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PSHEeducation

06/07/15
Now my new website is live I have decided that each week I shall write a blog rather than just adding interesting news (although I shall still continue to do this when I spot anything of importance to keep you up to date with issues related to health and wellbeing).

My thoughts this week are on the 'given' in our educational world that we use age as the criteria to group and teach children and young people in our educational system. Why do we do this?
I first saw another method whilst on a visit to an African School a few years back. Here children of all ages were being taught in the same class and on talking to the teachers, they were putting children in classes depending on their needs. Obviously they have to accomodate a whole host of issues we do not, but it did get me thinking.
In my years as a classroom teacher I have met many children who do not conform to this educational 'pigeon-holing'. They may be incredibly bright in one aspect of their lives but not so in others, yet still it is seen as mandatory that they stay with children who were born in the same year as them. Why do we do this?
Wouldn't dropping the stigma of going 'up' or 'down' and establishing a more fluid system where children's natural abilities and skills are the first place to decide which class they should attend, for which lessons, be far more beneficial to the individual child? Wouldn't this enable children to recognise the value in the skills they possess rather than the ones they are told they should have? Couldn't this then ripple through to create a highly skilled, confident society? Why are we still following a Victorian outdated method of educating the next generation when we have made such incredible steps forward in other areas of our lives?
With the mental health of our young people becoming a major issue in rich and poor, younger and older children... surely this is the time to get brave and try something new?