The phrase “joined up thinking” comes to mind. With a daughter finishing her first year at secondary school, I have seen how the process of transition can be a somewhat erratic one. With dedicated and skilled staff, focusing on “secondary ready” pupils what we must ensure is that all teachers who have responsibility across this transitionary phase, recognise what is required for this “readiness” academically, socially and emotionally. What is required is greater transparency and collaboration across phases and between schools.
What is primary education for? Now the Government has spoken. In its long-awaited consultation on key stage 2 accountability primary education has essentially been given a tight remit: its purpose is to make pupils “secondary ready”. Nick Clegg declares that “every primary school should make its pupils ready for secondary school by the time they leave”, whilst David Laws observes that “all children… can arrive in secondary school ready to succeed”.
Their comments are a demonstration of just how far we have moved from the principles of the Plowden Report. Lady Plowden – a former Conservative county councillor – devoted a chapter to the purposes of primary education, concluding (para 505) that “a school is not merely a teaching shop, it must transmit values and attitudes. It is a community in which children learn to live first and foremost as children and not as future adults”. In place…
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