Internet insights

13th October 2000 at 01:00
TODAY'S pressure to succeed may mean that school achievement is stressed at the expense of children's happiness.

But American research suggests that this is counter-productive: far from trading happiness for success, parents and professionals need to ensure their children's happiness so that success can follow.

Children who don't form secure attachments at an early age are much more likely to have difficulties in their first days in nursery and school. Chances are they will then lack the confidence and friendliness that helps them adjust to the tough challenges of forming new relationships.

The consequences of these early difficulties tend to persist right through school and into work.

Robin Peth-Pierce has summarised the latest findings in early-childhood psychology for a report to the US Child Mental Health Foundations and Agencies Network. The full text, with recommendations for good practice in the early years is on-line at:


The homepage of the Child and Adolescent Research Consortium, where the report can be found is


ADULT voices dominate the debate about the 11-plus. But what d children think about the selection process?

A study that contributed to the recent report on selection in Northern Ireland (TES, September 29) provides some insights.

Its author, Anne Sutherland of Queen's University, Belfast, questioned children at six grammar schools and 10 secondary high (ie secondary modern) schools one year after their transfer tests.

None of them wanted to change schools, having settled in and found new friends. But they all remembered the stress that the tests created.

Whether they had passed or not, none supported the tests. Some believed their primary teacher should have a say in the decision - - if one had to be made.

The pupils' testimony also suggests that their lessons were distorted by the tests for months beforehand - and that the remaining months of primary school were not used to correct the curriculum imbalance.

"Interviews with groups of Year 8 pupils" is among the research reports on selection listed by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland at

Readers can email suggestions on future Internet Insights to Sam Saunders at

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today