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Great article in the Guardian about education and school starting age

(20 Posts)
BudaBones Fri 16-Oct-09 06:06:31

Here - makes interesting reading esp on a day when the Prime Minister comes to visit!

lexcat Fri 16-Oct-09 08:37:45

Makes great reading I'm so pleased at last the someone has spoken out. That information has been out their for years. Children in Scandinavia don't start primary till 6/7 and then only part-time are ahead by the time they start secondary school.

Mind I do believe the 3R's should the most important part, but not take over as a wide curriculum allows every child a chance to shine.

Litchick Fri 16-Oct-09 09:00:22

The Government has already responded to the Camebridge Report and given it a resounding thumbs down.

sarah293 Fri 16-Oct-09 09:30:40

Message withdrawn

KembleTwins Fri 16-Oct-09 09:35:34

This is on the BBC website this morning too. I think it makes some really valid points. I am at the stage where I am applying for primary schools for my DTs who were only 3 in July. I just can't imagine them being ready for school this time next year, and am pleased that their reception year will be largely play-based. They are bright little buttons, and love finding out new things, but I don't like the idea of them being only just 5 when they start "formal" schooling in Yr 1 (in 2011, obviously)

The evidence in European countries with a later school start date surely speaks for itself.

Litchick Fri 16-Oct-09 09:39:14

The Government say that a return to learning through play til six will be a 'backward step' and that things have moved on significantly since the review was commissioned five years ago.

paddingtonbear1 Fri 16-Oct-09 09:46:41

I've just seen this on the BBC news website. I agree that formal learning starts far too soon in this country. My dd was just over 4 when she started school and has always struggled. She's now 6 and would be ready for more formal learning, but she's already quite a way behind! Her confidence is low and we're having a battle trying to catch her up to the level she's 'supposed' to be at. argh. Of course if she had been able to start later, there may still have been problems but I don't think it would have been quite so noticeable.

MarshaBrady Fri 16-Oct-09 09:50:58

Perhaps Scandinavian schools are ahead because they are better than UK schools. Less children? Less stressed teachers? Any one know?

And not to do with reading later.

Ds 4.5 loves the learning part of reception so I wouldn't be keen on it changing. But understand all children are different.

pofacedandproud Fri 16-Oct-09 09:52:09

totally agree with the report. I cannot understand why school starts so early in this country and that the day is so long.

giveloveachance Fri 16-Oct-09 09:59:12

The reason we start school so early is that the government want as many women back in the workforce as possible as soon as possible so the kids are packed off early to be looked after by teachers.

it is far too early, we are expecting kids to learn to read and write when they are still gaining verbal language skills when play, socialisation and feeling secure in the home is more important. But as a country, it is expensive of us to have lots of SAHM bringing up kids, and IMHO it is also very damaging to have so many kids looked after outside of the home at young ages because mum cant afford to stay at home. There should be more help for SAHM who are often undervalued and underrated.

Lilymaid Fri 16-Oct-09 10:02:12

I'm amazed that the UK requires formal education at an earlier and earlier age whilst other developed countries with which we compare ourselves start formal education much later.
The men chez Lil certainly would have benefitted from not having formal education forced on them early.

pofacedandproud Fri 16-Oct-09 10:12:07

I agree with you giveloveachance but be prepared to be flamed.

2kidzandi Fri 16-Oct-09 10:30:59

But isn't it somewhat scary that no matter what the professionals and teachers - people who actually work with children and are trained in child care, as opposed to government ministers who don't have such training - say, the government can just dismiss it all? This is why I think the Government should'nt have so much power over the education system. They should frankly back off and let teachers do the job they've actually received training in angry

sarah293 Fri 16-Oct-09 10:43:43

Message withdrawn

Litchick Fri 16-Oct-09 14:31:58

Well exactly, Riven.
As a country we have tried this and seen very little correlation between early formal learning and ultimate achievement.

And what we may actually be undermining is creativity. There's not enough room for playing, thinking and dreaming among all the sodding worksheets.

pofacedandproud Fri 16-Oct-09 15:33:35

Absolutely. Music, drama and art are seen as 'soft' subjects. Even creative writing. So depressing.

trickerg Fri 16-Oct-09 20:11:25

Thought it was rubbish. Very outdated. YR have moved towards child-initiated play; the YR-Y1 transition should also include child-initiated play. The report slammed the literacy and numeracy hour. They were replaced by the primary framework about 2-3 years ago!Schools are far more free to do what they want with the curriculum now.

mathanxiety Sat 17-Oct-09 04:35:12

Saw my oldest DCs off to school in the US, (where the 'system' is far from perfect), and with sinking heart found that they would not be doing much in the way of formal learning until age 6 or 7.

Instead they concentrated on learning how to co-operate reasonably in a group, share writing and art supplies, personal/ self care, respectful classroom behaviour, playing co-operatively, speaking coherently to a group and listening attentively (lots of well-organised show and tell, and story reading by teachers), singing, raising hands to speak, plus letter and number recognition at age 4-5, with a little journal writing, drawing or dictation to the teacher -- I began to see the wisdom to it. They were very well conditioned to be responsible for their own behaviour and able to sit and pay attention by the time they were 6.

Many children I knew, including my own DCs, had learned to read by themselves at around age 4, but there was plenty of social and emotional development to occupy them in school, which was half day until age 6.

My DCs who went right through school in the US did very well. I am so glad I finally relaxed and learned to love the method where I had at first seen only madness.

canella Sat 17-Oct-09 06:42:32

my dd went to school 2 months after her 4th birthday - she coped ok with the learning/playing side of thins but was exhausted - she used to fall asleep in the car on the way home!

we've now moved to germany. ds1 turned 5 yesterday and more than likely wont start school until he's nearly 7. he goes to kindergarten every morning but that is all about play - no learning at all.
School here - once they start - is intense (but they only go in the morning here). They learn to read and write in that first year and are doing addition/subtraction up to 100 by the 2nd year. and they are tested regularly. dd is in the 3rd class here and in the 4 weeks of school since summer has had 6 tests - they all accumulate to her report at the end of the year. there is no way children under the age of 6 or 7 would cope with that kind of environment.

although the system here has its faults, the flexibility of sending your child to school when they're ready must surely be better than sending "just 4 year olds" for the whole day like in the UK.

mrz Sat 17-Oct-09 10:02:16

You can read extracts from the actual report here

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