Sit up at the back. Pay attention, educationalists.

My 1st school experience – from a 4-year-old.

“I am a little bit excited and a little bit scared of going to big school.

I am going to miss my mummy and my daddy. They are my best friends.

I am scared. They won’t be with me. Mummy will pick me up. Daddy promises someone will look after me at big school.

I am crying and crying because I don’t want my mummy and daddy to leave me. But I will be okay, I promise. I will miss you.

I love big school. The bikes are my favourite. And there’s prams. But the climbing frame is too big – I don’t like that.

I like wearing my special clothes. It’s my unicorn. My shoes have dinosaur footprints underneath.

There’s a tyre-swing… that’s my favourite.

I love my school. I want to go next day again.

I made a mistake. It was a bad choice. It made me sad. I had to sit by myself and do writing. I don’t like writing. I don’t want to be on my own.

It’s my fault that I made a mistake. I am sad.

I am very scared of the lama.

It’s very loud, the big red lama.

It goes ‘Woo woo woo woo…’

We had to go outside for the register.

The teacher shouted my name. I think she’s cross.

There’s no fire.

The big red lama is too loud. I am very scared of it.

I don’t want to go to school.”

These are the real experiences of a 4-year-old starting school, taken from the child’s perspective in their words over the course of the first half term.

How much do we really think about the child’s experience?

The education system demands baseline assessments in our children’s first term and pressures to get on with phonics lessons, early maths and the delivery of an AMBITIOUS curriculum.

Results. Results. Results.

Intent. Implementation. Impact.

Of course, we want children to be successful in their education. We want children to be able to make the right choices in life.

But it opened my eyes a lot hearing education from a 4-year-old’s perspective.

We expect a lot from children who are trying to understand this new world they have become a part of whilst being away from the people they most trust to keep them safe.

What we do in schools shapes that child’s vision of education – they can love it or fear it, depending on the experiences we provide.

Yes, we do have to do fire drills – but really, is just hitting the alarm system the best way to introduce new starters to education?

Yes, we do have to offer a consequence to support making better choices – but how much thought goes into ensuring the child doesn’t lose self-worth or learns to hate writing or loses that love of school?

Pay attention at the back – child-focused learning really does start with what we do in the classroom, not what failing educational systems demand.

From lost and stuck at a crossroads to finding your right path

I work with teachers and school leaders feeling lost or stuck at a crossroads. Through professional coaching, I help you find your right path so you have the confidence to live a life you’ll love. Maybe you are looking to reclaim your life and find a better balance in your career in education. Maybe you are looking to find a new career. I am in your corner to support you achieving your goals so you can Live Daring Dreams.

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