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School age to be increased to 6?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's a good idea.

    Any thoughts on it yourself Sofie?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with it. I was talking to my cousin who is 4 and he told me that he was going to school in September (his birthday isn't until April) and think that sending children off to school who have only just turned 4 (ie, at the end of August) is far too early.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i actually agree with it cos it means they get a better childhood and more time to have fun when they are younger instead of stressing about exams
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Given the amount of structure and testing that is supposed to go on in pre-school I'd say the age at which kids enter education has gone down. It all seems a bit bonkers to me, yes kids that young should be having books read to them and start all that, but they also need time to just mess about, play and interact with other kids.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    YES YES YES YES YES

    I have been saying this non-stop for the past couple of years. To send a 4 year old to school is just unacceptable. They are FOUR, just 48 months old, they are babies. School expects too much from such young children, the structure of the classroom, of the day, the general routine and then demanding academically. What four year old needs to learn how to read, it is just un neccesary at that age, they should be being read to.

    I think six is a good age to start, the current year two to be reception class, so it is full of six and seven year olds. Up until the age of six and starting school they should start nursery age four, get their 2 and a half hours free nursery time from four years onwards up until they are ready to start school. The nursery atmosphere is much more relaxed, but just having one year of the nursery experience is way too little for 3-4 year olds. This should be at least two years; from 4-6.

    I really hope this change comes about, it is about time, it is a shame it has not happened before. Children deserve a childhood, and starting school aged four is stealing them of this right of theirs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe I've missed the point here but I think sending kids to school later is worse than them going at 4. Surely if you go at 4 then you will be able to interact with other children and learn social skills as well as reading and writing. When I was in infant school at that age we had loads and loads of time to play as well as being read stories and learning to spell. We had interactive play rooms too to encourage imaginary play. It was ace!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *Ashlee* wrote: »
    I really hope this change comes about, it is about time, it is a shame it has not happened before. Children deserve a childhood, and starting school aged four is stealing them of this right of theirs.

    Thats a little harsh, you are over playing the academic part of a reception class and down playing it in nursery.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    Thats a little harsh, you are over playing the academic part of a reception class and down playing it in nursery.

    Nurseries I have been in, government led ones attached to primary schools have very little academic lead at all. They do follow the Foundation Stage but everything is optional and all soley focused on play. Reception class can be a very relaxed learning environment as it can be a very tense learning structured environment. This all depends on HOW the curriculum is following, some stick to it like its gods law some are much more flexible. As soon as they enter school the children turn from individuals to potential SAT results and it is wrong. Nursery is about the child, and their early years development; as it should be with such young children. There is no need for any set academic lead before the age of 6, what they need to know can be learnt through child and adult initiated play.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lipsy wrote: »
    Maybe I've missed the point here but I think sending kids to school later is worse than them going at 4. Surely if you go at 4 then you will be able to interact with other children and learn social skills as well as reading and writing. When I was in infant school at that age we had loads and loads of time to play as well as being read stories and learning to spell. We had interactive play rooms too to encourage imaginary play. It was ace!

    But a nursery environment allows the child to experience play and play only. The interactive rooms and story reading and social skills and all that can take place in nursery education. There is no need to drag the academic side of things in so early as it currently is in reception class.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *Ashlee* wrote: »
    But a nursery environment allows the child to experience play and play only. The interactive rooms and story reading and social skills and all that can take place in nursery education. There is no need to drag the academic side of things in so early as it currently is in reception class.

    But why not? Reception classes aren't just doing academic things, they're playing as well. Do you think a child shouldn't learn how to write its name until it gets to 6 years old even though it can do it before?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So what about the kids who are getting bored and NEED the stimulation of learning things like reading and writing?
    James is 3 and goes to nursery 2 & 1/2 days a week, he really really wants to learn how to write properly (can already write his own name) and is really interested in reading.
    Theres only so much i can do with him at home. I think kids who are eager to learn should be able to, they learn alot more in school than at nursery.
    Theres no harm in going at 4/5 i don't think, some kids are ready for school at a young age, others aren't. But those that arent dont have to start until the term after they turn 5.
  • JsTJsT Posts: 18,268 Skive's The Limit
    So we cram everything a kid has to learn into 2 years less? Hmmm...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lipsy wrote: »
    But why not? Reception classes aren't just doing academic things, they're playing as well. Do you think a child shouldn't learn how to write its name until it gets to 6 years old even though it can do it before?

    A child starts to learn to write their name in nursery, then it is carried through to reception. The foundation stage curriculum is nursery and reception class, but it is the routine and the structure which I disagree with. In school there is pressure to perform, pressure to learn etc and I think that is asking too much of a four or five year old. In nursery it is much more free reign, with no "literacy hour" and "numeracy hour".

    Bring it away from reception class, Year One has them reading, writing, spelling, adding and all that. That is too much to ask from a five year old!

    In a nursery situation a child can express their academic side as and when they are ready to do so, they will try to write their name on their picture when they feel confident and comfortable in doing so. This is three for some children, but may be five with others. I don't think it is fair to sit a four year old child and make them learn to write their name. It is just not neccessary IMO.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *Ashlee* wrote: »
    I don't think it is fair to sit a four year old child and make them learn to write their name. It is just not neccessary IMO.

    Children don't HAVE to go to school until the term AFTER thier 5th birthday.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *Ashlee* wrote: »
    Bring it away from reception class, Year One has them reading, writing, spelling, adding and all that. That is too much to ask from a five year old!

    No, its too much to ask some five year olds, others will more than cope.

    In reality this change is pointless, if they want more play time and less learning in Reception, why not just do that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *Ashlee* wrote: »
    But a nursery environment allows the child to experience play and play only.

    No they don't. At the nursery I did my placement at, the foundation stage chilren (3-4) also learnt how to write their name and count. I think they also did assessments of some sort; but the only one I really remember is the one about them picking their favourite book and looking at we handle them.

    Also, when we read to the children (this includes toddlers as well) we wouldn't read the book; we'd talk about it and ask them if they could find something or if they could name the animals.
    I don't think it is fair to sit a four year old child and make them learn to write their name. It is just not neccessary IMO.

    Why not? At the nursery I was at, they all did this. Actually, I think some were just under 4.
  • littlemissylittlemissy Posts: 9,972 Supreme Poster
    Sofie wrote: »
    No they don't. At the nursery I did my placement at, the foundation stage chilren (3-4) also learnt how to write their name and count. I think they also did assessments of some sort; but the only one I really remember is the one about them picking their favourite book and looking at we handle them.

    Also, when we read to the children (this includes toddlers as well) we wouldn't read the book; we'd talk about it and ask them if they could find something or if they could name the animals.

    Nurseries have a curriculum to follow, just like foundation stage, KS1, KS2 etc. The fact that there is a curriculum means that they have to assess. However, it is all *very* informal assessments and you do it 'on the job' so to speak, mainly through observations whilst they are at various activities that are set out. They are not assessed (or shouldn't be) on whether or not they can write their name. That comes much later in Foundation Stage 2.

    The point of a nursery is to provide a rich environment where children have a variety of stimulating activities as well as places that they can choose to just relax (like a book corner or a soft cushion corner) and, possibly most importantly, the chance to interact with other children and other adults. Children aren't forced to learn to write their name (or a good nursery shouldn't force them) but if the children want to try or play with pencils or whatever, then the opportunity should be there. It is all done at the child's pace, rather than at the pace the nursery sets.

    Foundation stage 2 also has a very informal atmosphere but there are more set activities and designated 'carpet time' where they follow more of a curriculum. Again, this is *very* informal from the actual layout of the rooms to the assessment. The layout of the room is similar to how a nursery is, where the children can choose what they wish to do, once the formal 10 minute maths session is out of the way (10 minute maths is normally something like counting up to ten and back again etc).

    (A good) Nursery is good for children and would advocate sending them at the ages of 3/4. I do think that there is quite a jump from FS to KS1 when children are aged 5. I think that a better system is needed where they gradually go from more informal education through play and investigation to a more formal education. A few schools I have been in do this well, so that by the time they are aged 6, the year they take their first sets of (optional) SATs, they are ready for a more formal education and are better prepared for it. Maybe a Foundation Stage 3 instead of a Year 1 would be better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nurseries have a curriculum to follow, just like foundation stage, KS1, KS2 etc. The fact that there is a curriculum means that they have to assess. However, it is all *very* informal assessments and you do it 'on the job' so to speak, mainly through observations whilst they are at various activities that are set out. They are not assessed (or shouldn't be) on whether or not they can write their name. That comes much later in Foundation Stage 2.

    This is what the assessments were like.
    The point of a nursery is to provide a rich environment where children have a variety of stimulating activities as well as places that they can choose to just relax (like a book corner or a soft cushion corner) and, possibly most importantly, the chance to interact with other children and other adults.

    We have this.
    Children aren't forced to learn to write their name (or a good nursery shouldn't force them) but if the children want to try or play with pencils or whatever, then the opportunity should be there. It is all done at the child's pace, rather than at the pace the nursery sets.

    We don't force the children to write their name. At the age of 4, we teach them how to write their name; but it's done at their own pace. We do also have a creative corner where they are able to do drawing and we try to get most of them (the ones who can, anyway) to write their own names on their work.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Those of you who thought that spin was dead under Gordon Brown were mistaken. Here it is - New Labour's latest idea from its own Ministry of Silly Ideas. Not quite up there with marching yobs to cash machines to pay their on-the-spot fines, but still quite a belter. The idea is this - we send our kids off to school at the age of 6, whilst potentially jailing them if they dare to leave before the age of 18. The morons at the Department of Education excel themselves in their stupidity.

    The ages that kids start and finish school are fine as they are. Better would be for the Government to admit that our schools are actually just exam factories, giving their students qualifications that are of no relevance to the real world. Better to admit that our schools have failed generations of kids. Better to deal with the fact millions of kids can't read or write properly. Better to get rid of the useless comprehensive system. Let's see a massive expansion in grammar schools and schools being allowed to select their students. Selection, selection, selection? Now that is a slogan I would vote for!

    But no, making such admissions would take courage and humilty. And these are two qualities that our political elite does not possess. Either way, the nation's kids are condemned.
  • littlemissylittlemissy Posts: 9,972 Supreme Poster
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    The ages that kids start and finish school are fine as they are.

    Why?

    I'm genuinely interested. I am still on the fence.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Presumabely a child who starts school at 6 will leave later than 16-18, therefore will graduate 2 years later than normal. That means people going into the workforce later in life, paying taxes later in life and with the ageing population as it is, will be a strain on the economy. So if they're gonna raise the age at which children start school, then they may as well raise the retirement age by two years also.

    I think a child should go to school as young as possible, first at nursery to gain social skills and then to primary school. 4 seems just about right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    Presumabely a child who starts school at 6 will leave later than 16-18, therefore will graduate 2 years later than normal. That means people going into the workforce later in life, paying taxes later in life and with the ageing population as it is, will be a strain on the economy. So if they're gonna raise the age at which children start school, then they may as well raise the retirement age by two years also.
    And by some coincidence, they are raising the retirement age in the next few years too. Therefore, the Government is saying "you can start school later, but you'll have less free time before you die". What a vote-winner!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    And by some coincidence, they are raising the retirement age in the next few years too. Therefore, the Government is saying "you can start school later, but you'll have less free time before you die". What a vote-winner!

    They are raising the retirement age because we are all living a lot longer, strangely enough the government cant afford for someone to work for 30 years then live on a state pension for 25 years.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    I think a child should go to school as young as possible, first at nursery to gain social skills and then to primary school. 4 seems just about right.

    What he said ^^^^^
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In most of Europe children begin formal education when they are 6, or even 7 in some countries, and it's fairly safe to say that most of Europe has higher academic achievement than the UK.

    Personally, I don't think that's a coincidence.

    Children should go to nursery when they are 3/4, to interact with other children and learn social skills, but formal education shouldn't start until they are much older. 5 is too young to be starting a formal education, and the respected teacher who has suggested 6 is talking an awful lot of sense.

    Going to school does not mean that they are learning more, and it doesn't mean that the school leaving age needs to be raised. If anything, a structure with less formal learning and more social learning will benefit children from disadvantaged backgrounds, as they will have time to catch up in a relaxed atmosphere.

    Learning how to read and write and do maths at 5 puts those who have poor or no literacy and numeracy at a disadvantage of about 3 years, and it's something that they can't recover from. Give them informal but focused learning and they will have more time to learn the basics before the serious education starts.

    I think it's tragic seeing 4-year-old children going to school, and being forced to sit and learn for a large chunk of the day. They should be playing, not being taught.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    I think it's tragic seeing 4-year-old children going to school, and being forced to sit and learn for a large chunk of the day. They should be playing, not being taught.

    Agreed

    As usual (pretty much anyway) Kermit is making alot of sense here.
  • littlemissylittlemissy Posts: 9,972 Supreme Poster
    Kermit wrote: »
    I think it's tragic seeing 4-year-old children going to school, and being forced to sit and learn for a large chunk of the day. They should be playing, not being taught.

    This is the thing - the children's attention span is short and you can't really 'teach' much at that early age. And what you teach on Monday you have to reteach on Friday! Also, it is quite simple, a lot of children are just not ready for formal education at that young age.

    One school that I worked in had an integrated KS1 / Foundation Stage curriculum in place in Year 1. In the morning, they covered the maths and literacy objectives that they needed to cover and then all the science, creative arts etc etc were done through play and the children were able to choose what they wanted to do and who to play with. This worked quite well as the children were still getting the objectives that teachers have to cover but were also not sitting down to formal teaching and learning for 6 hours.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    One school that I worked in had an integrated KS1 / Foundation Stage curriculum in place in Year 1. In the morning, they covered the maths and literacy objectives that they needed to cover and then all the science, creative arts etc etc were done through play and the children were able to choose what they wanted to do and who to play with. This worked quite well as the children were still getting the objectives that teachers have to cover but were also not sitting down to formal teaching and learning for 6 hours.

    This does sound much better than just teaching and them having to sit there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    I think it's tragic seeing 4-year-old children going to school, and being forced to sit and learn for a large chunk of the day. They should be playing, not being taught.

    :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: Someone is speaking my language.

    Think me and Budda will have to agree to disagree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm confused... I can't remember exactly what happened when i was 4 -5 years old... but as far as i know we played loads and loads but still did a bit of reading and drawing and writing. Has it changed since then or soemthing? Are the little 4 year olds doing hardcore exams?
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