Testing, testing, testing….. our children’s lives are blighted by testing. We live in a society where every child must be allocated a number based on their ability to perform a task under pressure at a set time regardless of how they feel, how much sleep they had last night or whether they had breakfast this morning. 

What are the potential results of that? Are we producing a generation of people who will only consider themselves ‘successful’ if they have a higher number than their peers? 

Here’s my suggestion. Let’s allow children to play. Yes, that also means that girls can play what would be considered ‘boys’ games’ and boys can play with dolls and teasets if they want to. Let’s allow their imaginations to run riot. Let’s encourage them to interact with each other, socialise, grow tolerance and acceptance, negotiate and empathise. Let’s teach them to respect others and use good manners. Let’s make sure they know how to keep safe and healthy. Let’s get them out in the fresh air and sunshine, grow things in the earth and appreciate nature. Let’s get rid of this obsession with being grown-ups too early, wearing pretend bras and T-shirts with sexy slogans. They are children, for God’s sake. Let’s encourage them to keep their innocence as long as is humanly possible. 

Let’s forget making them jump through hoops until they have had a good chance to just be children.


2 responses to “Play

  1. Play is the most effective learning tool there is, we are hard wired to learn by play. Sadly its seen as just a childish thing so needs to be knocked out of us as early as possible. Part of the drop in attainment witnessed at the change from primary to secondary is about the ‘lets get serious’ stultifying ‘ethos’ of the secondary school and its timetable and curriculum.

    I suspect Michael Gove was never a child…….

  2. We learn best through play – this is a widely accepted now. You are right. Gove is wrong. Experiential learning, course work, play all help form us as people – academic tests have little bearing on the personal development of the whole person, merely an instrument to filter and divide. Outside of Education we have batching based on ability…not age.
    Thanks for the Blog 🙂

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