Is 5 half of 10?
Is a five year old half of a ten year old?
It is a common perception of education that it is designed to prepare children for the future. The trouble with this is that it tends to make us start with the end in mind and then scale it back. Does this work with people?
The idea that a child at five can do half of the things a child at ten can do is, to most of us, a ridiculous thought. But that’s the way many assessment systems work: take the end point and divide the gap between now and then into equal chunks.
If a child is allowed to thrive at five, they will triumph at ten.
It would be better to think of assessment as helping children to be the best they can be right now. We shouldn’t think of a five year old as half of a ten year old. Five is about being five. Five year olds need to be great at doing the sorts of things five year olds do, not half of the things ten years olds do. If a child is allowed to thrive at five, they will triumph at ten.
‘Now’ is a precious time for children. Let’s make sure children are great at the things they should be able to do now and they’ll be just fine in the future.
What do you think – Does the maths work out with people?
By the way, that’s a picture of me when I was five and then at ten. Note: I don’t have half the freckles at five that I do at ten!