It has concentrated attention in a manner which provides a firm foundation for raising standards further. 24 The literacy and numeracy targets will be given priority in all policies affecting schools. We will ensure that in any changes to, for example, initial teacher education, in-service training, the national Curriculum, national tests or ofsted inspection, the commitment to the achievement of the literacy and numeracy targets will be paramount. The literacy strategy 25 All primary teachers need to know how to teach reading in line with proven best practice. The key features of the successful teaching of reading have been developed by the national Literacy Project, and the existing 13 centres in leas are using this approach. Page 20 Case Study: Summerhill Junior School,. George, bristol There are two key work structures that underpin the implementation of the national Literacy Project (NLP) in Summerhill Junior School.
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In may we announced challenging national targets for the performance of 11 year-olds in English and maths. By 2002: 80 of 11 year-olds will be reaching the standards expected for their age in English; and 75 of 11 year-olds will be reaching the standards expected for their age in maths. In 1996 fewer than 6 in 10 achieved these levels. We also need to make more progress with boys than girls, since boys are division less successful at both 7 and. 22 Both targets are ambitious and challenging. They are meant. People across the education service recognise the importance of giving literacy and numeracy priority and making progress as urgently as possible. Schools will vary in their starting points, but we expect all to improve year on year as they contribute to achieving the national targets. The evidence from international comparisons and the consultations on the literacy task force report suggest that the targets are achievable, if national and local government, teachers and parents work together to implement a carefully constructed strategy which is pursued relentlessly. 23 The government announced these targets within two weeks of taking office because we are willing to be held accountable - along with our partners in the education service - for meeting them. There is already evidence that the focus we have placed on primary education, on increased use of homework, on raising expectations and specifically on standards of literacy and numeracy is already bearing fruit.
We will shortly be inviting all leas to begin work on drawing up action plans to reduce infant class sizes progressively to meet our target. We will ensure that the admissions arrangements described in Chapter 7 match our pledge on class sizes. 18 There will be a cost to introducing smaller classes, which we intend to meet through phasing out the Assisted Places Scheme and redistributing the funding to benefit the many, not the few. The bill currently before parliament to phase out the Assisted Places Scheme will unlock funds from 1998 onwards which will be used to implement our pledge. Raising standards in literacy and numeracy. National targets in literacy and numeracy 19 Literacy and numeracy must be our prime focus because they are fundamental to all future learning: a child who does not learn to read well early on is at risk of falling further margaret and further behind in all. 20 The evidence shows that the current situation is unacceptable: too many children have poor literacy and numeracy skills; we have fallen behind many other developed countries in numeracy; our performance in literacy is behind a number of comparable English-speaking countries; standards of literacy have. 21 Preparing all children for the challenges of life in the 21st century requires real progress - and soon.
From September 1997, teachers in all leeds primary schools will use the scheme. Smaller primary classes 16 Our pledge to reduce class sizes for 5, 6 and 7 year-olds will be a shredder key factor in improving standards in primary schools. Research evidence shows the importance of class size for younger children. Smaller classes at this age mean teachers can spend more time identifying early on each child's individual needs and difficulties and offering the help children need to master the basics. 17 we have pledged to reduce class sizes for 5, 6 and 7 year-olds to 30 or below within the next five years. We intend to work with leas and in close consultation with individual schools to ensure the reduction in class sizes is as well-managed and cost-effective as possible. We are already working with a number of leas around the country to agree the main issues involved in reducing class sizes and the pace at which progress can be made.
Question: What information from the assessments that are carried out when children start school would parents find most helpful? Case Study: Baseline assessment, in leeds, many teachers assess children in their first half term of schooling under a baseline assessment scheme developed with the lea. The class teacher undertakes baseline assessment based on observations over time in a number of classroom contexts. The assessment covers language, mathematics and social and emotional development. The teacher uses the information to determine how far a child is progressing towards the desirable learning outcomes or level 1 of the national Curriculum. This helps the teacher to plan lessons and set appropriate targets for individual children. The information is also analysed by the lea to help schools measure children's subsequent achievement.
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13 The best schools and leas already undertake baseline assessment. We want all to do so, using methods of assessment that are consistent and of high quality. The national Framework for baseline assessment published by scm in June will allow schools and leas to use a range of approaches, provided they meet key requirements. Children must be review assessed in the basics of language and literacy, mathematics, and personal and social development. Assessment will be based on teachers' own observations and may include specially designed activities.
Page 18 14 Information on the new arrangements will be provided to all schools and parents, encouraging teachers to discuss assessments with parents and suggest ways they can help their children do well at school. All schools will be required by law to assess their pupils from September 1998. Most schools will be helping to pilot the new arrangements from this September. We shall ensure that the statutory arrangements benefit from the pilot. Scaa have already commissioned an independent evaluation in the autumn. 15 we want baseline assessment to be the first form of assessment introduced on the basis of partnership with teachers, and not of confrontation with them. It is a vital first step towards helping all our schools improve.
The headteacher leads a multidisciplinary team across teaching, care and specialist support, with therapists and outside agencies working with regular staff for particular needs. The education it provides is planned so as to provide a stepping stone to the curriculum of primary schools to which children transfer at the age of 4. The involvement of parents is also crucial in supporting the work of the school both in planning and working with children. National standards for early years 10 "Desirable learning outcomes" have been developed by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCM) to set out important areas of learning for young children which early years providers should be aiming to achieve. 11 The "outcomes" provide national standards for early years education.
They emphasise early literacy and numeracy and personal and social skills. They also develop children's knowledge, understanding and skills in other areas. They are designed to provide a robust first step towards the national Curriculum and we shall re-examine them at the same time as we review the national Curriculum. Assessment when starting school 12 Assessment of our youngest pupils when they start school is an essential first step on the way to improving basic skills in literacy and numeracy. A nationwide approach, building on the best of current practice, will be introduced from September 1997. It will show the value the school is adding and help teachers to: identity and plan activities to meet the needs of each and every pupil, in some cases providing early warning of special educational needs; and check the rate of pupils' progress as they.
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Quality 8 Early years places should provide a high standard of teaching and learning and we shall consult on how database to ensure this, in particular through: staff training and qualifications including early years training for qualified teachers; involving parents fully: and common standards of regulation. Page 17 9 One of the best ways of raising standards is through practical examples. We shall work with local authorities and others to establish early excellence centres which demonstrate good practice in education, childcare and integrated services and provide training and a focus for dissemination. Twenty-five centres will be chosen initially. Case Study: Early years Provision, margaret McMillan Nursery School in Islington provides early years education and day care for children up to the age. It has successfully developed integrated early years provision to serve the needs of children, including those with special educational needs, and families in the community. The school is committed to good teaching and assessment database of children's progress. This is underpinned by a strong programme of staff development and training.
in the area, as well as employers and others with an interest in early years services. Our aim is a comprehensive and integrated approach to pre-school education and childcare. 6 The forums will review the services available, including the information available to parents before children start school. They will draw up early years development plans, initially setting out how to achieve the commitment to places for 4 year-olds. The plans will demonstrate how co-operation - in particular between private nurseries, voluntary pre-schools and playgroups and schools - can best serve the needs of children and their parents. Local circumstances and needs will be reflected. The plans will show how, over time, education can be dovetailed with high quality childcare, perhaps through comprehensive early years services, building on the pioneering work of North Tyneside, the pen Green Centre in Corby, the dorothy gardner Centre in Westminster, and others. 7 we have already begun to consult on early years forums and on the details of early years development plans. We will send clear and authoritative guidance - including on how to establish forums and what plans should cover - to leas and others in the early autumn so that those who serve on forums, and those consulted by them, understand their role.
And we know that children who benefit from a good primary education are more likely to succeed in secondary education. Indeed, the quality of children's pre-school and primary education has been shown to have a major impact on their achievements at 16 and their wider social skills. Page 16 3 For all these reasons, the government is determined to provide a sound beginning for all children's education by offering: good quality early years education, alongside childcare and family learning where appropriate: careful assessment of children when they start primary school; smaller infant. Early years forums 4 Our aim is that all children should begin school with a head start in literacy, numeracy and behaviour, ready to learn and make the most of primary education we are committed to securing high quality places for all 4 year-olds whose. Chapter 6 describes how, even before early years education starts, family learning can support learning and development, particularly in families where educational disadvantage is most obvious. The contribution parents can make is vital to the development and achievement of children from such families. 5 we need a new approach to achieving our early years goals - one based on collaboration and partnership. The nursery voucher system has not worked. It ignores broader childcare issues and has created expensive bureaucracy instead of effective co-operation.
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Page 15, it is virtually impossible for children to make a success of their lives unless, when they leave primary school, they can lead and write fluently, handle numbers confidently, and concentrate on their work. We aim to ensure that all children have that firm foundation for their education. 2 A sound beginning, the foundations of learning 1 Investment in learning in the 21st century is the equivalent of investment in the machinery and technical innovation that was essential to the first great industrial revolution. Then it was physical capital; now it is human capital. We need to build up the store of knowledge and keep abreast of rapid technological development if we are to prepare the future generation. Our children are our future as a civilised society and a prosperous nation. If they are to have an education that matches the best in the world, we must start now to lay the foundations, by getting integrated early years education and childcare, and primary education, right. 2 we know that children who benefit from nursery education - business especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds - are more likely to succeed in primary school.