When I recently reviewed last year’s posts, I was rather shocked to find that I hadn’t written one post on education. In a year. Not one. Then, in early January, there was a small controversy about the use of knowledge organisers in primary schools. This got me thinking. Generally, I think we want too much out of primary schools. I think that some of the ‘desired’ outcomes are problematic (e.g. KS2 SATs results), and that these generate rafts of methodologies, which leads to a negative feedback loop. Eventually, what is achieved isn’t what was really wanted – too much of the cul-de-sac, in fact – but is what we get.
What do we want out of primary schools? We want kids to be ‘secondary ready’, equipped to make the transition to secondary school (don’t get me started on the move to re-introduce selective education at 11 on a wider scale than at present)……of course we do; we want them to be able to read and write, and be numerate – but, much of the stuff they are supposed to be able to do now when they move up into secondary school, I learnt well into my secondary education. I think we need to re-think what ‘secondary ready’ should really mean, and to re-think what we get kids to do in primary.
(Don’t think that I have low expectations; I don’t, see this)