From the editor
On 16 October 2009, a report released by the Cambridge Review of Primary Education in England stated that children should not start formal learning until they are six. They say that there is no evidence that an early introduction to formal learning has any benefit. They believe that the kind of play-based learning featured in nurseries and reception classes should go on for another year and that continuing this informal but structured learning (that follows the Early Years Foundation Stage programme) for a year or so would bring children in England in line with many European countries, where school starts at six or even seven, and standards are often higher at these ages. They also recommend that KS2 SATs should be scrapped!
It seems the government disagrees, saying that a starting age of six would be completely counter-productive and that it would be a backward step to scrap English and mathematics tests at eleven.
Here are the current school starting ages in Europe:
Five years old: England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands
Six years old: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark (6-7), France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden (6-7)
Seven years old: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania
What do you think? Please comment in the Primary Forum.
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Have you seen Schools Research News? This is a newsletter produced by the Chief Adviser on School Standards Unit at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, intended to help keep us up to date with recently published research and with opportunities to get involved. If you would like to be added to their circulation list for future research information, email email@example.com.
As mentioned in Issue 15 of the Primary Magazine, Inspiring Mathematics Champions was a project developed by the NCETM, supported by Yorkshire Forward which promotes achievement in primary mathematics. Its main aim was to support trainee teachers in building teaching skills in using and applying mathematics through the development of problem solving and cross-curricular approaches. We are now delighted to be able to share with you the work of two students, Amy and Bethany, who developed a maths trail around the grounds of the stately home Brodsworth House: their account of what they did is available to download.
An example of their teachers’ resource booklet for KS1 is available for you to read. Please contact us if you would like to see more. We hope that this will all be available on the portal at some stage in the future.