This petition was submitted by Tamsin Osborne, which collected 14 signatures.
Text of the Petition
I would like the Welsh Assembly to stop letting our children down in the Foundation Phase.
To follow the lead of the most successful education systems in Europe, such as Finland and throughout Scandinavia.
To provide schools with training and funding for appropriate child teacher ratios, to enable the effective delivery of the Foundation Phase pedagogy.
I call for the abolishment of Nationalised tests, SATS, in the Foundation Phase. They simply do not correspond with the Foundation Phase ethos.
We love the ethos of the Foundation Phase, the approach Welsh Assembly have taken is refreshing, and in line with the heaps of research that supports child-led play up to the age of seven. However, it is unfortunate, that the ethos of the Foundation Phase is lost in many schools across Wales. This is because of a lack of training in early years play provision; even if the teacher had the training, passion and knowledge to deliver the Foundation Phase pedagogy, the ratios of teachers to child makes it near impossible. How can any teacher follow a child’s lead in play when there are up to 30 children in that class, with only one TA to support all of those children as they play, discover and learn?
We do not believe that nationalised tests, SATS, have any place in the Welsh foundation phase. The foundation phase is about supporting children in their Play:
To develop gross motor skills through movement,
To develop finer motor skills needed for writing,
To take risks and learn responsibility,
To give them the time they need to develop solid building blocks for language and numeracy,
To have opportunities to revisit and learn as and when a child needs/chooses too,
To develop the skills to self access and discover,
To learn key social skills with their peers and adults.
This is a proven approach to fully prepare children ready for primary education at the age of seven. This is how Europe's most successful education systems do it, yet children of six and seven years old in year two are expected to sit and write in tests to compare our children to those in England. This forces teachers in the Foundation Phase to start drilling phonetics and numbers into our children when they start Reception and by Year-one to be expected to sit read and write, "readying" them for these tests which reflect on the school.
Our children are being robbed of their childhoods, children who are starting school at just turned four years old in Wales, who are then forced into this system, six hours a day of classroom drilling. This is not the progressive Foundation Phase ethos that Welsh assembly put into play in 2010. I urge you all to consider the effectiveness of the Foundation Phase across Wales, provide the funding needed for more TAs and training for Foundation Phase practitioners, so that the Welsh Primary Education can be one Welsh Government can be proud of; delivered exceptionally at EVERY school across Wales. Give every child in Wales fair access to productive play, paving the way for them to have positive, rewarding, Learning Journeys.
This petition was considered completed by the Petitions Committee at its meeting on 17/10/2017.
The Committee agreed to close the petition, given that it is difficult to identify how the Committee could take the petition forward in the absence of contact from the petitioner.
Full details of the consideration of this petitions by the committee and related documents can be seen on the Meetings tab above.
It was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 14/02/2017.
Assembly constituency and Region
Business type: Petition
Reason considered: Assembly Business;
Status: For consideration
First published: 24/01/2017
Decision due: Meeting Date by Petitions Committee