We know the issue is there, it’s dormant, silently bubbling away underneath the surface. It will rear its ugly head sooner then we think…
Soon our children, your nieces, nephews, pupils ext. will be subject to yet another mandatory, standardised test! Yes, another one, one which has been put on hold for quite some time.
Until now our Government has been over obsessed with standardised test after test after test. They coolly subjugate our children to these tests time and time again with no evidence at all to support the fact that ‘tests’ actually help improve one’s learning, attainment or academic skills. As the Government proudly announce that our children are the most ‘tested’ children in the word! It is no hidden fact that Education in England has actually suffered by being driven by stringent accountability measures.
Children will soon look to their teachers and parents for help with their times tables more than they ever have before.
Did you know all of your times tables before you left primary school? Back to front, inside out?
I know many who didn’t and are suffering the consequences now. Been a parent myself I know what that moment feels like. When your child is sitting next to you; looking at you with fear in their eyes because they know they need the help but just don’t know who has the time, skills or availability to give them the help and assistance they so desperately want and need.
Whether its times tables, algebra, percentages or equations. I’m sure there’s been a point in time when you knew they had ‘that test’ coming up, and knew that, for those few days before the test they lived in fear, a fear of possible failure, doubt and anxiety.
Yes, we are referring to primary school children, not an adult preparing for a job interview or moving home. The fear is there, it’s real, and our children are suffering and will continue to suffer.
The general public know the stress is there, the teachers certainly do, and by no shadow of a doubt the Government are aware of it too.
‘So what shall we do?’ The people cry out to the Government? ‘How shall we save our children from possible stress related mental illnesses in the future?’ we implore.
‘Hummm… let’s add another test’ The Government reply, ‘better yet, we’ll give little or no support to the little buggers and the overloaded teachers; they’ll handle it or simply resign. That’s what they do best humm’.
As the UK fall behind their counterparts in mathematics I look back and truly question, what have the Government done to help raise our children from the slums of 26th place in the OECD league tables? What miraculous incentives do you know of? What schemes of work and unbelievably successful programmes have you witnessed working in a primary school which you would like to share?
Since 2000 there have been many outside agencies offering their services to schools, colleges, universities and night schools to help deal with this terrifying ‘testing equals stress not results’ epidemic. As briefly mentioned above, this is not just something which is affecting our primary school children; as primary school children who did not learn and conquer their times tables go on to become secondary school children who also struggled. Subsequently the road becomes a rockier one as life goes on. With the pressures of a working life and possible family life, learning times tables becomes that ‘thing which you found difficult and never conquered’. Primary school children grow into adults, with families and ‘that thing they found difficult or never conquered’ is rearing its ugly head. As their youngest child stands there and waves a letter typed out to them from the teacher entitled: TIMES TABLES TEST NEXT WEEK: please help your children to practice.
You see, it’s no longer about the child in the class, it’s an epidemic because that struggling child turns into that parent who is forced to watch her child struggle just as she did. Do you see now?
Maths and science are the subjects parents find the hardest, leaving them embarrassed when they are unable to help, a study of 2,000 mothers and fathers found.
If there is an epidemic; which I assure you, there is, we need a clear cut strategy to even attempt to solve it right?
As mentioned above, there is now an entourage of professionals, who have worked tirelessly to help school teachers; developing methods, strategies and true works of art which are innovative and contemporary. Better still, most of these innovators were teachers who have noted issues throughout the system and would like to do their little bit to give something back. We have an education army willing and waiting for their opportunity.
I say to the Government, let’s begin to take the surrounding ice walls from around these schools and allow us to all help to move forward for the better. Let’s open our eyes to the ‘outstanding resources’ we have all around us and lets climb back to the top of that league table together.
Or we can wait; you implement test after test after test. And await the day when those children climb back over that surrounding ice wall themselves and snatch the help they need. Look closely and you can see it already, how many parents or careers do you know who already invest money in outside agencies to help support their children academically? How often do you recite your times table to ensure you know them fluently enough to encourage the next generation to learn there’s?
One in four parents pay tutors to coach their children. I myself have built and established my own times tables Saturday class which is regularly full to bursting point. Why?
I’m not saying I’m correct but the article stipulates that it’s down to overwhelming pressure to achieve higher scores in standardised tests. We want to ‘climb those league tables’. So I end on this, who should be footing the bill to ensure their child receives an education which will benefit them in the long run. An education that will support their dreams, hopes and aspirations? Who should foot the bill for a ‘worthy’, ‘stress free’ ‘supportive’ education system? Shouldn’t this be mandatory?