Michelle Morgan: Pupils face pressure that I never did

Pupils face pressure that Michelle never did

Pupils face pressure that Michelle never did

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There is such a lot of pressure on children nowadays, when it comes to school.

When I was a junior school kid in the 1970s and 1980s, we went in, did a combination of maths, English, art, music and topic (which covered things like history and geography) and that was it.

Now they have all of the above, and in addition they do life education classes, philosophy, languages, and much, much more.

I do think that it is important to give our children a wide range of different things to learn, and I know my daughter enjoys a lot of what they do, but I also feel that there is only so much their brains can handle, aged five to eleven.

I never had homework until I was at secondary school, but my daughter has been bringing home projects since she was in the infants.

Maths homework, English homework, then reading on top of that.

Luckily my daughter likes to read, but I do know that’s not the same for everyone.

On top of that there are now SATs tests.

Already my daughter and her friends are stressing about them, and they’re not due to take them for quite some time.

Then there is the matter of being ill.

Back in the day, if we were sick we stayed off school.

But now schools have attendance statistics and goals that they need to strive for, and every child has a responsibility to keep their attendance up.

Of course children should always be in school when they are able to be there, but we are talking about small people here, and they do get ill, and do have days when they should be in bed with a comic and a glass of orange juice.

There were a lot of things about the 1970s that people complain about, but I think that if we went back to that way of teaching – just a little bit – it may be far less stressful for everyone involved.