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Missing the goal

Judith Mabbott Sheffield

"Under-fives too slow to catch on" (TES, November 3)? What a way to refer to children! The piece berates youngsters for being unable to achieve many of the learning goals in the foundation stage profile. In these pages, Ted Wragg slated the profile, and your paper has run pieces explaining how many of the goals have been set too high - comparable to level 1 of the key stage 1 attainment targets. Much better to celebrate what children can and do achieve, at an appropriate level, when oral language and PSHE are taught through the prescribed, broad, play-based curriculum - including reading, writing and calculating - for the foundation stage.

This puts children in a strong position to hit the targets of the next key stage at the appropriate time. Over-emphasis on these aspects at too early an age has no long-term benefit. It unbalances the curriculum and can lead to disaffection later on.

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