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what is the most important factor of primary education?

(22 Posts)
EuphemiaInExcelsis Sat 08-Dec-12 15:54:26

In Scotland there's a big push on Skills for Learning, Life and Work, which we're supposed to build into all of our planning and share with the children as well as the learning intentions and success criteria.

EuphemiaInExcelsis Sat 08-Dec-12 15:51:49

There's an interesting paper here, which also summarises recent research in the area.

educator123 Sat 08-Dec-12 15:06:07

I don't know it is quite scary and sad
I feel sorry for the boys too as they have obviously had an unfair start.

IndigoBelle Sat 08-Dec-12 14:27:18

100% agree with Malaleuca.

My DS is in Y7 and complains constantly about 4 boys who are naughty and disruptive in class.

this weekend he told me none of them can read. sad sad sad

how the hell does this happen? sad sad sad

Malaleuca Sat 08-Dec-12 10:03:54

When I work with children who cannot read or write, and are on their way to secondary school, I feel the most important thing was left out somewhere along the way!

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 08-Dec-12 08:42:43

Breath of curriculum.
Encouraging enthusiastic and independent learners.
Finding out more about other cultures and different ways of living a life.
Learning how to interact confidently and appropriate with a range of different people.
Learning about self, what you're good at and what you're not so good at and feeling good about yourself.
Solid literacy and maths skills.

educator123 Sat 08-Dec-12 08:00:48

I ask as I have the option of a class under 15 mixed age, one teacher, part time TA


Class of 25 single form. 1teacher, occasionally at TA.

educator123 Sat 08-Dec-12 07:55:34

I would be interested to read more too. Also to see if a mixed age small class still outweighs a single form larger class.

Also how staff ratios effect the results.

For example are less children in a classroom with a lower staff ratio than a much bigger class with more staff.

tricot39 Fri 07-Dec-12 21:56:03

Zavi - do you have any links for that?
For some reason I thought that the McKinsie report on the world's best teaching de-bunked the class size thing. Also the 1958 birth survey cohort indicated that it was more important to be in a small school rather than a small class. would be interested in reading more. Cheers

Zavi Fri 07-Dec-12 21:40:07

Research shows that the single most important factor in determining success is class size.

30 is seen as max.

This is why ordinarily almost all private schools limit class size to 20 max. But in practice most have class sizes of 15-20.

It makes sense. 1:1 tuition is optimal and, it seems, 1:30 is minimum standard you can have without detriment that's why most state schools limit to this ratio.

beezmum Fri 07-Dec-12 21:23:58

I definitely want my children to be happy at school but I also want them to have really good foundations academically and to start to appreciate that learning isn't always easy, some things worth attaining do need effort and require deferring gratification - so that they can also thrive at secondary school. Fun is good but not everything they need to learn will be fun for them and my experience suggests that enjoyment is often the reward of effort, not just vice versa.

TwoHats Fri 07-Dec-12 20:39:21

DS always bounces into school, happy to be there and bounces out, excited about what he's done during the day. He's only in reception so I just don't think the academic stuff matters that much at this stage, so long as he's happy.

3b1g Fri 07-Dec-12 20:38:10

Although I don't think that being stretched academically is the be all and end all at KS2, I do think that being able to read confidently (including comprehension) should be a priority, as should spelling and times tables. Without these, Y7 and Y8 will be more difficult.

crazygracieuk Fri 07-Dec-12 20:33:48

My oldest is in secondary school while my younger 2 are in primary.

In my opinion, academic pushiness isn't necessary at primary as success in secondary will depend on the child being self motivated.

It is important that schools have high expectations of pupils in terms of academics and behaviour but that wouldn't be the same as pushiness. The confidence that pupils get from such support will hopefully mean that they always try their best.

educator123 Fri 07-Dec-12 14:33:13

I think I may of out articulated properly re reading my op.

The school is all the things mentioned...caring staff, behaviour is second to none all the pupils look after each other across all age groups. In all those ways it really is perfect. BUT I am concerned some things are slipping slightly one being reading. I want to children to be unaware of 'learning' but to be reaching their potential while still having fun, and for them to have the desire to seek out new information without be pushed or as someone put feel like they are in a 'SAT' factory.

There are many school her with amazing SAT results...I can't help but wonder how fun their ks2 years were!?

educator123 Fri 07-Dec-12 14:26:36

I agree with all the comments too.
My children are happy and do love their school and I think that is massively important. I also don't want them to miss out on they key things they need to move on to secondary.

I completely disagree with pushing the children too hard during primary too. I would love them to be learning without feeling they are learning...if that makes sense smile

Melmagpie Thu 06-Dec-12 23:27:09

just re-read. agree with everyone actually!

Melmagpie Thu 06-Dec-12 23:25:13

I agree with 3b1g. I am amazed how many people are anxious that there child is academically pushed at primary school (partic in infants). I think it should be much more about learning to love learning, to develop a strong sense of curiousity and interest in the world, to behave in a kind a responsible way and to grow a confident and strong sense of self. My dd is at a lovely school and is a bright child but finds the relentless hard work really exhausting. I wish they would chill out a bit on the academic targets to be honest, and focus on children really developing a confident happy relationship with education. (she's only year one so I might change that opinion as she gets older.)

3b1g Thu 06-Dec-12 22:57:15

Can't pin it down to a single thing but here's my shortlist:
Promoting learning as being enjoyable.
High standards of behaviour so everyone can learn without disruption.
Caring and compassionate staff who see the child as a person.
Strong foundations in literacy and numeracy.

SunflowersSmile Thu 06-Dec-12 22:53:33

Getting a love of learning but not feeling so pressured [eg by SATs] that joy sucked out of school. Learning to socialise appropriately yet still be allowed to be a child.
Beware of SATs factories. A happy child at primary, loving their school is something to hang on to.

moonstorm Thu 06-Dec-12 22:52:01

Breadth of curriculum.

educator123 Thu 06-Dec-12 22:14:06

I ask as my children are at a lovely school BUT I am concerned they may not be getting 'enough' on the academic side...prob 'enough' to be ok.

We obviously send our children to school to learn...but I've always been of the impression that a happy child will learn. Although I feel maybe not reach full potential if not given 'enough'?

So would is the most important factor of primary education?

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