June 01, 2004
When should they start? – it's how they're taught not when they're taught

I asked a few days ago: When should school start? – in connection with the often repeated claim that children in the UK start school too soon.

Sally had just commented thus, and since the original posting was several days ago, you may miss it:

I used to think UK school started too early, when I lived in Europe and saw how good the early years education of friends' kids was. I've had three children go through UK reception and primary now, and no longer think it's the timing, but WHAT they do in school, that is the problem. The kids are stressed out by inadequate teaching I'm afraid - somtimes not the teachers' fault as, eg the National Literacy strategy is, well, a bit rubbish. When my children have had good teachers it has been like watching a huge weight lift off them, it isn't the reading or writing instruction itself that is the problem, but the way it is done (and some of the teaching is so muddled that older children will be just as stressed). Though the school day IS very long for the youngest children.

One day, I, or somebody, is going to give here a blow by blow (metaphorically speaking) account of exactly what good teaching of the 3Rs actually consists of.

Anyone know of such a piece of writing I could link to?

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 02:21 PM
Category: Primary schools