early years

4 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 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
21,895 supporters
Update posted 8 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
736 supporters