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Are schools pushing reception children too hard?

(39 Posts)
gingerhousecat Mon 22-May-17 23:09:35

General questions to both parents and teachers/assistants alike.

Background as to why asking: My little boy is in reception, he's one of the youngest and loves going to school ( other one is two). I've just started going into the school to volunteer mostly because I want to see what they are doing and how they do things so that I can help at home......

DancingLedge Mon 22-May-17 23:12:35

Former TA

Crushsick Mon 22-May-17 23:13:34


gingerhousecat Mon 22-May-17 23:29:37

But why? I generally thought that as a country (uk) we are not high on league tables etc so surely this is telling us that our system isn't working. Shouldn't it be more learning through play?
Know these are just questions but really interested in what others have to say as to be honest I don't feel like I can ask at the school/teachers etc as they never seem to have the time. x

HSMMaCM Tue 23-May-17 08:47:32

Some of the countries high on the league tables have thoroughly miserable children, effectively 'working' from dawn until dusk from the age of about 2.

We need to let children be children, learn about themselves and the world around them, so they will be ready for formal teaching. I prefer the countries that start formal learning at 7, although I know most of these also have informal learning at kindergarten.

AgentOprah Tue 23-May-17 08:59:14

Yes, but its not schools so much as the government. Almost every early years teacher I know feels there is too much formal teaching and not enough playing expected now, and it is trickling down from reception to nursery. Expectations are arbitrarily higher each year, every child must be performing better than average, and better than last year's child.

HSMMaCM Tue 23-May-17 10:21:34

100% agree. If the government would just let teachers teach, the children would know more, schools would be happier places and we'd have teenagers ready to face the real world.

HSMMaCM Tue 23-May-17 10:21:34

100% agree. If the government would just let teachers teach, the children would know more, schools would be happier places and we'd have teenagers ready to face the real world.

HSMMaCM Tue 23-May-17 10:21:34

100% agree. If the government would just let teachers teach, the children would know more, schools would be happier places and we'd have teenagers ready to face the real world.

logos Tue 23-May-17 10:40:21

Its not the 1970s anymore.

We live in a digital age where more and more unskilled jobs are going to be done by robots.

Kids will be need to be as highly skilled as possible for the future.

So if pushing them at school early will help in the long run then it is a good idea to do so.

sherazade Tue 23-May-17 10:43:14

You don't need to volunteer so you can learn how to help at home. You can 'help' him by letting him play at home. It's that simple (reception teacher here - and I had LOTS of parents trying to 'volunteer ' when I knew they really wanted to know how to get their kids to the top of the class)

HSMMaCM Tue 23-May-17 10:44:15


sherazade Tue 23-May-17 10:46:04

'Pushing kids' at preschool age and in their early years means what exactly ? The fundamental skills that we work on as a matter of priority are :
Physical development ( you can't write if you can't hold a pencil )
Personal , social & Emotional development ( you can't succeed if you aren't confident and self aware)
Language and communication (you can't read effectively if you can't start sequencing events for example , you can't learn if you can't listen )
These three areas are developed through play , and if you're a good early years teacher , you won't be needing to 'push ' your children.

MiaowTheCat Tue 23-May-17 11:01:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AgentOprah Tue 23-May-17 12:46:50

Sherazade - lots of 4 year olds aren't interested in writing in sentences or reading for example and they won't just do it through play.

gingerhousecat Tue 23-May-17 21:46:44

I'm not a pushy parent honest! Im just happy that he's always happy to go! But I think the expectation, in my school at least, of where they should be at end of reception is pretty crazy.

EweAreHere Tue 23-May-17 21:51:04


Too much too soon. We're destroying childhood for no good reason. Children learn through play, and playtime is being annihilated in schools.

sherazade Tue 23-May-17 23:28:48

They won't do it through play. What next ?
Let them play even more .
They will be even better equipped to do those things at 6-7.

GreyVelvet Tue 23-May-17 23:33:13

Yes and I'm a reception teacher

scissormister Tue 23-May-17 23:35:29

I have a child in reception and would say yes. He is academically fine, in teachers words: manages every challenge we throw at him. He is also demoralised and hates going to school and is miserable when i collect him. Wasn't like this at nursery. I think they should stop throwing challenges at him due to the fact that he is four, ffs.

Ohyesiam Tue 23-May-17 23:38:25

Yes. The new curriculum that Michael Give brought in is ridiculous. It is based on some theories that a think tank had. None of the think tank were educationalists.
It's a really broken system, teachers find it ridiculous, and it's not serving children.

seoulsurvivor Tue 23-May-17 23:38:41

I am a kindergarten teacher in Korea.

My 4 year old kids are in school from 9-6, with a one hour break, completing pages and pages of textbooks.

It is horrible to see. Yes, Korea gets good results in the league tables, but at the expense of happiness. I've never met a Korean who doesn't want to leave Korea as soon as they can.

Putting pressure on kids from a young age is messed up.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 24-May-17 00:11:43

Ds in reception would describe his teacher presumably teaching as
"This woman stands up and goes blah blah blah then we go out to play" he then described in detail every minute of play then it was back to the blah blah blah. Then lunch.

I can say he didn't learn anything in reception. Year one he was ready to learn (by which time he was virtually the same age as some who had been in reception the year before) by which time he appeared to have missed the boat and the lessons were far too advanced. (He also had an a***********e teacher who got fired mid way through the year and then several substitute teachers.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 24-May-17 00:24:06

Sorry battery was about to run out.

By year 2 he was completely adrift. He couldn't read or write and there was no safety net.

It is all very well saying what level children should be at but if children are not at that level what then.

Ds came out of year 3 when I decided to h/ed him, akin to someone suffering with PTSD and completely turned off schooling.

Whilst Korea gets excellent results hot housing children from the age of 4 we also have to take on board (if I remember the statistics correctly) Korea have the most unhappiest children in the world followed by the U.K. Korea also come 2nd in the suicide rate in the world.

If we are aiming for the most miserable children in the world we are well on our way.

AgentOprah Wed 24-May-17 09:01:54

sherazade - you are extremely lucky if you are allowed to just let those children play until Year 2! Many schools don't allow any play in Year 1 beyond break times now. Do you not have progress meetings every term? No targets for GLD?

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