Monday, January 14, 2008

Petition Against Early Years Foundation Stage

Open Eye has been doing sterling work in protesting against further government micro-management and meddling that is the Early Years Foundation Stage.

From a circular:

"Please, please, please . . . if you have a problem with 3 and 4-year-olds HAVING to learn to read and write (outrageously, this becomes law in the UK in 9 months time for ALL nurseries – not just state-funded nurseries), then please sign the following Downing Street petition: click on this link and follow the instructions.

They (the gov't) just haven't got it. They think the sooner a child starts something, the better it will be; the notion of age appropriateness doesn't seemed to have crossed their mind. There is masses of evidence (e.g. formal schooling in Germany starting age 6/7, etc) demonstrating that delaying formal learning and letting children learn through just playing is no hindrance to later literacy. In fact it helps.

If you want to sign the
petition, please do it today."

Get signing, I'd say.

9 comments:

33, 452 said...

The reception teacher at our local school described the foundation stage to us as "It's all about giving children the freedom to direct their own education. If a child wants to go play in the rain, they go play in the rain" - guess it's no understatement to say she misinterpreted it?!

Adele

Carlotta said...

Let's hope she does keep thinking that is what it says!

Leo said...

"the notion of age appropriateness doesn't seemed to have crossed their mind"

Actually, it did. The theory is that if the child doesn't learn it before a certain age, their brains will be unable to learn it optimally later.

Age appropriateness is a bad theory. Willingness to learn is a better one.

"There is masses of evidence (e.g. formal schooling in Germany starting age 6/7, etc) demonstrating that delaying formal learning and letting children learn through just playing is no hindrance to later literacy. In fact it helps."

What masses of evidence? People remember Germany for nazism and the Berlin wall. It's not as a positively famous country as the UK.

Leo said...

"if you have a problem with 3 and 4-year-olds HAVING to learn to read and write"

I have a problem with anyone any age HAVING to read and write anything because the government says so.

Leo said...

*learn to read and write or anything

Cat said...

The point of the EYFS is to provide each and every single child with the opportunity to reach their own potential within their own timeframe, and the guidance that come with the document allows practictioners within each early years setting to facilitate this. the whole thing about 'having to learn to read and write' is complete rubbish. as with any legislation, there has to be a way to quantify how a child is developing, and being able to say 'this child can count to 10' is just one of those ways. if the child cannot count to 10 by the time it leaves the foundation stage (which is 0-5) there has not necessarily been a failure, but this information is passed on to the primary school that the child enters into so that it may be developed further. the point of the EYFS is to determine how the child is developing as an individual, and then take steps to assist their development if necessary so that the child can reach its full potential. this is based on years and years of research and consultation. so my suggestion is to actaully find out what it is you are petitioning against first.

Carlotta said...

If that really is all it is about, Cat, I would still have a problem with the assessment and reporting components, since if these are done without the consent of the child and with coercion, given that I am completely against any form of coercion in learning, I would still signing that petition.

amy said...

hi, im studying childcare at the minute and want to go and work with early years, i agree withcat about signing the petition. and i agree that children should learn to read and write at a young age as their brains are more absorbent at this stage in their life, therfore i will not be signing your petition.

Carlotta said...

Amy,

I promise you that my extremely bright, extremely witty son who writes exceptionally well, and very very amusingly, did not do any literacy skills until he was 8 when he started to learn to read. He was an adult level reader by the time he was 10.

I do hope you childcare theory includes the actually rather startlingly obvious fact that children differ and some will do FAR FAR better if they are not drip fed literacy slowly and laboriously from infancy, but are allowed to come at it pretty much afresh at a later stage.

Just because so many children are subjected to a one size fits all regime does not actually mean that it is right.

Memes need questioning.