By the time they reach eleven school children in England are some of the most tested in the world. However, research by the Cambridge Primary Review shows that a causal relationship between tests and raised standards is, at best, oblique.
When the stakes are so high at least some ‘teaching to the test’ becomes inevitable. Important areas of development, such as personal, social and emotional skills, may find that they are squeezed out of the school day all together.
Testing does not equal teaching.
The NUT is campaigning for a primary education for all children where teachers have the freedoms to use their professional judgement and knowledge and understanding of the children they teach.
The importance of play in the Foundation Stage is embedded in its curriculum guidance. However, from the earliest stages of education the emphasis has increasingly been placed on formal learning and assessment, particularly of literacy and numeracy. This narrow vision of education is squeezing play-based learning out of the curriculum, despite the fact that children are still in their early years of development.