Why this matters for your child
Settling in and forming relationships should be the first priority
When your child starts school, you will want the teacher to be completely focused on settling your child into the classroom rather than spending many hours taking children out one by one for a test. Your child’s teacher would do best to spend these early days in helping him or her become part of the class group and ensuring that your child can make the most of all of the learning and playing opportunities. Teachers need time to get to know your child really well to make sure that his or her learning is supported and extended.
Your child’s holistic development and learning are important
You will want the emphasis to be on understanding your child’s abilities and helping him or her to learn and develop in all areas, not to be restricted by having too much attention paid to a few narrow skills.
You want your child to be a confident learner and willing to have a go
You don’t want your child to be assessed as ‘failing’ as soon as they start school. Assessing children so early in an unfamiliar place, and in a standard format that might not make sense to them, is likely to underestimate what they can do. A narrow assessment of children’s skills undertaken by a teacher who doesn’t yet know them well does not make sense. Added to this, we know that summer-born children and many boys are likely to be at greater risk of ‘failing’. You want your child to feel able, confident and willing to have a go.
You want the teacher to be free to look for the best in your child
You don’t want the teacher to feel under pressure to give your child a low rating so that it will be easier for the school to show added value later on. You want the teacher to be free to look for and make the most of each child’s strengths. Your child is an individual, not a commodity.