Now I and Archaeologist Husband have met the Year 1 Teacher and discussed Number One Sons situation. On one hand I feel more confident that things may go Ok, even if any extra Number-One-Son-specific support comes only when all the visits and enquiries are done for the new model Special Educational Needs support case evaluation. She is tough, but that may be what our stubborn son may need in order to unlock his potential. However, some specifics stemming from the new curriculum and policy are alarming.
Year 1 Teacher explained that the new objectives are basically for the five-year-olds the same objectives that were a year ago the objectives for the six-year-olds. This means that our son who has now started to make some kind of capital letters and can scribe the short version of his own name has now his long first name and surname in proper small and big letters as a homework. I am not sure if the targets have to jump over a series of steps in a matter of week.
The good part is that we are forced to start to put into practice a homework routine and hone different bribing and encouragement tactics in order to get our son to scribe different things. He has never been the one for drawing, so this takes some coaxing. I am sure he is not alone among the boys in this.
The worrying part is the fact that even the brightest among his peers are disappointed how 'work-like' the brave new school is. I am not sure that the worried faces and moans about the lack of play were the things Gove had in mind when he started to formulate this new brave curriculum. In Finland the children play when they are five. In England they sit by a table and scribe. I hated myself school for its senseless learning without curiosity and reading capital cities or areas by heart. This new curriculum prescribes the model to the toddlers and expects that they somehow become nuclear scientists and learn the mysteries of the Universe by following unrealistic goals. How will those who do not learn to multiply and divide when five pick these things when they are ready? And how the children can keep the fun in this all? New thinking requires unconventional and curious mind.