I’m sitting here wondering how my beautiful children are doing on their SATS tests, I have explained to them that these tests are to measure schools performances and not their own, that yes they need to work hard at school and learn to the best of their abilities, but that all people, regardless of age, are individuals and we should be celebrating that rather than testing their academic abilities just to appease a governmental departments annual statistics.
I mean, what good is English literature to an athlete? Their focus will be on sports and maybe nutrition, what good is sports to a historian, science to a future entrepreneur, maths to an artist? The point is we are all different and perhaps our outdated school system needs to start reflecting this, rather than labelling all children as a statistic and teaching a curriculum, which is about as outdated as the dinosaurs.
The current educational system covers one area, academia. What about life skills, how to run a household, how to deal with difficult situations, we have geography but aren’t taught to read a map, we have religious education but religions like paganism, “The old religion” are missed out entirely, clearly nothing came before Christianity.
If we wanted to test the effectiveness of heart surgeons, would we place the patients under inordinate amounts of stress to see if the surgeon was capable? No, we wouldn’t, because we would be risking lives. The surgeon would have undergone many years of education, training and observing prior to gaining their right to practice, this training although mandatory in this particular field and rightly so, isn’t for everyone, imagine if schools only taught us the skills to become a heart surgeon, how would this impact our kids mental health? My son, the future songwriter, my daughter, a future devoted teacher, who will be teaching the same curriculum that she learnt some 20 years ago. The world around us is fast paced yet our education is static and to add insult to injury, they test our kids, put them under huge pressure and for what? Figures, statistics!
How about teaching compassion? Nursery aged children are taught to share and to be kind to the other children, what lessons on compassion are taught to our children as they grow? A few posters dotted around, reminding one another to be kind to each other, is it enough, personally I don’t think it is. How about anger and emotional control? If you get angry you lash out and get punished, how about trying to find out why the child is angry, teach them how to take control of their emotions? Teach them to breath through it, teach them meditation and how to quiet their minds so they can be clear headed and focused, as this has more benefit than being punished time after time.
A system update is well overdue, schools are the perfect platform to equip our kids with the tools they need as an adult, how to have a handle on life. Algebra and English literature, Romeo and Juliet still play a prominent part in the educational system, how exactly will this teach our kids? When they are 30 years old, will the lesson of Romeo and Juliet be more memorable than current politics and what opportunities politics can present when used with compassion, will it be more memorable than being taught how to breath through anger, to recognise when they are being taken advantage of, to know their self worth and the most important one, will it teach them that they are individuals and that their quirks define them as a person, that by being different to others is perfectly acceptable and there is no shame in that.
SATs have no place in our kids lives, they simply cause stress that children of this age shouldn’t have to encounter, not to mention the stress on the teachers who also have no faith and no say in the education system…. It’s time to coach and grow our youth, to teach them how to actually live a fulfilling life without the fear of being judged because someone is academically more advanced, measuring against statistics set out by politicians who have no respect for anyone, let alone our kids, after all it’s not like they are an important asset in our future, they’re just kids, how important could a child be?