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Early years teachers, I have a question

(45 Posts)
irvineoneohone Fri 09-Feb-18 17:41:06

There was a thread and I was bit puzzled. (I don't want to make this TAAT, but fair enough if it goes.)

So, these days, children starting school are expected to be able to write their own names? I thought they are expected to "recognise" their name on the peg, etc. But sounds like expectation has been raised. I remember the Christmas card my ds received in reception were either signed by their parents or almost impossible to tell who that was from except for few.

ladyvimes Fri 09-Feb-18 17:46:01

Children are not expect to be able to write their own names. It is useful if they can recognise their name but again not essential. It’s also useful if they can do up their own coat, wipe their own bum after a poo and possibly get themselves dressed and undressed for pe.
I have never heard of a school requesting a child can write their own name before starting (maybe a ‘it would be useful if’ but definitely not a necessity).

irvineoneohone Fri 09-Feb-18 18:02:01

That's what I thought reading threads on primary. But apparently, nursery and pre-school are now expected to teach children to be able to write their names before entering school, and it's normal for 3 year olds to be able to do so. I was totally buffled.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 09-Feb-18 18:05:22

I think expectations on MN and expectations in real life can be different things. This might just be one of those examples. I don’t think many schools would expect children to be writing their names on entry.

Personal care skills and the ability to follow an instruction are far more useful.

Neverstopdreaming Fri 09-Feb-18 18:09:20

I’m a Reception teacher and I don’t expect children to be able to write their name when they come into my class. Some children can do it and some can’t. It really doesn’t matter. Teaching children to write their name is part of my job.

Neverstopdreaming Fri 09-Feb-18 18:09:59

Oh and it’s not normal for three year olds to be writing their name.

Greensleeves Fri 09-Feb-18 18:10:00

The latest steaming pile of horse manure early years guidance from this government is geared towards pushing more formal education and less learning through play in the Foundation Stage. So yes, early years teachers are supposed to be focusing on children writing their names, rather than using their collective expertise to develop vital pre-writing skills through gross motor activities which actually benefit children's learning.

Most early years teachers worth their salt are disgusted and insulted, and will find ways of working around the "guidance" in order to keep offering the kind of provision that children actually need. I would advise parents not to panic about it - your child won't be the only one who isn't writing at 3/4/5, and nor should they be. Children don't suddenly start developing differently because a throwback government wants them to.

Norestformrz Fri 09-Feb-18 18:17:02

*"*^*So, these days, children starting school are expected to be able to write their own names?*^ *"* no they aren't
*"*^*But apparently, nursery and pre-school are now expected to teach children to be able to write their names before entering school*^" no they aren't

Norestformrz Fri 09-Feb-18 18:18:11

*"*^*So yes, early years teachers are supposed to be focusing on children writing their names,*^*"* not in pre school or nursery

irvineoneohone Fri 09-Feb-18 18:28:05

I am so relieved to read sensible response from teachers who actually have real experiences.

The thread I was referring was the one op was asking for advice, for advanced child aged 3 years and 2 months old who can write his name, can count to 20, decode using phonics, etc, rip to shreds by "it's normal", "many 3 years can do that", etc.
It was a mistake by OP to post on AIBU in the first place, but felt it was just nasty and unhelpful. (MNHQ, I don't mind this will be deleted being a TAAT, just wanted to make my perspective straight.Sorry!)

irvineoneohone Fri 09-Feb-18 18:31:10

Oh, forgot to say, thank you, teachers.

Greensleeves Fri 09-Feb-18 18:34:28

Nursery schools are supposed to be teaching children to write their names.

Many are ignoring it, because it is bollocks.

irvineoneohone Fri 09-Feb-18 18:46:12

Are they really? My ds has attended nursery which didn't teach phonics or writing. I know others did. But it made not much difference from what I saw once they started school. What bout children who doesn't attend nursery or preschool? Are they doomed?

Greensleeves Fri 09-Feb-18 18:49:58

No, they are not doomed! They will learn in their own time. There are many countries where formal education doesn't begin until 7 or later and the outcomes for children are better than they are in the UK. As long as children are having lots of access to stimulating and varied play experiences, interacting socially, exploring a range of environments, being talked to, read to and allowed to follow their own interests, then they are learning. Whether or not they can write their names at 4 is about as important as whether a parrot can say "fuck". It doesn't mean anything in terms of intelligence, academic ability or where they will be in relation to their peers in the longer term.

Greensleeves Fri 09-Feb-18 18:51:58

I am a qualified primary school teacher with an Early Years specialism btw, and I worked in an outstanding nursery school for 5 years before I trained as a teacher

PurplePotatoes Fri 09-Feb-18 19:00:27

I have 2 friends with DC in different school nurseries and they have both been told there is an expectation that the DC will be able to write their names (in cursive writing!) before starting reception. My DD is in a pre-school and they do phonics but not much writing from what I can tell.

MiaowTheCat Fri 09-Feb-18 19:00:34

The preschool my kids went to made a big push on name writing and recognition and both of mine could (varying degrees of pencil control admittedly - poor DD2's got a bit of a sod of a name in terms of having harder to form letters in it) by early in the "nursery" year. I think they pushed it a bit too heavily personally and one staff member (who I always had issues with) did try to put the frighteners on parents a bit if their child couldn't write it - not bloody fair when the child had a name along the lines of Persephone!

Still a few in DD2's class in Reception now for whom name writing is a work in progress - generally at the point now where the letters from their names are there but not necessarily in the right order or on the same part of the piece of paper yet!

Mine could have done their own Christmas cards in terms of the "from X" part - but to be honest - fuck trying to get them to write that out 30 bloody times - they wrote it once and I scanned it in and printed it on sticky labels in order to preserve mutual sanity.

insancerre Fri 09-Feb-18 19:04:10

I'm am early years teacher managing a day nursery on a school site and we don't teach children to write their names and the reception teacher doesn't expect us to either
We teach name recognition and some children can write their names but it's all child led

Norestformrz Fri 09-Feb-18 19:54:20

There's nothing in EYFS that says nursery and pre school staff should be teaching children to write their names.

Norestformrz Fri 09-Feb-18 20:07:06

Writing own name is in the 40-60months (Reception) not pre school/nursery. Any nursery or preschool teaching this do so by choice not because they have to.

Thegrandoldelf Fri 09-Feb-18 21:40:57

It's interesting to see the different approaches. The nursery my DTD's attend start doing phonics from 3 and by 4 almost all the children can write their names. They are in no way pushy nor do they put any pressure on them to learn things but incorporate it into their various activities through the day.

Ivebeenaroundtheblock Fri 09-Feb-18 22:08:46

Yet on the 3+ tread, all the little ones going for the private school assessments are able to manage their name and numbers.
It’s not an unusual skill in 3 yr olds.

Norestformrz Sat 10-Feb-18 05:51:10

It isn't an unusual skill if you're preparing your child for a private school assessment but we rarely have children start Reception able to write their own name.

irvineoneohone Sat 10-Feb-18 07:54:17

Ivebeenaround, but those little children going through assessments are the ones tutored/hot housed, mostly, aren't they? I was talking about normal children who goes to normal school, without entrance exam at 3+.

fruitpastille Sat 10-Feb-18 08:13:51

I don't think my 3 year old is particularly advanced but she and a couple of her friends like writing their names and can copy other people's names. It has been child led though. They do it at childminder/nursery but only because they are interested so are then encouraged and given opportunities to do it. Equally I have friends with same age DC who are amazed at this. They will all level out in the next few years. I've seen this with my older DC and their peers.

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