Success depends on space to play

20th May 2016 at 00:00

As a literacy specialist, I can’t agree with Jan Dubiel that in early years “wellbeing and mental health should be as important as academic success” (bit.ly/WellbeingSuccess, Opinion, 12 May). At least until age 6, wellbeing and mental health are more important than academic success.

Research shows social and emotional development in early years is the surest indicator of future success. This is probably why Finland, Estonia and Switzerland scored highest in OECD’s latest survey of educational achievement: school there starts at 7. The children have the time and support to develop good foundations for literacy and numeracy without adults obsessing about performance.

In the past children developed social and emotional skills naturally, playing outside with friends: problem-solving, collaborating, sorting out squabbles, making up games, playing “let’s pretend”. This has been replaced by sedentary, solitary, indoor activities, but children need play to develop language, social and self-regulation skills. In light of spiralling mental health problems, we urge people in other UK countries to campaign for a Nordic-style kindergarten stage for under-7s, similar to Upstart Scotland. The health, wellbeing and educational success of children depends on time and space to learn through play.

Sue Palmer

Chair of Upstart Scotland (www.upstart.scot)

Short and tweet

The charities group are having a yellow day for @strathcarron1 – £1 to wear yellow and 50p to guess Emoji’s birthday.

@HeadofMuirPS

Latin #SQAExams are taking place. Bonam fortunam!

@parentforumscot

Our caterpillars arrived today. We are looking forward to watching them grow!

@nurserydennyps

P6 have been debating uniforms in school and writing about 1970s TV shows. P7 have been tiling and writing about their week at Dounans [outdoor education centre]!

@carronshoreps

Gasps and smiles in our rocket-launcher workshop! Keep your wits about you if you’re in the top corridor today!

@Grange_Academy1

@ImmersiveMind students create a manual on Minecraft for their teacher. #TMGlasgow

@yifrati

Scots Sang: P4 continued their Scots work with Amy today and did more work on translating Scots and singing. bit.ly/1UY6P2N

@MrScotlandTeach

twitter.com/tesscotland

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now