Plans are afoot for primary school education.
Dave and his Dastardly Crew have decided to shake up what happens in the classroom. Pomes will be learnt by rote, and there will be a standardised list of spellings (i.e. not a list drawn up by the teacher, targetted to the child and areas of study). Not only will the tinies learn about useful things like apostrophes, they’ll learn how to use the subjunctive before they leave primary school. (I love the phrase ‘the idea of subjunctiveness’…)
Dave’s Big Plan is decoding. As I understand it, teachers currently use phonics/ decoding as a tool to help children work out what words sound like. It’s part of learning how to read. It is not ‘learning how to read’.
That’s a much broader issue, based on story telling, a wide variety of picture, reference and other books, real life, finding meaning and pleasure in words. As part of the Big Plan, children won’t have access to materials they can’t decode.
That sounds suspiciously like they want to teach children to learn to read while removing any material that the children might actually want to read. Reading, without books? Why would anybody want to do that? Where’s the inspiration, the fun, the challenge? Where, even, is the chance to see complex grammar at work?
People who actually know about these things are up in arms. Michael Rosen and other authors have made their concerns clear. The advisory committee are protesting that their issues are being totally ignored. Katyboo tells it well. (Sorry for all the links- I haven’t the energy to provide reasonable summaries. I need that energy for the rage.)
The government think they are the experts in everything. They listen to nobody. They ride roughshod over everyone else (ask anyone with a disability) and presume to tell practioners how to do the jobs for which they are trained and experienced. They’ll keep on doing it.
If only anyone had voted for this coalition government I could blame them, but, no, it’s all down to Dave’s crew. Nobody voted for this nonsense.
Lucky us, having such a bunch of experts in charge of everything.
The summer holidays are upon us. School is over for the rest of the household. Because of ‘quality’ family time/ people fighting over computer access, I’ll be posting less frequently. Cheer quietly.