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10 things children must be able to do before school

(49 Posts)
gillybob Fri 04-Apr-14 08:40:27

I was reading this article in the DM. My DGS is 4 he will start school in September. He has been doing the things on this list for a long time although finds it quite difficult to sit still for any length of time. Are there really children starting school who are not potty trained?

glammanana Fri 04-Apr-14 08:49:46

gillybob do you think they are referring to reception classes which the little ones go into at 4 before they go into full time school or actual school,I know when DD had youngest DGS in reception class some of the mums did not have their little ones as toilet trained as they should have been and she was amazed they where allowed to go into the class,but I don't think she ever mentioned about it when they went full time except for the odd accident which can happen to little ones when they leave it too late or forget to ask.

annodomini Fri 04-Apr-14 09:02:33

This isn't a new phenomenon. 40 years ago a friend who was an infant teacher in a deprived inner city area told me similar stories of children arriving at school in push chairs and drinking from baby bottles.

Tegan Fri 04-Apr-14 09:26:53

On a more academic level I've heard that they're now wanted nursery schools to get toddlers more up to speed with literacy and numeracy before they start school. Even talk of tests of some kind confused. For heavens sake, just let them be children and play and use their imagination [which is learning anyway]. What is happening in this country?

Iam64 Fri 04-Apr-14 09:27:25

Exactly annodomini- the only thing that stands out for me as being "worse" than things were 30 or 40 years ago, is the extent of drug/alcohol abuse amongst parents, which compounds any parenting problems.

HollyDaze Fri 04-Apr-14 09:34:39

Teaching children spelling can be fun - I used to play a game with my children when out walking. We'd play I-Spy and whatever the word was, was then spelt out. By the age of 5, if I said 'road' they asked 'rode' or 'road', 'flour' or 'flower' before spelling it out - it was a game they enjoyed.

We'd also play a game of turning cards over with words on that they would have to find the other half of a pair and that way, they recognised certain, commonly used words. Ditto with numbers. Playing snap in the same way also helped.

FlicketyB Fri 04-Apr-14 09:41:40

30 years ago DMiL, a reception class teacher, when children didn't start school until they were 5 told me she had, over her teaching years, had three or four children start school in nappies. Each was usually the youngest in a big family where the mother didn't want to lose her 'baby' and kept them babied until they went to school.

She used also to speak of children who had been 'talked over, talked at and talked through but never talked to'. She lived and taught in a small country town in North Bucks and towards the end of her teaching career when the council bought up a number of the little Victorian cottages that surrounded her school and used them to house problem families, she would discuss being expected to get children reading in the reception who started school never having seen or held a book or pencil, unable to see the difference between different shapes or with the vocabulary to understand concept like under, over and between between.

DGS, has only just been potty trained at rising 4, he starts school in September. This was on medical advice as he had bowel problems and the specialist felt it was better to deal with these first and then deal with potty training. As it was he more or less trained himself over about a week, while still dealing with the last few months of his bowel problems.

gillybob Fri 04-Apr-14 10:10:20

Yes glamma I think they are talking about Reception Class so probably children between four and a half and five years old. I am not sure whether the problem is as bad as it is being made out and I wonder out of however many children starting school per year exactly what percentage are not toilet trained. I bet it is very small.

My 2 DGD's could both read very well before they started school. My DGS however is showing no signs of being ready and just starts acting silly when I as him what letter a word begins with. I know he knows the answer but when I say (for example) a is for ......... he will deliberately say monkey or dad (one and the same I guess). smile

Mishap Fri 04-Apr-14 10:17:19

Children all develop at different rates - to be issuing lists of "shoulds" at this young age is just daft. No doubt it is more convenient if children can do these things when they start school, but this sort of regimented approach is nonsense with little children. They will pick it all up soon enough when they see what the others are doing; or not, if their development rate is such that this is inappropriate. Childhood is not a race to achieve - it is a time to explore the world at the rate that is right for each.

whenim64 Fri 04-Apr-14 10:41:56

My five year old grandsons are driving us potty with their developing spelling skills. Just lately, it's 'ner-a-ner-a, ker-a-ner we her-a-ver-e a-ner-oth-er ger-o o-ner yer-o-rer i-per-a-d?' Their mum and I are near to yelling 'just SAY it!' It's like talking to Norman Collier! grin

annodomini Fri 04-Apr-14 11:06:08

Two of my GSs started in foundation level (I think that's what they call reception stage now) when they were only just 4. One of them did well, already having a big sister a year ahead, being tall and articulate for his age, and, importantly having been at the same nursery as many others in the class. He has remained a ringleader and is academically bright. The other one seemed much younger for his age and, to be honest, now he's in year 4, I don't think he has fully caught up yet. One size doesn't fit all.

gillybob Fri 04-Apr-14 11:43:36

I agree anno my 2 DGD's were both absolutely ready to start school whereas I am not sure about my DGS who will start in September. I also worry about him being in the shadow of his 2 very bright sisters who often get mistaken for each other at school they are so alike.

Elegran Fri 04-Apr-14 11:46:49

Some of these things are more important than others. A child who does not recognise their own name, or know the meaning of the words "no" and "stop", or who cannot ask for help, is going to be in constant danger without a one-for-one minder to physically prevent them from doing things that would harm themselves or others.

NfkDumpling Fri 04-Apr-14 11:59:00

I was for a few years a lunch time play ground dinner lady - don't know what they're called these days. Yes, we did have reception children who weren't dry or, more usually, clean. Who ate with their fingers and couldn't handle a spoon even. Getting them to understand the word No or the concept of sharing was impossible. It wasn't always children from poor backgrounds or the youngest or possibly more stupid either, sometimes they were just impossibly spoilt.

gillybob Fri 04-Apr-14 12:03:08

I think they are called dinner nannies today NfkDumpling well they are at my GC's school anyway. I am pleased you brought up the subject about different backgrounds as there was an interesting discussion on the Jeremy Vine program yesterday lunchtime where one of the speakers (I forget who he was) very much insinuated that it was always children from the poorer backgrounds that couldn't do/understand the basics before starting school. I was really very cross.

Nonnie Fri 04-Apr-14 12:44:07

Our 2 year old GC can do all these apart from the potty and I'm sure that will come soon. So sad for the ones who can't.

NfkDumpling Fri 04-Apr-14 12:49:51

Dinner nanny - I like that.

We often noticed the poorer kids had better manners as their mum's had more time to spend with them. Not rushing off to work or coffee mornings and such. A bus driver once told me he liked going on the routes through council estates as everyone said thank you as they got off the bus.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 04-Apr-14 12:50:04

Stupid list. Bloody trained monkeys.

storynanny Fri 04-Apr-14 12:51:11

Yes, lots of children start reception (foundation 2) in nappies or pull ups. Apart from medical reasons it is always because the parents have not bothered. They are leaving it for the school staff to do. In the reception class of 30 this morning on supply, 5 children were in pull ups, only one for a medical reason.

storynanny Fri 04-Apr-14 12:52:21

I am not doing any judging here merely stating fact.

gillybob Fri 04-Apr-14 12:54:01

That seems a very high percentage storynanny I asked my GS's nursery teacher this morning and she said that she could only remember 1 in 5 years of working.

Lilygran Fri 04-Apr-14 12:57:55

Michael Wilshaw said any objections to teaching very young children came from middle class educated people who 'intuitively' taught their own children all the things they needed while a lot of working class people are unable to prepare their children for school. Condescending?

Mishap Fri 04-Apr-14 15:45:42

Condescending indeed - just because parents are not plugging any academic skills when the children are small does not mean that those "depioved" children are not exploring their environment in a loving context.

nannyfran Fri 04-Apr-14 15:49:50

Very condescending!Have they forgotten that a poll a few months ago made our children some of the most unhappy in the world! This is putting even more pressure on parents and children and as anno said, "one size doesn't fit all." Children all develop at different rates and to start interfering at 2 years is criminal.
This was discussed on Question Time last night after a question from a young lad who said his last 5 years had been nothing but exams in school and he hated it. He gave the impression of being intelligent and not idle, and children like him must be very frustrated that nobody is listening to them.
If there is a real problem, should we not be helping the parents rather than pushing babies into school?

Eloethan Fri 04-Apr-14 22:48:06

The one that would concern me the most is "able to recognise own name".