I used to be a Deputy Head and Class teacher and I know first hand about teaching in a Reception Class where children first start school at 5 here in the UK.
I’ve also watched as education has become obsessed with data – stressing over whether 5 year olds have gone up 2 sub levels and then watching stressed teachers testing their 5 year olds in maths, testing them in literacy, testing them in science, testing them in RE, & testing them in science every 6 weeks !!! 🙁
The Government in England do seem obsessed and determined to cling on to the erroneous belief that starting school sooner means better results later! There’s even talk of introducing more formal learning at 2 – children need their childhood to play, explore, investigate, observe, engage and HAVE fun !
In my opinion it’s about creating the right environment for life long learning not about ticking boxes and obsessing about the data of whether a child is a 1b or 1a – of course we need milestones and markers to make sure a child is progressing but it should be AT THEIR OWN SPEED !
I think going to a nursery is lovely and starting school around 5 seems like a good age but we need to look at Summer birthday children and premature children around when they should start school….. now that’s a whole other discussion!
Here’s an interesting article from My Family Care Growing Up (Part 2): Too Much, Too Soon?
“Children start school later in other countries, and Kate Adey wonders whether it would be beneficial for the UK to follow suit. Is too much structure at an early age detrimental to children’s learning?”
Click here to read more.
Here’s a great list of books about starting school to read with your children