Increase age for starting school

There is an opportunity to radically change education in Scotland. A previous study in 2016 looked at the model of other countries such as Sweden and Finland where Primary Education begins at age 7. If we were to follow this model it would be beneficial to the children allowing them to develop their resilience and emotional maturity and reduce in attentiveness and disruption to classes. This would also reduce the pressure on returning children, teachers and wider education. For return to school following lockdown classes would return to the year that they left to cover the education missed therefor there would be no new intake at Primary 1 and those at secondary school that are of leaving age/already left could be given the option to return to sit actual exams for grades based on their sumbitted papers rather than those given this year. For those that would have started school they would remain in preschool education. There is obviously the financial impact and the added workload for preschool workers as their intake would increase. There would have to be recruitment for the early years sector to ensure the correct ratios are met. Further study would be required and consultation with parents and teaching unions would be required.

Why the contribution is important

It will reduce school numbers for the coming school year (20/21) In future years more children will be emotionally mature for starting Primary education. It will reduce pressure on teaching staff to deliver education Primary and Secondary) It will fill the education gap left by lockdown by repeating the year.

by Mmcknic on May 06, 2020 at 05:51AM

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  • Posted by MairiMac3 May 06, 2020 at 15:00

    It worries me greatly that we’re thinking of a virtual transition for our early years children to School, whose neurological development at this stage is quite different from over 7’s. “The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” – Dr Maria Montessori Children learn by touching, feeling and doing. They learn through movement, not just visually & must be encouraged to move around the classrooms they will be in and engage with the wide variety of activities available and make discoveries for themselves. Perhaps someone has shown you how to put together some IKEA furniture on a video - It is generally easier to remember the steps if you have the opportunity to try it yourself. Similarly when children move & work with their hands in the environments they are to spend time in, they gain a very concrete understanding of the setting & materials. When we can show children and let them touch and explore, they will make many more neural connections. And later, more abstract learning will naturally evolve from the concrete experiences they have had. If ‘Realising the Ambition” is to be achieved, virtual transitions are a non starter for the under 5’s. Realising our Ambition says it all really “Transition is a complex and dynamic process. In order to better understand this complexity we need to be aware that each child’s development is influenced by their direct and indirect experiences of particular social and cultural contexts. In other words, where they live and who they interact with as they grow and develop contribute to shaping who they are as individuals.” We can’t achieve this virtually. We do know that in the EY the child can only construct herself in an environment that she knows & meets her developmental needs. An environment which does not satisfy those developmental needs is one in which ‘deviations’ occur. We see this phenomenon in all the stages of child development but development is occurring so rapidly in the early years that when a child is placed in an environment for which they do not know through concrete experiences & are not ready - there is rapid deterioration in behaviour. To avoid creating a situation promoting deviations developing, the adults like us need to ensure we spend time with the child in an environment that will provide for them with a positive concrete experience. We can then observe, plan, prepare and allow transition to occur naturally. We must continually ask ourselves: “For whom does the school function: for the needs of the adults or the needs of the child?” Let’s postpone this until January 2021.
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