Letters extra: Children's horizons should be extended

7th March 2003 at 00:00

Inbsp;too wish to join with thenbsp;90 authors and illustrators ( Authors Against the SATs, TES letters, 21 February ) in their concerns about the strangulation of a broad curriculum in the misguided pursuit of excellence in passing test papers.

As so many commentators before them have pointed out, children's understanding, imagination and appreciation of education for its own sake is being stifled by "teaching to the tests". As a self-employed (primary) life sciences teacher, I have also witnessed the detrimental effects of spending practically a whole year cramming for the key stage 2 tests. Over the last five years, fewer and fewer teachers of Year 6 pupils have availed themselves of a resource offered by this outside expert, one so eagerly encouraged by OFSTED.

Children's experiences and horizons should be extended, not narrowed, at a time in their lives when they are most receptive to new ideas, information and knowledge. It is nothing short of a tragedy that such formative aspects of education are being neglected.

Roma Oxford

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