early years

4 petitions

Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Damian Hinds, Robert Goodwill MP

Time to stop pushing KS1 into our reception classes and extend "Early Years" to 7!

What are the essential skills for life in the 21st century? What do our children really need to know?  What do they need to understand?  Does the current English system give them this? does not. Our children need communication skills, personal, social and emotional development, physical skills, embedded literacy and maths skills, an understanding of their world and the people in it. They need characteristics such as resilience, perseverance, creative thinking, the ability to solve problems, think outside the box, independence, risk taking, make connections. They need 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 currently have a curriculum in England that delivers much of the above and more. It is the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The only problem is it ends when children leave Reception classes. For many children, it is ending in the Reception classes due to pressures to be so called "National Curriculum" ready!  This notion of moving children towards KS1 during their Reception year was highlighted in OFSTED's recent report into the Reception year: (  It was seen as positive that Reception teachers were starting KS1 learning in their Early Years classes in a bid to make children ready for Yr1 expectations, expectations that are developmentally inappropriate! How can this be right? Many of these children are still 4 years old.  Every child in reception is entitled to an early years education, not a watered down pale imitation. Surely its time to stop pushing the flawed and inappropriate KS1 curriculum into our Reception classes and time to push up a curriculum that is tried, tested and proven. A curriculum with relationships, environments and child development at its core.  The early years of life do not end at age 4 or 5.  They end at 7 or 8..and that is the age when learning should become more formal. This is when most children are developmentally ready for such approaches.  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....    Time to stop the testing our over tested children. Time to stop making children do things they are not ready for. Time to make a change for our children, their families and our educational workforce. Let's stand together to 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
32,169 supporters
Update posted 10 months ago

Petition to Jan Gavin

Save our children's centres

Save Our Children's CentresReading Borough Council has announced a consultation on closing 9 of its 13 children’s centres.In North Reading they propose to close both children's centres:  North Reading Children’s Centre in Emmer Green and Caversham Children’s Centre. Reading Borough Council's proposal to remodel children's centres shows that 28% more children attend North Reading children's centres (1335 children age 0-4), than South Reading children's centres (956 children age 0-4), yet they propose for South Reading to keep one of two existing centres and for North Reading to lose both. It is unreasonable to suggest that 5097 children age 0-4 years old from East and North Reading should attend one children's centre in Cemetery Junction. It is unreasonable to ask families from North Reading to travel across the Thames to East Reading to access a children's centre.Children's centres are not only vital support for young children they are also a lifeline for their primary caregivers, the majority of whom are women. Some female caregivers suffer from post-natal depression, or isolation, depression, anxiety and need the help they can access at children's centres.If you oppose the closure of children's centres in Reading please sign this petition. We are asking the Council to keep Children’s Centres open and at least one in North Reading.Please join a meeting as part of the Council's consultationThere are five 2 hour meetings being held at children's centres at the following dates and times:Southcote Children’s CentreTuesday 24 January 2017 10am - 12pm Ranikhet Children’s CentreFriday 10 February 2017 11.30am - 1.30pm Surestart Whitley Children’s CentreThursday 16 February 2017 10am-12pm Caversham Children’s CentreMonday 20 February 2017 10am - 12pm Katesgrove Children’s CentreWednesday 1 March 2017 10am - 12pmRespond to the council's consultation online by the 29th March 2017 at  Join the North Reading children's centres campaign group the Hamilton Road children's centre campaign group What Are Children's Centres?At children's centres families with young children (aged from 0-5) can access childcare, early education, health and family support services. The staff work with parents-to-be, parents/carers and children. The purpose of a Children's Centre is to ensure young children get the best start in life and that their families are supported to help them achieve this. Most activities are either free, suggested donation based or have a small charge. Activities support children to be ready for school / nursery and are often named; Stay and Play, Messy Play, Story time, Rhyme time, Art and Craft sessions. There are also physical activity groups run by private providers andNew Baby support groups. The full list of children’s centres to be closed are as follows: Hamilton Road Children’s CentreKatesgrove Children’s CentreNorth Reading Children’s CentreCaversham Children’s Centre and Nursery SchoolBlagrave Children’s CentreColey Children’s CentreNorcot Children’s CentreOxford Road Children’s CentreBlagdon Nursery and Children’s Centre  The remaining hub children’s centres would be: Sun Street Youth and Community BuildingSouthcote Youth and Community Building and Children CentreRanikhet Children’s CentreWhitley Youth Centre  It is important to note: Norcot Early Years Centre is un-affected by this proposal would remain as a vital Nursery School and childcare provision for local familiesCaversham Children’s Centre and Nursery School would remain as a vital Nursery School and childcare facility for local familiesBlagrave Nursery school is un-affected by this proposal and will remain as a vital Nursery School for local familiesBlagdon Nursery would remain as a vital NurserySatellite buildings, whilst no longer children’s centres, would deliver some universal and targeted services. These are proposed for Caversham Children’s Centre and Nursery School, Coley Children’s Centre at St Mary and All Saints and Battle Library or perhaps Civitas SchoolCommunity venues would also be used to deliver services on a temporary basis where there is demand from locations such as Emmer Green Community Centre, Tilehurst Library, Hexham Road Community Centre, etc.

Wendy Thomson
740 supporters