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    Recently I have been thinking; primary school up to about the age of seven, was a waste of time and government money. We spent ages doing useless crap such as practising how to for out letters and numbers and doing basic (1+3=?) maths or (numeracy as they called it). Yes these things are important but really really surely proficiency in these areas would come naturally, afterall whats the use in drilling a child to copy out lettering when their motor functions have not really developed sufficiently? Why do "Numeracy" when the brain has not developed to a resonable standard?

    The Scandinavian education systems are some of the best in the world (Notably Finland's) and these do not start of students as early. Can't we just let children be children instead of dragging them from their mothers at such a young age, to send them to an institution which does little to teach them and could put them off the idea of learning when they get older.

    You obviously don't know anything about what children actually learn at a young age, judging by what you've just said. It isn't useless crap practising writing basic letters and numbers. Have you not been in a early years/year 1 class? I am on a primary education course and currently on placement in a year one class. The children can hardly get their number symbols and letter shapes round the right way, hence why they need to keep repeating word letters out. Also why do you think they do basic maths! they do basic maths to prepare them for the more complex maths they will doing later on, there is only so much children of 5 years old they can hardly think what 152 plus 300 is at that age. They need to understand the principal that adding two numbers together makes another number. They will use these principals when they come to adding up larger numbers later on and doing more complex maths.

    Children are exposed to some amount of maths growing up, using mathematical vocabulary in their everyday lives (e.g asking for one more of something, or one less) they need to understand they can extend this knowledge to help them when doing sums. By doing basic maths they also get the chance to understand ways they will use maths in their everyday lives, this is why teachers put mathematics into context for children by giving them an everyday situation such as counting with money to help them understand.

    The whole point of copying out lettering is for children to PRACTICE using their motor functions, such as holding a pencil properly, writing in a straight line on a page, getting letters the right sizes. These things are not going to come to children completely naturally. The whole point of being in the classroom is for the teacher to nurture their development. By being there we can give the child support when they are using their motor functions. Children also get the chance to take part in activities in school which are developed to help with their hand control etc they do this at the school I am in using rackets to balance balls, practising control over their hands (which will help them when holding a pencil and writing)

    The classroom isn't some kind of factory getting children to 'drill a child' into things. The more practice children get the better, but no way are these things expected to come completely naturally to them, straight away. The teacher is there to make numeracy and fun activity for children, its not like its some kind of laborious subject where they are expected to churn out maths knowledge. They play maths based board games, they use maths in the play area putting numbers into order, they play maths games on the computer. The children in my class go and play the maths games by their own accord. They love playing them, especially the boys on the computers.

    The whole point of the teacher is to engage children in numeracy, maths. In my class the children have a writing area, in their free play activities there are always children in that area writing their own stories and children even come in and do their handwriting practice out of choice. A classroom is designed to be a place that will make children enjoy learning and will provide them with rich opportunities to practice writing and numeracy.

    And they are not being dragged from their mothers to a place that is not going to teach them, sorry but that is a load of cr*p. The early years and year 1 classes really encourage children to play, this is STRUCTURED play. The teacher chooses play activities which are going to develop their concepts of numeracy. e.g the dinosaurs and farm animals. They can sort and classify which animals belong to which family. Sorting and classifying is used in maths.

    There are colouring in sheets where you have to add two sections together, if they make less than 10 you don't colour them in and eventually a picture appears. There is a role play area where children can go and use lots of talk and develop their social interactions. About 70% of class time is structured play. The year 1 teacher has carried on play from reception to ease children into the later years. The teacher works with groups of children in the class whilst the others have play activities, these involve groups led by the teacher such as guided reading and class activities.

    The children need alot of help to sound out letters, they don't sound out letters like we do such as w 'double yew' they say it as 'wuh' which actually makes it difficult for them to recognise what the letter symbol will look like.

    Also children go into school at a young age to develop their personal, social and emotional health. There are alot of children that go into school whose parents don't have much time for them, in my class most of the children are looked after by child minders whilst their parents are at work. There is a girl in the class who is very insecure and flips out alot because her experiences at home have really effected her emotional health and how well she is doing at school. If it wasn't for teachers many children would not be in a place where they feel love and security, which a school can provide. It is not all about learning about subjects. There is alot of learning to be done in school in all areas, so sorry you literally have no idea what you are talking about. lol

    As the above poster stated, it actually is very good for the child - this is where the child not only learns to read, but this is also where cognitive development starts to increase at an incredibl rate - primary school at such a young age is excellent for the cognitive development of a child.
    Plus, if you'd rather have children stay at home for a few extra years, who looks after the children? At least in primary school both parents can work if they want to, even if it means them getting off work earlier.

    Plus, Finland's excellent education doesn't come from the age at which people start, it comes from the positive attitude towards education (which sadly we don't have in some parts of the country) and in addition, the teachers are highly trained - that's not necessarily the case in this country, I can think of many teachers that I've had that just can't teach very well.

    Yep, I agree with dean1210. Finland seems to have a very diferent attitude towards education and from what I've read, teaching is one of the most highly regarded occupations and as a result is very competitve (thus ensuring that only the best applicant become teachers).

    Perhaps the UK needs to change its attitude towards teaching? I know quite a few teachers who had teaching as their 'backup' and only became teachers because they couldn't get into what they really wanted to do.

    Also the UK needs to change it's attitude towards education as a whole, but tbh I have no idea how we could do that. Also, lots of children in the UK come from homes where they are not taught properly how to do maths or how to read properly - for this reason, it would seem that starting school at 4 could help them learn what their parents haven't taught them.
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