CMNetwork E-bulletin: November 2009

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

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The recent publication of the final report of the Cambridge Primary Review has raised hackles in government circles, causing them to dismiss it as ‘already out of date’ on the morning of its publication. Many have found this somewhat bewildering, especially since the report is 608 pages in length! Reading many of the reports as they were released over the last 3 years shows that they are extensive in their remit, critically reflective, considered and thorough.

The report’s recommendations that childhood should be respected and supported:

  • Respect children’s experiences, voices and rights, and adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as the framework for policy.
  • Build on new research on children’s development, learning, needs and capabilities.
  • Ensure that teacher education is fully informed by these perspectives.

The report’s recommendations for children up to age 6:

  • Strengthen and extend early learning provision.
  • Extend the foundation stage to age six.
  • Replace key stages 1 and 2 by a single primary phase from six to 11.
  • Examine feasibility of raising school starting age to six.

This video clip shows Robin Alexander explaining the Review’s conclusion that the Foundation Stage should be extended upwards to the end of year 1 (age 6).

Schools are all to receive a copy but for those of you without direct access to a hard copy, there are numerous links and documents to download on the Cambridge Primary Review’s website.


Nathan's 'Writing'

See also: Aman’s boat

Children sometimes also use a particular symbol to mean one thing in one context, and then use it to mean something different in another context. For example, on one side of his paper (not shown) Nathan drew a horizontal line with zigzags as his ‘birthday cake’ (his mum made a ‘caterpillar’-shaped birthday cake for his 4th birthday). Turning his paper over, he repeated the same lines and zigzags (figure 4) now referring to them as ‘writing’.

Other children may use zigzags to signify fierce animals (e.g. crocodiles, monsters); lightening; water or stairs. They are generalising about a graphical sign and also understand that they can be used flexibly. You may like to look out for lines, crosses and other symbols in children’s graphics (e.g. drawing, writing, maps and mathematics).

For more examples, see: Worthington. M. (2009) 'Fish in the water of culture: signs and symbols in young children’s drawing', Psychology of Education Review Volume 33, Number 1, March 2009.

Link to Gallery 5: Graphics

Welcome to new members

From London and the South East, welcome to Christine Ingleton from Wickford; to Sheena Smart from Chichester and to Christine Tricker from Littlehampton. From the South and South West of England, welcome to Kathy Beadle, Home Educator from Bath; to Sue Murphy and Fiona Owen from St Margaret’s, Torquay; and to Nicholas Ostheimer from Cheltenham. From the Midlands and East Anglia, welcome to Derval Carey-Jenkins at the University of Worcester

Courses and Conferences

For 2009 - 2010

Current Education News

BBC Education News
Guardian Education News
Times Education Supplement (TES)


October 2009

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