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.
CHANNEL 4 DISPATCHES - JANUARY 1998
TOO MUCH TOO YOUNG
Why British Primary Schools Fail Their Children
Cartoon by Polly Donnison