Focus on writing blamed for fall in reading test results

I’m currently putting together a chapter for a book about the English Early Years Education system (and it’s shortcomings). The title I am writing to is:

 “A Parent’s Challenge to New Labour’s Early Years Foundation Stage”.

International researchers and academics such as Dr. Sebastian Suggate will also be making contributions to this forthcoming book. You can pre-order the book and/or register your interest at Hawthorn Press Early Years Education Series.

This work couldn’t be more topical right now. Today I woke up to the Independent headline: “Focus on writing blamed for fall in reading test results”.

The Indie piece is a response to Sats results. But there’s a direct link to early years education as the article reflects an underlying assumption, namely that children are ‘failing’ because they are not encouraged/trained/in literacy and numeracy well enough/early enough.

Taking into account all the research I’ve done so far and the opinions I’ve heard – I believe the problem we have is a very different one. We are in danger of pushing very young children too hard too soon. There is no evidence to suggest that pushing children of four or five to read and write too early will benefit their later learning and academic performance. In fact there are plenty of indications that if you do this in the education system – you will only serve to put children off learning. Possibly for life. A different approach is needed.

Researchers and parents who understand this – have been lobbying hard and pushing for a review of the Early Years Foundation Stage legislation for some years now.

Now a review of the Early Years Foundation Stage legislation is finally here. But we don’t yet know how effective it will be. Look out for my next post on this soon. 

I’ve made the link before and I’ll say it again. The Early Years Foundation Stage learning and development goals are the equivalent of ‘Sats’ for the under fives.

Read the Independent article here: Focus on writing blamed for fall in test results.

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