Asking four-year-olds to write ‘does more harm than good’

Applies to England only. The Times reports that according to a literacy expert teaching four-year-olds to write is about as useful as teaching a dog to walk on its hind legs,  as figures showed that one in seven preschool children struggle to write their own name.

The annual assessments of children’s progress during their first year in school found that more than one fifth had problems stringing a coherent written sentence together when they entered their reception year. Nearly a quarter failed to reach the expected levels of emotional development for their age. The findings follow concerns that some of the Government’s early years goals are unrealistic and risk setting back their development.

Sue Palmer, an independent literacy consultant and author of the book Toxic Childhood, said that many under-5s were simply too young to achieve the literacy goals set out for them.

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