Children are being turned off school as soon as they start formal education because they spend too much time sitting on the carpet and miss having time for play, writes Helen Ward.
The findings, from England, suggest Wales is on the right track - at least as far as pupils are concerned - with plans for a play-based foundation stage for three to seven-year-olds. Researchers from the National Foundation for Educational Research found five-year-olds dreaded carpet time. One boy described it as a "waste of your life".
They recommended schools provide more of what five-year-olds want, sand pits and role-play corners, and cut down on carpet time to help children settle in more effectively.
analysis 19 www.dfes.gov.ukresearch