Keep baseline tests in reception

3rd November 2000 at 00:00
THE present baseline assessments reveal invaluable information to reception teachers, enabling them to build on the varying levels of experiences that children bring to their first school. This information serves to indicate the progress made by the children by the time they sit their key stage 1 tests.

The proposed introduction of a "universal baseline test" (TES, October 20) after the first year of schooling will result in teachers being pressured, against their professional jugment, to teach children how to jump through the test hoops at an even younger age.

In the first years of schooling, teachers should be trusted to decide the mix of structured activities and class teaching needed to cater for the wide range of abilities found in their classes. Young children learn most by "doing" - whatever happened to childhood?

Julia Matthews

Honorary research associate

University of Greenwich

50 Sydney Road

Bexleyheath, Kent

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