16:18

Can't see the full article, but this line made me shudder:

'a national test at the age of 5 so teachers know children's capabilities when they start school'

MirandaWest Mon 08-Jul-13 07:20:19

Have suddenly realised that if this starts from next September and that as DS is just finishing year 4 that he'll be in the first cohort to take new exams at the end of year 6.
I can't see the whole article either but presume after today we will find out more.

JakeBullet Mon 08-Jul-13 07:28:46

My DS is autistic and hates tests. He will br in Y6 next year. "Tough new test"? , Yeah? Good luck with thay as he will refuse to do it.

mrz Mon 08-Jul-13 07:28:58

I'm not sure whether to start a new thread or post here because it's related
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/08/michael-gove-education-curriculum-fractions

mrz Mon 08-Jul-13 07:34:54
MirandaWest Mon 08-Jul-13 07:36:54

Have read the guardian article - there does seem to be a lot of emphasis on computer programming but without full details of the new curriculum it is hard to tell what is planned.

Reception children using fractions could mean a lot of different things and there are various things that are happening already in DCs school at any rate. However giving academies and free schools the ability to opt out does rather lessen the "national" line.

Would tests on 5 year olds be entry base lining or a test at the end of reception I wonder?

AuntieStella Mon 08-Jul-13 07:36:58

The ST article is surprisingly superficial. I'll have a google later, but can anyone link what is being proposed for 5 year olds? It appears to be some sort of end-of-reception assessment - something which happens anyhow. What sorts of changes are being discussed (doesn't seem to be an actual proposal on this - or was that just sloppy writing?)

Some of the curriculum changes have been widely trailed and are uncontroversial (eg times tables to 12), but this is the first time I've seen programming being added so young (adding programming is a welcome thing overall though).

And of course neither academies nor free schools have to adopt any of it.

Pozzled Mon 08-Jul-13 07:39:56

Primary academies will still have to follow the curriculum I believe, but secondary academies can opt out.

CinnamonAddict Mon 08-Jul-13 07:51:24

Programming could be things like Scratch which is absolutely fine for 10-11yo.
I don't see a reason for a big outcry in the Guardian article.
Lots of these things are already done in a few schools. And are probably standard in private schools anyway.

is there a link to the new new curriculum changes yet?
Can't believe they would drop word processing for 5 year olds, when actually more should be made of it. Kids should be taught to type early with the heavier and heavier reliance on computers in education.

Fractions could be a simple as 'colour in half'.

simpson Mon 08-Jul-13 08:23:46

Fractions for 5 yr olds will probably be slices of pizza (half, quarter).

Times tables should be taught to 12 anyway IMO.

sanam2010 Mon 08-Jul-13 08:48:16

Finally, I get upset every time I hear what children learn in ICT at the moment (using word, ppt, photoshop), computer programming is finally something useful and intelligent.

Agree fractions will be slices of pizza, dividing an apple etc., I don't think they'll be multiplying fractions or anything like that.

I am really happy about the overhaul as I have to worry less about my children wasting their time when they start school.

AuntieStella Mon 08-Jul-13 08:59:27

BBC article says full announcement later today. The curriculum covers 5-14, and the pre-announcement trailers do not say at what age programming will be introduced, though what they say will be included seems very sensible.

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 09:18:16

basic fractions like half quarter etc will be fine, will help them learn to tell the time earlier too which I think is always useful. times tables are fine IMO. Not sure it is so much about what they are going to teach as how they are going to assess it?

MrButtercat Mon 08-Jul-13 09:49:04

God my dc mastered Scratch at 8, was hoping that finally they'd suggest something more challenging. Will read said article.

MrButtercat Mon 08-Jul-13 09:52:11

Bar the history(and the poetry reciting,I have have shy kids)it looks good.

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 10:07:56

yeah I am not sure about the poetry reciting but I do think the idea to introduce poetry earlier (at least I assume it is earlier) is good. My reception daughter is obsessed with poetry since we were given a brilliant book of over 300 poems, she then started picking all the poetry ones from the reading box (read 10 out of 12 of them) and then progressed to writing her own poetry (completely unprompted). The joy she has got from poetry which I assume she wouldn't really have done at school yet is great and I have recommended the book to lots of other people and they children seem to enjoy the poems too. so I don't think poems itself can be a bad thing but I can see lots of children not wanting to recite them. Although perhaps it is a good way to build confidence?

Tiggles Mon 08-Jul-13 10:19:02

grin, thank goodness I live in Wales!
I'm a software engineer and started programming properly at 7, but have no interest in teaching my just to start reception DS how to program. They need to be learning logic at that age - how to plan work into steps, if a child can't work through a long maths problem in a logical way there is no point trying to teach them to program. They need basic skills first.
Why only teach history to 1066? That is crazy, and misses out all the interesting topics they currently do in primary school.
If children come to school unable to count to 5 (which I remember being a news headline a year or two ago) why teach fractions in reception, they need to learn to count first. (Or are they saying '5' meaning year 1, in which case surely they already do fractions in year 1).
Whilst I see that the very top end of children would probably be fine with the above curriculum, I think the majority of children will not be.

Tiggles Mon 08-Jul-13 10:24:24

Did I also read that all schools are going to get 3D printers, who is going to fund that?

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 10:27:38

I saw the 3d printer thing and thought exactly the same. I assume they mean the sort I saw on This Morning a week or so ago (rarely watch it but happened to see them making these 3d plastic things with a printer - quite fascinating really)
I agree with the programming, they need to learn the basics, like I think they need to learn to do proper handwriting before we worry about them learning to type or they will never learn to write properly. My handwriting is rubbish now, I was never the neatest but now it is truly awful because I rarely have to do any other than write notes for myself.

MrButtercat Mon 08-Jul-13 10:28:01

Little my dp is a software developer and my DS 9 picked up logic etc very quickly.Believe me he's bored shatless with his IT lessons.The only time I see I'm excited is when he goes off to a G&T IT course or does coding at home with dp.He constantly nags but dp doesn't often want to teach coding after a belly full at work.

Wait until your dc gets older,you won't believe how shit the IT is in primary schools.Totally not the fault of teachers.I am wondering where they're going to get the staff to teach all this programming though,dp struggles to get certain programmers as it is.

MrButtercat Mon 08-Jul-13 10:32:35

Have to say in my experience of Dp's IT colleagues those proficient at programming etc aren't the type who would be that good at imparting their skills to hoards of school kids.grin

Tiggles Mon 08-Jul-13 10:33:43

DH has designed 3D printers, laser cutters etc they are very cool, but very expensive.
MrBC I agree completely about who is going to actually teach the programming. I'm meant to be going into DSs school to teach them some basic HTML skills, but they never seem to have the time. The problem is that I can see that (primary) children can learn procedural programming e.g. basic, but to truly grasp object oriented programming which most languages are today (e.g C#, Java) would be way beyond most children. A lot of degree students struggle with the concept and to do it well.
DS 'programs' games on sploder, but that just seems to be a drag and drop of pretty pictures into an order to create a game, which is what I can see the government may mean by 'app' programming, but it doesn't actually provide any useful programming skills.

MrButtercat Mon 08-Jul-13 10:42:28

Little disclaimer<I know buggar all re IT>

I agree.

The Java and C #(Oracle)stuff I am sure is what Dp's Masters and certifications are in.Java is what DS is nagging to learn.Scratch he found very easy he has done on a G&T course.There is very little for kids like DS,he is lucky he has dp(when he has the inclination).

My query is if businesses struggle to get the current in demand coders then schools will struggle even more and surely it's only worth teaching the languages in demand.

Most coders I know like a solitary existence tinkering.grin

Apologies for any incorrect jargon.

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