Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Pre-School Teaching

Now I have a grandson, just turned two, I am taking some interest in schools again.

The Early Years Foundation Stage has been a compulsory requirement for all nurseries, pre-schools and childminders since 2008, and so my grandson, who attends a nursery three days a week has been subject to it's requirements.
In today's Daily Telegraph, they report that the 117 requirements of the EYFS is to be cut to a mere 17, one of the biggest cuts introduced so far by this government!

To me, there are a number of disturbing features about this report, the main one being that a government should interfere with what children taught before they go to school and seek to force private nurseries to comply with their wishes as a condition of existence (this is in addition to child protection requirements with which I fully agree). My daughter chose the nursery which junior attends on the basis of her assessment of the care and treatment of the children and whether the ones there already appeared to be happy, not because it met some 117 bureaucratic requirements.

Another disturbing feature is that a number of the criteria listed were things that the children should be taught at home by their parents, and that others were there to meet a PC agenda. Once you start telling the nurseries to do something, it is clear that a large number of parents opt out of what should be their responsibilities. These are the lazy people who should be told to meet the 117 requirements, not nurseries!
The poor standard of upbringing by parents is shown by the fact that 40% of boys starting school at five cannot hold a a pencil or write their name; nor apparently can many count to ten! What are their parents doing?
At just turned two, my grandson can count to 13, this being the number of stairs which he counts each night when going up to bed. He can hold a crayon correctly, although so far the results are mere scribble, and he tries to dress himself, so he is clearly "on-target"!
But it wasn't government criteria that brought this about, it was his parents (and grandparents) spending some time with him.

Incidentally, some years ago I read a bit of child's verse entitled something like "Why everyone should have a Granny"  It started
"Mummy is always rush and tear,
But Granny has time to stand and stare"

I'd like to find the rest, but I've "Googled" without success - please let me know if you can identify it.

1 comment:

  1. E.P.,

    I believe that the second line has been pinched from a poem by W.H. Davies, entitled Leisure:-

    WHAT is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare?—
    No time to stand beneath the boughs,
    And stare as long as sheep and cows:

    No time to see, when woods we pass,
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

    No time to see, in broad daylight,
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

    No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
    And watch her feet, how they can dance:

    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began?

    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.