Topic

curriculum

15 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Justine Greening MP, Caroline Dinenage MP

Every child deserves a childhood and an education that is the BEST and not STRESSED!

We are living in one of the few countries in the world where our children start formal schooling at the age of 4. Our newspapers are full of stories about children's mental health, children failing in basic skills, children behaving anti socially, and teachers leaving in droves. Our National Curriculum is constantly moving the goalposts with children's heads being filled with knowledge that many adults either never learned, or if they did it was much later, perhaps in secondary or higher education. My own son explained to me what a 'subordinate clause' was. I have written 5 books for teachers,  numerous articles and yet have somehow succeeded in writing and actually ENJOYED the process without needing this technical vocabulary. If we consider what our future generations need, we will see they need strong communication skills, strong personal, social and emotional development, strong physical skills, embedded concrete literacy and maths skills, an understanding of and respect for their world and creativity. They need characteristics such as resilience, perseverance, creative thinking, the ability to solve problems, think outside the box, independence, risk taking, confidence and the ability to learn from mistakes as they grow in a world which is a challenging place to be...and becoming more so by the day. The irony of all of the above is that we have a curriculum in England that delivers all this and more. The only problem is it ends when children leave Reception classes. Increasingly worryingly, for many children, it is ending in the Reception classes due to pressures to be so called "National Curriculum" ready! Many children even at aged 3 and 4 are spending days at tables, being tested, completing worksheets and being forced to write when all the evidence shows us that they need to be moving, doing, exploring, experiencing, feeling, seeing.  These young children are being damaged and as a society we will pay the price in years to come when our world needs inventors, risk takers, entrepreneurs, and LEADERS! Our current education system of doing more earlier in a bid to catch up with our international counterparts is dangerous, and not preparing children for the world in which they will live as adults.   So please please let's extend the developmentally appropriate, child centred, tried and tested approaches used in Early Years education and the term "Early Years" to encompass children from birth to 7 or even 8...as it did on my teaching degree and in my nursery nursing qualification.   Look abroad at nations like Finland where this is just what happens.  Their children are thriving and out performing ours.  Our children (and their families and teacher's) are tired, stressed, pressured and fed up. Children as young as 4 are switched off and see learning as boring.... It's time to extend the tried and tested, researched, proven approaches of early education into Key Stage 1. Let's see a focus on areas of real learning AND development, not just abstract subject knowledge AND with a focus on the statutory Characteristics of Effective Learning..those essential learning behaviours which set us up for life and the challenges we face in it daily! Lets see children's well being and mental health as crucial! Let's put them at the heart of education...otherwise who is it for? Let's make sure everyone working with children (not just the youngest ones) understand child development, how children learn and the power of play for all! Let's stop the testing, stop the inappropriate practice and make a change for our children, their families and our educational workforce. Let's make a change for the future. WB Yeats stated that: "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire". It's time to find the matches...

Keeping Early Years Unique
17,391 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION, Justeen Greening

Add PMDD to the Sex Education Curriculum

    I have PMDD. And I had no idea for 10 years.     I tried everything for what I thought was depression; counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, diet changes, meditation. All of these helped, but still every now and again I'd feel so hopeless I wanted to walk into traffic.      After a while I noticed a pattern. I would only feel like this in the two weeks prior to my period. I thought I was crazy, that other women were able to handle PMS and function normally so I must be exaggerating, or be weaker than other women.      Then I read about PMDD. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is symptomized by depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, join pain, swelling, rage, mood swings, insomnia and exhaustion.      Recent scientific research has concluded PMDD is a cell disorder which makes sufferers react differently to natural hormones estrogen and progesterone. It affects 3 - 5 % of the menstruating population. That's over 100,000 women in the UK alone.       Presently 3 - 5% of teenage girls in our school system are suffering with PMDD, through lack of education and understanding they may, just as I did, feel confused and alone with their symptoms.           We ask the Secretary of State for Education to include educating young people about PMDD in the curriculum. We want these women to get the help and understanding they need (and deserve) as early as possible.  

Alma Foster
112 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to UK Parliament, Theresa May MP

Make bullying awareness a MUST in secondary school curriculum

THE CAUSE I believe that teaching students about bullying in secondary school is something that should be covered in the curriculum. It’s not a cure to stop bullying from happening; but it could help reduce the number who do it and help reduce the number of children developing depression or even considering suicide. “According to the Suicide Awareness Voices for Education, suicide is, among 15 to 24 years olds, one of the leading causes of death for youth. Over 16 per cent of students seriously consider suicide, 13 per cent create a plan, and 8 per cent have made a serious attempt.” When you are first bullied, you don’t think of yourself as a victim  at the beginning. You try to brush off the comments and behaviour; hoping it’s a joke and that it was just one time. You don’t even know what is classed as bullying. By the time you realise it’s bullying, you haven’t  been able to nip it in the bud, so the abuse continues. PE is compulsory. Since I left school I haven’t gone jogging in a field, thrown a javelin or played rounders. However it is compulsory to do physical health. What about mental health? That is just as important. MY STORY Upon starting secondary school, everything started to change. I was made to feel different from everyone else. I was tiny, and quite shy; boy did people point out these ‘faults’ of mine. I lost all confidence quickly in year 7. Reading out anything in front of the class started to bring on anxiety. Every day comments were made about how little friends I had, how small I was, what I liked, how quiet I was etc. They would sometimes yank my hair from behind. People ditched me and I spent my lunch times in the library to avoid people. I wouldn’t go to the canteen and eat because they would laugh at me being in there alone. I was ridiculed in front of people for being flat chested at the age of 12. All I could do was stand there while people laughed. Rumours went around that I was gay, some people stopped talking to me after that. I knew it wasn’t true, but no one had the guts to come ask me to my face. This one went around 3 times in five years. There were other rumours that went around in that time, two of them being that I was anorexic and that I self harmed. Neither of them were true but again people liked to speculate and spread gossip like wildfire. One of the nastiest comments I have ever heard, that I will always remember to this day is ‘I bet she self-harms, wouldn’t it be funny if she killed herself’. I had a huge group of people yelling at me because someone was reported and they were crying. It didn’t matter how many times I was reduced down to tears in front of people, they didn’t care. There was no one by my side to support me. I had problems to deal with at home and then I had problems to deal with at school. I started to get cyber bullied. My email address was given out to someone who disliked me and things escalated to the point where it was arranged that I was going to be beaten up after school, all because I stuck up for myself for once. The school did nothing, they told me off for swearing online and that was it. I had to have my mum, sister and grandad (in his seventies!) escort me home as the kids were waiting outside one of the gates.. I was terrified that day and every day after. I would avoid going to certain classes sometimes, or would try my best to pull a sick day just so I didn’t have to deal with people. It affected my grades, I had to go to the doctors for help as things were out of control and I was constantly crying every day after school, begging for my mum to let me change schools. I had to go to counselling at the age of 13 every week during one of my lessons. My teacher was too timid to tell people off so they laughed about me leaving early and word spread that I was off for help, which they laughed at. You get some kids that stand there and laugh. Whilst they are not making the comments or doing the action; they are not helping the situation. However if they are not told how their action is affecting people; they aren’t going to know any better. In school, we learn how to write, read, solve mathematical problems, throw a ball and what religions are out there. However we are not taught how to feel. Those who bully may also be victims elsewhere, like at home. They should get support also; schools should try to find out why they are behaving the way they are. SUICIDE FEELS LIKE THE ONLY OPTION I never made any plans in life because I didn’t think I would be alive to see the end of school. Suicide was something that often plagued my mind because I couldn’t see any other way out of it. It Even when it was reported to the school, they barely lifted a finger; and when I had tried to defend myself I was threatened to be beaten. I couldn’t win, I even dropped my counselor as they did something I disliked behind my back. I had no one to turn to and I felt helpless. At the age of 9 I was a happy, confident and bubbly girl. By the age of 15 I was timid, hated my body, had no self-esteem, no hope and thought I’d be better off dead. I thought life was just school, and I hated it. Every day was absolute hell for me.  LIFE TODAY I am 24 now; everything that happened does still affect me. I am hesitant when meeting new people as I expect to be ditched and mistreated. I am still self-conscious about being on the thin side and I have trouble taking compliments as I am not used to them. I always expect the worst and I will still avoid social situations sometimes. HOW ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO KNOW? Since I left school, I have never had to use the word ‘isosceles triangle’ or have had to work out how many miles more as a fraction Jim Bob has done in his car as opposed to Mary. However, I have faced bullying since; as it doesn’t just happen when you are a teenager and in school. How are you supposed to know how to face it when you are not given the tools to do so? There are charities out there with helplines for children to call; but why should it even be allowed to get to that point where they have to seek help? What if bullying was spoken about in all schools? If it isn’t spoken about then how on earth are children supposed to know where to seek help? WHAT COULD BE DONE? Doing things like having speakers come into each school to talk about their experiences could help; and can show those being bullied that there is life after school. Children should be told of real life cases, informed of what bullying is and how to deal with cyber bullying also as this has increased due to the vast social media out there now. Schools should be given the tools to educate and deal with these situations without having to be solely funded via charities to do so. Physical Education and Citizenship is on the curriculum for them to study for years; so why can't a few lessons on bullying be added somewhere? I have seen that the online chats have been shut down on charity websites because they cannot afford to keep it open. It shouldn't have to get to the stage where a child needs to go online. There should be someone they can talk to face to face. If you have ever been made to feel any of these ways I have spoke of, how do you feel knowing there are others feeling and being treated the same way you are/were? If there is anyone you care about who has been bullied, can you imagine how they must have felt? If you have children/family members currently in school, how would you feel knowing they are being bullied and not speaking up about it as they don't know how to or are too scared to?   Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope my bad experience can be used to make a difference so that others don't have to feel the same way. No child should feel scared to go to school.

Amanda Flannery
135 supporters