Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Too Much Too Young

With the government proposing baseline testing at age 4, this Channel 4 documentary from 1998 could not be more relevant.

20 years on, baseline testing will test all children soon after they begin reception, will be delivered in English, probably on a tablet device, and will be used to measure how much progress children make between reception and SATs in Year 6. In other words, it will use children as data for measuring school effectiveness. Baseline testing is a return to a failed policy trialed in 2015.

I have long hoped to see early years educational policy push upwards right through Key Stage One with play (as the primary means by which children learn and make sense of the world) being a central part of infant schooling. Sadly, instead, we are continuing to see more formal teaching and assessment pushing down into the early years in a way which is damaging to young children, to their learning and their wellbeing. This documentary is well worth a watch.


Why British Primary Schools Fail Their Children

Cartoon by Polly Donnison

Monday, 23 April 2018

Light on Ed Inaugural Learning Exchange

I am making a small contribution to this research event at Liverpool Hope University this weekend if anyone fancies it?

"This research network aims to be something a little different, being inclusive of academia but by no means exclusive to it. Light on Ed seeks to develop a multi-level network of researchers originating from schools, colleges, universities, other organisations along with independent researchers and scholars. It seeks to be open, supportive and focussed on accessible and creative communication with mixed audiences and constituencies.
The focus of the network is to shed a critical lens on our mainstream learning systems and look forward to an educational landscape where the learner is put back centre stage. In the process it will shed light on alternative educational settings and projects in addition to radical innovations from within mainstream. The network will serve as a resource for research questions and as a ‘dating agency’ for researchers and potential research projects. Light on Ed will establish a range of platforms for dissemination including websites, social media, forums, journal, digital and hard book publishing assisting with the visibility and archiving of this kind of research. The network will contribute to and emphasise developing informed grassroots narratives and understandings."
Join us at this inaugural LEX. We have a diverse line up and interesting themes running throughout the day. Come along and listen, question, contribute, talk, network and enjoy!

Light On Ed Inaugural Learning Exchange

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Parents Hit Out at Plans to Increase Oversight of Home Education

"Many in the home education community are opposed to a register, claiming it will not make children any safer. They are also concerned that the proposals, if approved, will strangle the home education movement in England, which they regard as a vital alternative to state education."

Parents hit out at plans to increase oversight of home education
Home schooling community says government proposals undermine parental rights and cast suspicion.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

My Own Tutor

My husband, Kaushil, who's a secondary school maths teacher (on supply these days), has a new project: My Own Tutor - an online learning platform with telephone tutor support, if needed.

This may be of interest to some home educators, particularly those who follow the National Curriculum, or are looking for a study programme to help with exam preparation.

It is not an expensive programme, and the money invested can be recouped with Shop to Learn, which gives you discounts on everyday purchases.

Check it out, and please share with anyone you know who might be interested. Thanks. :)

Saturday, 7 April 2018

A Reminder

Sorting through some papers, I came across this piece of writing from my eldest son's brief time at school. He must have been about 6 when he wrote this, and I kept it to remind myself why I took him out of school to educate him alternatively.

My Dad (his grandad) loves teddy bears ....