Recently, we have seen a push to get children into schools while they are younger and younger. But children are not ready for school when they are young – in fact they are not ready for school at 5, especially the boys. This argument can, and will, rage on for the foreseeable future but doesn’t even take in to account the fact that children can be dumped into the same school year despite being a year different in age.
The youngest children in any academic year, the ‘summer born’ ones, have been shown, as a group, to underachieve throughout their education as they are at a disadvantage compared to their peers. Currently the legislation falls on the side of the child – they don’t have to go to school until the term after their 5th birthday, but getting your school to agree to do this seems to be a bit of a postcode lottery for parents. Not to mention this will just make the ‘spring born’ the youngest in the year and the argument goes on…
But as practitioners we are in an unenviable position – we can see the progress of the child and we also talk to parents and sometimes even to schools. So what are we supposed to do with children that are in the middle of this battle, how can we help the parents or give them advice? Summer Born Campaign have written an article (Kids of Summer) that talks practitioners through the whole situation and, more importantly, how to help parents out. It is a really good read if all you know about this subject is what the papers and TV tell you (and they get it wrong anyway).
And lastly on the subject – the EYFS has to be delivered to children until the 31st August after they are 5. That means if you get children coming to your holiday club during the summer before Year 1 you should be delivering (or at least be guided by) the EYFS. We hope your out of school club planning fits the bill should Ofsted come in, but if you are worried it doesn’t, then have a look at this.
About the author: Matt Stanford