It might as well rain until September
When I saw this morning’s news regarding the Tory plans to change the SATs regime ( Tories propose school test reform ), in part by moving them from the end of the last term in primary to the beginning of the first term in secondary, I couldn’t help but wonder why this move of a few weeks in “working day” terms would be likely to be make much difference – but I didn’t really twig immediately what far reaching implications this would have.
Paul Cotterill, the Labour councillor for Bickerstaffe Ward, West Lancashire, England obviously did twig though and I don’t think I can do much better than point to his excellent blog Conservative education policy: steal children’s golden summer (quoting also the article on “Conor’s Commentary” which covers much the same ground)
I’ve often thought as a teacher and headteacher that so much of what we teach children only scratches the surface of what they actually learn. The really important part of learning is what they actually do, and how they actually use and make sense of, the skills and knowledge that are imparted to them in the hallowed halls of academia.
In other words they tend to learn more in the holidays than they do sat behind a desk.
My happiest times as a child were spent playing out, playing football, cricket, British Bulldogs, sailing down the beck in a tin bath, etc. , etc., whatever took our fancy.
The main and best opportunity for this was during the seemingly endless six week block in the Summer. I think I loved every second, and it’s been a key motivation for becoming a teacher as an adult.
Why on earth would we want to make our kids stay and swot for their SATS all Summer long unless we thoroughly misunderstood the nature of child development ?
Lest we forget also, our current regime of SATS was inherited from the Tories.
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