Only half a term left!! The time has come to begin writing end of year reports for my little monkeys, and it really isn’t as simple as I’d thought it would be.
Writing the reports is fine; I love my kids and know their abilities, but it’s all the politics around the data and statistics that I just hate. I have been told that we have to have at least 60% of all children across all Reception Classes to make an expected level of development otherwise it reflects badly on us as teachers and the school.But its ridiculous!
Children progress at their own rates, you cant rush them. The whole ethos of Early Years is supposed to reflect a holistic approach, allowing children to learn though organic exploration and discovery. But this all gets thrown out of the window it seems by the time May comes and data is due. So what? – Am I expected to force every child to sit down all day completing meaningless worksheet after worksheet in order to gain a higher grade, or lie and enter their data at higher levels than they really are – which causes countless problems for their next teacher? All this to prove I’m a good teacher (!) Neither of the above practices are those of a good teacher, but it seems that if I stuck to the best and most effective teaching methods, I would be told that not only the children are failing, so am I and the school. No pressure then! There needs to be a reality check here, these children are thriving, they are communicating, writing, counting, reading, climbing, drawing, painting, building, laughing, and playing to the best of their ability – who is anyone to look at these amazing 4/5 year olds and tell me their failing? And there I was believing that levels were disappearing.