Anorak News | Nursery School

Nursery School

by | 9th, November 2005

‘STORIES that Tony Blair is to star as Mary Poppins in a remake of that seminal nanny film are, as yet, unfounded.

‘Education, education, education’

But this it not to say Tony does not harbour ambitions in the challenging field of pre-school education.

As the Guardian reports on its front page (“Labour’s plan to educate toddlers”), the Government intends to introduce a new national curriculum for babies and children under five.

Beverley Hughes, the children and families minister, says the “early years foundation stage” would establish a coherent framework that defines progression for young children”.

If there’s one thing a toddler needs it’s a framework. And if this framework can be coherent, and not full of that awful goo-gooing, ga-gaaing Government new speak, so very much the better.

“We are not talking about sitting very young children in chairs and making them learn numbers and letters where it is inappropriate,” says Hughes.

Of course not. That would be plainly ridiculous. If the Government is serious about teaching toddlers and babies the ways of education, it cannot be a one chair fits all exercise – there are high chairs, potties and cradles, to name just three. It’s more of a streaming exercise.

As the Telegraph explains, inspectors from Ofsted will check that the children are developing in four “distinct curriculum headings”: a strong child, a skilful communicator, a competent learner and a healthy child.

But, as ever, not everyone is best pleased. And Margaret Morrissey, the spokesman for the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, says: ‘We are in danger of taking away children’s childhood when they leave the maternity ward.’

She goes on: “From the minute you are born and your parents go back to work, as the Government has encouraged them to do, you are going to be ruled by the Department for Education.’

“Nonsense,” says a Government spokesman in the Telegraph. “It is just good practice to say that nurseries should be observant to how the children are forming words and make sure that they are developing as they should.”

Sounds just terrific. But what happens if the baby shows signs of being different, straying from the course, developing as he should not?

This is something that must be addressed. Expulsion for nursery is one option, as is keeping baby down a year, splitting him up from his friends and kerbing his addition to that dummy before it leads to a life of drug abuse and GCSE failure…’

Posted: 9th, November 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink