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 Post subject: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
Posts: 464
Location: South Bucks
Graham Allen, Labour MP for Nottingham North, said: "I work with my secondary heads and they say that the raw material they are sent at age 11 is not good enough, therefore I go on to my primary heads and they say children arrive at school unable to read or recognise the difference between a letter or a number, they arrive sometimes in nappies, unable to speak in a sentence."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20043225

You mean we are expected to send our (sometimes just turned) 4 years old to school already knowing how to READ and recognise numbers? Does he even know the school starting age in the UK? Sure some children can read before they start but I am incredulous to think that THAT is now an EXPECTATION!

Good grief!

And of course some children can't speak in sentences. Specific Language Impairment (affecting children from non-chaotic loquacious households too!) is arguably THE most common specific learning difficulty.

I am not at all trying to deny that there is a real underbelly to society whose children and parents really need help but this MP is an idiot, no?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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But he says he is quoting primary heads. They probably quote their reception class teachers. So who is mad?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:42 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
I am :lol:

_________________
mad?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:08 pm
Posts: 373
I don't think he's mad at all.

I thought that children were expected to go to school knowing how to read, so I taught my DD. She started recognising a few letters of the alphabet at eighteen months so I taught her the rest, as part of a game. She was reading before she was three, had a reading age of 16 within the first years of primary school and naturally sailed through the 11 plus with a scholarship to one of the top schools in the country. She could speak in full sentences at the age of four because we conversed on interesting topics.

I never believed in leaving things to the school; I would help out on school trips and I could see how over stretched and exhausted the staff were. I'd go in there and students with ADHD would be jumping and dancing across the floor. Five had to be removed for special help with behaviour. She could not possibly make the progress she wanted to in that environment so I took taught her the essentials myself until I could move her away from there. I take my responsibilities as a parent seriously and that includes the education of my DD, in whichever capacity that might take.

I do believe the MP is making a fair point. We can't leave things to others.


Last edited by Kingfisher on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Warwickshire
Hi - I also read this during my insomniac period in the middle of the night - what I think he meant by "read" is distinguish the difference between numbers and letters.

"school unable to read or recognise the difference between a letter or a number"

I am not a teacher but all the young children I know of would have been able to distinguish a letter from a digit by aged 4. However I am sure a lot can't especially if they have some (possibly very mild) SEN. I think by aged 4 those from less deprived homes (not sure of PC way to say this as I don't think it is poverty wise) will have been in contact with puzzles, games, books etc which are starting to introduce the concept of letters and numbers without teaching reading. I remember one of mine aged two always yelling at the top of her voice "my number, my number" when she she anything with a "2" on it, house number, number plate etc!


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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:41 am 
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That's pretty much how we started. We did the same with letters T for teddy etc. She would shout out, "Teddy's letter! Teddy's letter!"


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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Posts: 1706
Location: Warwickshire
Kingfisher - do you only have a girl? Pre-school/infant boys and girls tend to behave quite differently (regardless of home and background). The girls always seem far more willing to sit still with a book, colour, do tasks which need fine motor skills, etc. Little boys on the other hand tend to be more active and choose activities which involve gross motor skills. So it fits with this pattern that girls are more likely to read early.

I'd expect at 4 that the vast majority (special needs excepted) would be speaking in sentences, out of nappies, and able to recognise letters and numbers. But reading? Not necessarily - in fact the primary schools often instruct prospective parents NOT to try teaching them to read before they start, so it clearly isn't an expectation on their part.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:23 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
Sorry Okanagan and Kingfisher if I didn't make my reply clear. What I was trying to say is that I think the MP didn't mean "read" but recognise/distinguish the difference between letters and numbers.

I agree Okanagan "the vast majority (special needs excepted) would be speaking in sentences, out of nappies, and able to recognise letters and numbers"

I think it is also true that a small minority arrive at school (including Kingfisher's DD) able to read properly.

There is not an expectation that children arrive at school able to read ... but the points as above I think are a realistic expectation.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:28 am 
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My DD is at a Indy primary who assess before Reception admissions. Her teacher told me that in this assessment they are not looking to see who can read or write. She said, "That's my job to teach her to read and write". All they are looking for is the ability to sit and attempt the task set before them. So, I don't agree that DC should start primary already reading and writing. Having sàid that, I did and still do a lot with mine. Education of DC is a team effort. Teachers and parents both need to be involved at every stage.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this MP insane?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:27 pm
Posts: 620
I purposely didn't teach mine to be able to read before school, although I did teach the alphabet and numbers. The reason being that I was aware that children who can already read can get bored in lessons, and they can fall behind in the long run. I wanted my children to be learning along with the rest of the class and by the schools teaching method! Worked for my DC, who were always in the top sets! :D


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