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To find this really depressing?

(58 Posts)
Deedaa Sun 02-Oct-16 21:57:56

I have just read this comment from the Education Secretary "I have just come from a school where 7 and 8 year olds were talking about main clauses, They were picking out subordinate clauses and when I asked the teachers how they taught pupils they said 'There was a time when they described things by saying it's a doing word or a describing word'"
Doing words and describing words worked fine when I was at primary school. I want children to use apostrophes properly and not say "Woz you" But most of all I want them to enjoy reading - not to unpick every word.

Luckygirl Sun 02-Oct-16 22:11:01

7 year olds should be learning through play - they should be painting and using their imaginations. They should be listening to stories and learning a love of reading.

I find this really depressing too.

dramatictessa Sun 02-Oct-16 22:26:21

I bet those teachers find it depressing too. I'm fast coming to believe that education as it is now, in England anyway, is actually damaging children's development. It's only due to the excellent teachers that do still exist that the damage is mitigated.

NotTooOld Sun 02-Oct-16 22:36:09

Subordinate clauses for 7 year olds? How ridiculous. I agree with dramatictessa that education is currently damaging the development of children. My 7 year old grandson gets homework every night along with a termly project and he makes very heavy weather of it as he would prefer to be kicking a football round the garden, which IMO would be better for him than staying inside doing school work.

Synonymous Sun 02-Oct-16 22:56:27

DD often says that if they were allowed to get on and teach according to their ages and ability then the children would learn more - not rocket science is it? sad

ninathenana Mon 03-Oct-16 00:29:57

When 7 yr old GS was last here he had maths homework that had to be completed on line !!

Grandma2213 Mon 03-Oct-16 00:30:24

I was a teacher and later worked with children who had learning difficulties. It became more and more difficult to motivate them as a result of changes to the curriculum and the dreaded 'targets'. Now I struggle with my DGS (aged 9) who HATES homework. As you say NotTooOld, he prefers football. DGDs are less of a problem as they enjoy the challenges and the rewards and will make the effort. The teachers do their best to set fun and interesting work and Daddy is currently reading Roald Dahl and David Walliams which they love. However the government shows no awareness or understanding of child development or gender differences.
They are turning off the natural love of learning in a generation of children. Hopefully I will not live long enough to see the results. sad

rubylady Mon 03-Oct-16 04:20:57

When I was home schooling, I read that it was not a legal requirement to do homework. The education department nor the school can force any child to do homework if they with not to do it.

This may need to be looked into now but I am sure that is what was said a few years back.

LullyDully Mon 03-Oct-16 07:38:00

We did.something called box analysis when I was 9 or 10 which I found fun. Subordinate clauses etc at O Level.

As you say grandma2213 when teaching SN children we also tried to keep their learning in line with their mainstream peers but the goal posts got wider and wider. Having to match up to them was a nonsense.

thatbags Mon 03-Oct-16 07:45:48

When Minibags was in primary school and the headteacher contacted me because she was not doing homework, we (MrBags and I) wrote a letter explaining why. We pointed out that the school had no say about what a child does when the child is not in school and that three generations of the family never did homework at primary school age and this never cause any problems about their becoming good students during their teens and into further education.

The silly thing was that although MiniB was not doing the reading she was being set at age six, she was reading loads of other stuff, most of it far more interesting to her than whatever the school reading scheme books offered. The school knew this but because they had a homework "policy" felt they had to say something. We said: "Policies can be changed".

I sent a copy of the letter to each of MiniB's primary school teachers in turn. She's now fifteen and is a study freak, never satisfied with less than an A. Attitudes to studying are learned at home. Primary school kids need to play when they are not in school. Children learn through play. Homework policies at primary schools are just government box ticking exercises and have no educational value at all.

For anyone who's interested, Michael Rosen writes some good stuff and The Importance of Being Little by Erika Cristakis is also excellent.

Luckygirl Mon 03-Oct-16 09:01:32

Here is what I inappropriately posted on the thread about grammar schools. It might make more sense here.

We need good well-trained well-supported teachers working in well-maintained buildings with good resources; we need freedom and flexibility for teachers to exercise their professional judgement regarding their locality and school; we need a broad curriculum; we need paperwork to be reduced to a minimum.

I went to a grandparents' morning at my DGS's reception class. As we went around with him chatting and looking at what he had been doing, a TA was following us around with a clipboard so that she could note down what he had said and done and find categories of expectations to tick off. To those of you who have been nowhere near education for yours, you really would not believe what goes on. There are lists of categories of expectations for children from 'do they talk to their peers' to 'can they wipe their arses' - and you have to provide proof that these have been achieved. It is all quite crazy like some dystopian film. He had an achievement folder that had a list of criteria met and their reference number after each item - e.g. painted a picture (ref.* - shows manual dexterity; ref.* - knows colours; Ref* - able to blend colours) - I expect you are getting the picture. For one of his activities there was three quarters of a page of criteria!

Reception class teachers know when their charges need a bit of help getting on with one another, or lack some basic social skills and they just gently help them along - all this proof and box-ticking is demeaning to both parties.

Don't get me started - it all makes me so angry - such a waste of everyone's time, enthusiasm and skills.

MadMaisie Mon 03-Oct-16 09:41:20

Targets are not exclusive to primary and secondary schools. I am shocked that targets are set in nurseries for toddlers. This makes me feel very sad - tint tots should be learning through play, not having to complete assessments!

dramatictessa Mon 03-Oct-16 09:53:58

Years ago, when SATS were first introduced, I said to my colleagues 'If we allow the government to bring in, it will be the thin end of the wedge and they'll be able to do whatever they like with education in the future.' This is one occasion where I wish I hadn't been proved rightangry

Tizliz Mon 03-Oct-16 09:58:59

In some countries children don't start school until they are 7. Two extremes

crazygranmda Mon 03-Oct-16 09:59:13

Firstly I should declare that I speak as an ex teacher. If teachers (and TA's) were allowed to spend more time teaching and less time ticking boxes education standards might improve! As for the OP I completely agree. We are no longer living in the 1950s. Encourage a love of reading and language in general - they can do all the analysis at a later stage. Kids need to enjoy learning so that they will want to continue doing it for many years to come. Rant over :-)

cornergran Mon 03-Oct-16 10:07:38

Sad and angry. Watching our two granddaughters one takes to her school work like the proverbial duck to water, busy teaching me the rules of grammar I guess I did know once. The other is at risk of giving up at seven because she just isn't interested in what she 'should'' be reading and would prefer to be reading her own books, making up stories, playing out of doors or making things indoors rather than plodding through her set homework. I could cry with frustration as I suspect could her teacher.

Casawan Mon 03-Oct-16 10:07:54

Lucky girl, you are spot on! I have seen this too. My G'dtr No1 is 8, in yr 4, and gets at least 5 hours of homework each week, plus reading and spellings. G'dtr No2 is 5, in yr1, and gets reading, spelling, plus about 2 hours of other work each week. I think the load is heavy, but DiL makes sure the work gets done. The problem, I think, is that there is not enough time in school day these days. When I was at school we finished at 4pm. My gdtrs finish at 3pm. Those 5 extra hours each week would make so much difference.
Because there is so much pressure on teachers, children do not get enough of their time. G'dtr No 2 has a speech delay which means she has trouble pronouncing some letter combinations. She is much improved now, but in reception she was marked down as behind in her reading. She is actually a good reader, has moved through the set stages ahead of most of the class, but because no one could be bothered to actually take time to listen properly during guided reading, and understand that the issue was with her pronunciation, not her reading skills, she has unfairly been identified as a low achiever. If there was less pressure and more time this sort of thing would not happen. And in what sort of world do we decide that a four year old is 'failing'?

Lilyflower Mon 03-Oct-16 10:11:31

Children are sponges and can absorb both grammar and the love of reading. It isn't an either/or and one thing doesn't push out the other. There's no harm in learning the technicalities at a young age and it is because they teach the youngsters the hard stuff early that private schools and grammar schools do so well.

Believe me, trying to teach subordinate clauses at GCSE level (because the children haven't a clue what the terms mean and need to) is a nightmare. I found myself wasting time teaching top set GCSE pupils to give a name a capital letter and to end a sentence with a full stop.

My own children were sent to schools where the standards were high and the basics taught traditionally and properly and they were the better educationally for it.

I honestly don't understand why parents would complain that their children were being taught something real and useful. Do they also complain that their children are being taught that two and two are four?

Craftycat Mon 03-Oct-16 10:15:15

Following Ninathenanna's post, my grandson also had maths homework to do online when he was in year 5. Mental arithmetic. He had 10 secs to get the answer to each question & I commented that I would have had trouble doing it myself (I am discalculate to be fair) but he looked withering at me & said- Grandma- there is a pause button you know!
What is the point of that? Once it was done he sent it to his teacher online & she marked it for the following day.

lizzypopbottle Mon 03-Oct-16 10:19:31

Schools now have to show 'value added'. It's not enough to be able to read and write and do basic arithmetic by seven years old. The school has to show where they started from so they can prove they are toeing the government/Ofsted line. Inspections are all about data these days. That's why reception class children are followed round relentlessly by someone with a clipboard.

Speaking and listening are part of literacy. Many reception children start school unable to converse in sentences, particularly boys, so value added is more than possible to achieve here but it can't be shown without evidence.

lizzypopbottle Mon 03-Oct-16 10:20:08

And, yes, it's very sad.

harrigran Mon 03-Oct-16 10:28:03

GD arrived at the weekend and said she was going to do maths homework, her mother got out the laptop, all done online.

Libmoggy Mon 03-Oct-16 11:20:13

My granddaughter will be 8 in November and is coping perfectly well. Her dad says that her grammar is better than his.

Doversole Mon 03-Oct-16 12:56:40

This seems OK to me. I guess the issue is if not everyone has easy online access from home, but that's certainly coming if not already here. So it's just a debate about whether it is a bit early to introduce this. A lot of kids love being online for games etc (a whole other matter - lots of potential risk there IMHO), perhaps they might even be more motivated to do their homework if it is online.

Lisalou Mon 03-Oct-16 13:28:07

Just found this article. Apparently there were guidelines for homework, set up in 1998, but these were scrapped by Gove in 2012, thus leaving the idea of how much homework should be set in the hands of head teachers. It clearly has not improved the situation, from what you are all saying.

See the article