Writing is wrong in nurseries;Letter

17th September 1999 at 01:00
IT IS disturbing to read that an increasing number of four-year-olds can write their names before starting school (TES, September 3) as this is often not an age-appropriate skill. Time and effort spent on its early acquisition may be at the expense of more important aspects of development; self-help and social skills are far more useful to a child entering school.

Today's youngsters will probably outlive their three score years and 10, but current social trends will shorten, not extend, their childhood. In the early years children's curiosity and physical energy should be encouraged, allowing socialising and learning through play, not sitting down to develop the fine co-ordination which writing requires.

In the drive to raise writing standards, particularly in boys, a later introduction would be more likely to be of benefit.

Our children are subjected to too much formal assessment. If preparing for baseline assessments becomes a feature of nurseries, we would be better off without it.

Hilary Vaughan


Holbrook primary school

Horsham, West Sussex

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, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today