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mellisai IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 08 June 2007
Posts: 10300

Posted: 28 August 2007 at 3:54am | IP Logged
School start age 'should be six'
children is assembly
PAT says many children are not ready to start school at four or five
The age at which pupils start school should be raised to six or seven, a teachers' association suggests. The Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) says many who begin formal schooling aged just four are not ready for an academic curriculum. Deborah Lawson from PAT said it was vital that children should have more freedom to play in nurseries without being told what to do by adults. The government said primary schools followed an age-appropriate curriculum. Speaking at the PAT annual conference, in Harrogate, Ms Lawson said: "There is evidence that by starting school earlier, our children are not better off than those children who are starting later. "As practitioners and parents we have all seen children who really were not ready to start school." Time and space She said toddlers developed social and language skills by playing in a way that was natural to them. "We are not giving children sufficient time and space to learn for themselves - child initiated play activities.
The formal school starting age of five has served children well for decades
Department for Children, Schools and Families
"When they are playing outdoors, we talk about children letting off steam," she said. "Actually they learn about the world around them by playing in the street or the park. They are learning those life skills that they need." But some affluent parents want to know how their children are developing and request detailed reports from nursery staff, she said. "Some parents like the worksheets because they are solid evidence that their child is progressing. They really want to see it," she said. "Sometimes parents say 'Little Johnny is bringing back flash cards and my Billy isn't'. Actually, Billy isn't quite ready for it. "When our children are going to be pressured academically and tested academically to destruction, why should we be putting that pressure on them?" Age-appropriate curriculum But a spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "The formal school starting age of five has served children well for decades and standards in our primary schools have never been higher. "All the evidence - key stage results, international comparisons and Ofsted reports - make this clear.

"We want all children to make progress in literacy and numeracy at an early age, as these skills are critical to their ability to get the most out of learning later on.

"The first years of schooling focus on play-based activities in addition to formal learning - the curriculum is age-appropriate and we actively support teachers to adapt their teaching to the needs of children."

Source: BBC News Education

mellisai IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 08 June 2007
Posts: 10300

Posted: 28 August 2007 at 3:55am | IP Logged

Primary school national test results in England have shown a slight improvement in English, maths and science.

In all subjects, based on "Sats" tests taken this year by 11 year olds, there was a rise of one percentage point. There were 80% of pupils who reached the expected standard in English; 77% in maths and 88% in science. Girls have once again achieved much better results than boys in English - with four in 10 boys failing to meet the expected level for writing. The overall results show that four out of 10 children have failed at least one part of the tests - or conversely, that six out of 10 children have made the grade in all the elements of the tests. Writing, part of the English test, was the weakest subject, with 67% of pupils reaching the expected level - compared to 84% for reading. Missed target The results, based on tests taken by 600,000 pupils, continue the picture of gradual improvement - with little change in the past three years.
Andrew Adonis
Andrew Adonis says "ambitious" targets have driven improvement
But targets, set for 2006 for English and maths, have still not been reached. Schools Minister Andrew Adonis welcomed the "best set of Key Stage 2 results we have ever seen". "These are record results but of course we have got further to go and we are quite open about that. "We won't be satisfied until we get all children up to the expected level in literacy and numeracy." With the 85% target missed for two years in a row, he said discussions were on-going about where the government "went next with targets". But these had been "vital in driving improvements" and Lord Adonis said he would make "no apologies for setting ambitious targets". From September, there will be a renewed emphasis on using phonics to teach reading and more mental arithmetic "to accelerate the pace of learning". The results once again show that boys are not achieving as well as girls at English. While 85% of girls reached the expected level, only 76% of boys reached this benchmark. For the writing component of the English test, the gap was even wider - with 75% of girls reaching the expected standard compared to only 60% of boys. There will continue to be a focus on boys' writing which officials said had been "retarding progress". In maths and science there is no significant gender gap - with girls marginally ahead in science, boys marginally ahead in maths. High flyers The government says that the results show that there are now 100,000 more pupils achieving the expected standard for English compared to 1997.
Primary classroom
Boys continue to do less well than girls in English
But much of this improvement came in a surge in results in the late 1990s - followed by a much slower rate of progress. The results also show the size of the gap between the very high achievers and those who are still struggling to make the grade. There are now 33% of pupils who reach level 5 in English - a level higher than the expected benchmark of level 4. This is more than double the number who were at this higher level in 1997. This means that there are 20% in the bottom group who are failing to reach the "expected" level 4 - and 33% at the top who have substantially exceeded expectations. 'Hot-house pressure' The leader of the National Union of Teachers, Steve Sinnott, said that the test results "conceal the downside of tests, targets and tables".
Children have their final year spoiled because they are spending so much time rehearsing the tests
Mick Brookes, National Association of Head Teachers
"We surely must be able to come up with a better system than one which encourages the hot-house pressures of teaching to the test at the expense of the rest of the curriculum," he said. Setting "unrealistic" targets only served to "feed the prejudices of those determined to find failure", said Mr Sinnott. Head teachers have called for a change of direction for tests and league tables - arguing that they "distort" the last year of primary school. "For some schools, particularly where they are struggling to raise standards, children do have their final year spoiled because they are spending so much time rehearsing the tests," said Mick Brookes of the National Association of Head Teachers. Mr Brookes argues that assessments made by teachers should be used rather than tests. The Conservatives' schools spokesman, Nick Gibb, challenged the claim that education was the passion of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. "After 10 years of his being in government, two out of five 11 year olds are still leaving primary school without mastering the basics," said Mr Gibb. "We need to ensure that all schools are using the synthetic phonics method of teaching children to read."

The Liberal Democrats' schools spokesman, Stephen Williams, said: "Ministers should put their champagne on ice. It is a hollow boast to claim the 'best ever' results when four out of 10 children still leave primary school without an adequate grasp of the basics in maths, English and science."

Source: BBC News Education

twinkle93 Senior Member

Joined: 01 April 2007
Posts: 590

Posted: 28 August 2007 at 7:19am | IP Logged
thankz a lot 4 sharin Clap
manojiitan12 Newbie

Joined: 09 July 2008
Posts: 11

Posted: 10 July 2008 at 2:19am | IP Logged
hi guys
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