Thursday, 25 October 2007

Reading in and writing, not Hexagon.

Excellent couple of programmes on the topic on C4. First about the disaster that is occurring and the second about a school that demands all kids read by the end of the year.

Pretty simple, I would have thought - why are not ALL Primary School heads demanding that ALL kids read before they leave? That does not need Government guidelines or initiatives, just the Heads knowing priorities - as they said, what is the point of all the other lessons if the kids cannot read?

The show did include a rather fierce teacher who was against it all but then came around. What was good was she did not pretend or excuse it. Plain speaking at the beginning, and plain speaking at the end. It was all about the idea of "not try, but do".

Personally, I would say forget 11, all kids reading when leaving Infants, i.e. at 7. Of course there will be exceptions, but in too many places in the UK the exceptions RULE and the lowest is the common denominator, so demand all at 7 and even after that the odd kid can be dealt with. In so many places it seems it has been "lower your standards, then fail to meet them".

The look on the kids faces when they realise they can read and actually are proud of it and want to show off is terrific, priceless. Another kid saved from the scrapheap.

Before anyone says "funding", it only takes a blackboard and chalk to sort this out, no need for hi-tech electronic boards or "handwriting software".

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