Saturday, 19 February 2011

Saturday's sound bites

There is so much in the news today related to families that I thought I would pick out a few of the sound bites that spoke to me and comment. So here goes
New reading test for 6 year olds to include non words.
I have a few problems with this:
1- why are we testing our 6 year olds?
2- all research I've read says that you can not accurately measure reading ability until a child reaches 7
3- most children look for meaning above and beyond their use of phonics
4- when will our teachers be allowed to focus on TEACHING?
5- measures are only useful if used for the kids, this is bureaucracy

And just to be clear, I will not allow Rachel to be part of any crazy testing undertaken not for her benefit
Mixed-race adoption policy gets new guidelines
This is fantastic news, finally a child will not be refused adoption because a family of the sane ethnicity is unavailable. I always thought this was mad and I'm thrilled to see it being put right. Of course every child should ideally be adopted by a family most appropriate for them, with ethnicity being one factor, but that should not overly delay or constrain adoptions.
Development fears over half of five year olds
This article is so disturbing. All the research looked at was how many children about to start school could " share, self-motivate, co-operate and concentrate". Something is going wrong if 5 year olds can't do this; but is the problem real or how it is assessed? I worry with these surveys just how informed the results are. The article focuses on the importance of reading to kids and regularity of bedtimes. I agree, both these are extremely important, but will Yet Another Survey really improve things? As chair of a charity preschool I know how often this doesn't happen, but with simple advice and nurture mostly parents start to change these things. I have to say, I would like more focus on the emotional intelligence of our kids as well, we seem to forget that empathy, security and nurture matter.


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