Early Years Foundation Stage
Continuing on from an item in the last series, how much can we expect of our five year olds? The EYFS framework becomes law in Autumn. It has been criticised as being too ambitious for most children, and when it comes into effect the government will be carrying out a review to see if the critics are correct.
Annette Brooke MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Children, Young People and Families, has tabled an early day motion urging the government to have an independent review of the framework; Professor Edward Melhuish, Professor of Human Development at Birkbeck College, University of London and Executive Director of National Evaluation of Sure Start; and Margaret Edgington, a Vice-President of the National Campaign for real Nursery Education and of Early Education, also join Liz Barclay to discuss the issues.
Mental toughness for success
According to Dr Peter Clough, Head of Psychology at the University of Hull, children must be tough to succeed in life. He has developed just such a system for schoolchildren. He believes that with higher levels of mental toughness children perform better in examinations, are less likely to consider themselves victims of bullying and cope with initial failure.
It is estimated that more than 50,000 children in the UK are educated at home. Homeschooling is allowed in most of Europe although it is considered socially unacceptable, and therefore, is not practised in many countries. In Germany home education is not tolerated and many authorities have introduced stringent measures to force parents to send their children to mainstream schools. Recently a couple was given a three month prison sentence for teaching their five children at home.
Andrew Littlejohn met the Skeets and the Landahls who moved to the Isle of Wight from Germany to escape the pressures against homeschooling their children
Emeritus Professor of Soil Mechanics and Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College, University of London, John Burland is best known for his work on excavation techniques at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He visits primary schools to talk to youngsters about his work. Other projects include Big Ben and the Jubilee Line Extension. A three-volume book (in Italian) has just been published about the Leaning Tower project. Liz Barclay talks to him about his work.