The only fix to this, is to offer different school timings and systems with crossover periods.
For example, have schools move to a 4 term year; 4 sets of 10 week terms with a 1 week break after 5 weeks. You would still have a similar calendar, with crossover for people with the above scheduling issues, but would make it harder for holiday companies to pick "peak times"
Another idea I heard toyed with years ago was to run 9-5/365 schools, but this would require a complete revamp of the education system taught in these places; flexible teachers to cover their own holidays, flexible learning environment, and generally a completely different approach and way of thinking for a school.
As others have said, I would rather they let primary children have any holiday time at all right now instead of filling it with homework as they do at the moment. My 11 year old daughter gets more homework in a week than I did until around Year 9.
This half term she had: 4 sides of Maths worksheet; a Maths SAT paper; a piece of literacy (for which she regularly writes 3 A4 pages); and to read a whole book. Taking into account the times when she couldn't be doing homework as we were otherwise busy, of the downtime remaining to her in the holiday I genuinely think she spent more than half of it doing homework.
And don't even get me started on them setting homework by the paragraph ("write 4 paragraphs on...") without actually teaching paragraphs correctly in the first place.
Regarding term-time holidays, as far as price hikes go, who can blame them? It's supply and demand in a capitalist market, it is going to happen. Unless you are going to nationalise the holiday industry and create socialist tourism.
There's a lot to be said for paring down the curriculum to the bits that are actually going to be useful and abolishing homework full stop.
Good on you Sir, but all that's going to happen now (and I guess the teachers realise that too) is she is going to be a "problem child". Not because she is a trouble causer but because she is bored sick of waiting on every other child to play catch up. I was kicked out of just about every class in school but come exam time I used to get 100% - the teachers couldn't put 2 and 2 together though and would tell my parents I must be cheating. My parents obviously knew I wasn't but...
Unfortunately state education is only for your average child. Too clever or too dumb and the school don't have the capability/time to educate you.
On your point about TV though - "back in the day" my mum used to sit me infront of the TV when she got sick of my constant questions (I was very curious and constantly wanted to learn), but put on the open university and BBC education programs. When sky came out she put discovery on. Now though there is nothing like that, even discovery/etc is dumbed down so that your average American can follow it. But I do get your point.
Last edited by j17sparky; 20th February 2012 at 04:04 PM.
Well about the ONLY childrens programs my daughter will watch are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (because she LOVES Minnie Mouse) on a Saturday/Sunday Morning, Little Einsteins in the evening (teaches about music and art), and handy manny (teaches about working as a group and basic spanish) first thing in the morning before she goes to my mums for the day - My mum doesn't own a TV so she sticks the classical station on the radio for background noise. She will otherwise not watch TV and prefers to play scrabble for her age group, and do puzzles and such like, things that will challenge her mentally.
But then again, with my daughter having an Eidetic memory (or believed to be) she is going to be a problem child for most schools as she CAN remember little things from ages and ages and ages ago, and is like a sponge when it comes to anything she can learn. We are already looking at special schools as the nursery HT who wanted a progress report on Friday said she may be looking at gifted and talented already as she is miles ahead of the other children whom she asked the parents to do the same. Not blowing our trumpets but the mrs, my mum, the mrs mum and myself seem to do a cracking job in teaching the basics to my daughter.
Will keep going this way
Gove's saying that headteachers should have the power of sanction, and they should. It is not right to take kids out of school. But part of the reason that parents do it is that they know that kids do very little in the last week of term, so what's the point in keeping them in? Teachers have made a rod for their own back.
Let us not forget that Gove was the idiot that suggested the country buys the queen a new boat, while the rest of us face cuts in most services.
I should think if this ever does become law, we will see a dramatic rise in 'sick relatives abroad' that need to be visited. Failing that, parents will simply phone in and say their children are ill and won't be in for a few days, but oh of course it's the end of term isn't it? All that is likely to happen is an increase in dishonesty, and aren't we trying to encourage the children to be upstanding honest citizens in society? Will passport control be looking for supporting evidence (eg doctor's certificate) when they see someone under the age of 16 go through during term time? I frequently get equestrian from parents because of restrictions of flight times, ie only one or two flights a week meaning they have to go Thursday to Thursday etc.
Let's firstly calm down (points at last 2 posters EDIT: not you Dave, although maybe for getting in there first!!), and remember Gove is not the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to realistic expectations and changes to education, some of the points in the education bill were wild to say the least!
This will never get put into play as the consequences are so wide reaching it will affect so many businesses not just holiday firms.
Such a public outcry if this were seriously suggested a referendum would be called for, which he knows he would lose.
You'll likely acquire at least some of this outlook, but what works for me in a parental bliss sense with a child 5-6 years ahead of yours rarely has anything to do with academic performance at school - I'm content that she's clever enough and happy to leave the competitive stressy parents to try and manouvre their often vaguely unpleasant, and sometimes seriously obnoxious kids to the top of the pile. It's much more about the person Sprogette will be, the degree of self-motivation, the sense of justice, how she reasons about things, approaches life etc. One of our spies recently reported a parental conversation in the playground where Sprogette was described as "everyone's friend" (which we kind of knew via the birthday party invites) and that truth pleases me more than most things, except perhaps that her very best friend is one of the less academic, but most pleasant natured girls I've met - they're remarkably good for each other.Will keep going this way
Short version: YMMV but given a reasonable amount of ability I think the social creature matters as much as, probably more than, the academic one.
One of the thing that amuses me is the folk who repeatedly pipe up about how it is terrible for a school to stop (or try to stop) them taking children out during term time but it is fine for the children to be taken out of valuable lessons to do silly things like school plays, trips to X, etc ...
And you will have some teachers saying the same thing too ... but the thing that most of these parents do not realise is that the teachers are *not* agreeing with them (YMMV).
The Teachers are saying, "Please don't take little Johnny out of my lesson as I am under pressure to get x, y and z done before the end of the term and whilst education is not just about academic facts / skills and is also about other aspects of culture and learning ... I am going to stick my neck out and be selfish and say do it to someone else and not me!"
The parents are saying, "I don't recognise that the extra-curricular stuff is valuable to my child."
OK ... a bit of a generalisation with the above, but some of the best things I have seen to motivate kids, to get them to work together and for them to grow/develop/engage/otherbuzzwordyoumightlike is with the stuff outside of curriculum-based lessons.
Personally ... I am against the long summer term. There is sufficient research to show it can be detrimental to children (certain sections more than others) and keeping the holidays to 4-5 weeks is best. I still go on about 5 terms, each of 8 weeks with a 2 week break between each term (4 in the summer) is a system I have seen work darned well. The argument from parents and teachers about the terms are too long doesn't wash as the 2 week break leaves you more refreshed for the next block. The argument of schools being on different systems is more relevant to some than others ... but even from this thread we can see that it already affects people ... so why not standardise?
Having spoken to a few unions reps about it (very heated debate and it did include a union representing support staff) they were / are dead set against it as it is disruptive to their members ... and one even said that it is not important that it might work out better for the children!
Short Version : the holiday system at the moment sucks for all, doesn't help our kids educationally and the moves by Gove are not going to do much to fix that, but at least trying to get the kids back in school and reduce the amount of buggering about, due to the missing child in a class, is going to be a good thing.
My parents had major issues taking my brother out of school 3 days before the end of Xmas. They where flying to Australia and couldn't get flights at other times. At the time he was in year 7. In the end they refused and they took him out anyway and he got unauthorized marks.
What gets me is we all know what happens on the last week of term! All the students watch DVD's etc...
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