DPDF: Fast Forward – Rewind


Fast Forward – Rewind

Since the boys have been born hubby and I have viewed a numerous number of nursery and primary schools. The very first one we viewed was when the boys were 4 months. 3 years later we are still at it.
The boys are currently in a very good nursery/pre-prep school in North London where they can potentially stay till they are 7 years old. However, at the age of 6, boys are to sit a ‘7+’ assessment to secure a place in a good junior school. This is all fine as long as there is an understanding between parents, primary and junior schools that the boys are only 6 and they should be evaluated based on their current abilities. It’s too early to determine their educational path and goals at this age and in all honesty they should not even have to be ‘assessed’. But that is our system in the UK and we accept it.

What I can’t come to terms with is the pressure that is put on the children to perform at this age (x 2 in my case where each boy has a different aptitude and interest) and that parents feel compelled to have their 6 year olds ‘tutored’ to give them a ‘competitive edge’.
Should they even be a competitive edge at this age? Should children have to undergo such pressure?
The parents who do not condone the idea of tutoring their children at this age are usually battling an internal guilt that they may be putting their children at a ‘disadvantage’.
The next option then is to have the boys sit for assessments at the ages of 3 or 4 which is done in a more relaxed and ‘playful’ way wherein the child is unaware that they are being ‘assessed’ and the parents are not on edge.  So we then embark on a new set of school tours that have entry points at ages 4 & 5 and go through the age of 11, 13 or 18.  This is not long after we have already been through the journey of selecting the ‘perfect’ nursery and primary school.
This is obviously the case in private schooling only and they are limited options of ‘non-selective’ schools that start at nursery or kindergarten and go straight through to senior schools/GCSEs.

On a lighter note, while on these school visits, we have been envisioning our 3 year olds fast-forward to the age of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and the real thrill has been the journey back (not that far back!) to when we were in similar classrooms, uniforms, activities which made us just want to enroll ourselves, rewind a few years and enjoy those innocent and playful years in a school environment until our boys are ready to begin that journey!