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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Primary Schools to celebrate Graduation?

Has no one in education circles heard of the e-Portfolio? Has no one read the definitive work of Evangeline Stefanakis, 'Multiple Intelligences and Portfolios'? Does no one in the ivory towers of government know anything about how Primary Schools operate?

It is well known that for decades children have celebrated their 'best' work and have taken folders of work off to their next school in the hope that someone will admire their achivements.

Well, now that e-Portfolios are capable of celebrating these 'capstone events' even at Primary level, is it not time that someone in government circles spoke up for the e-Portfolio as being that modern and universal solution to a whole range of issues related to pupil-transfer?

It made my blood boil to read the Guardian Article of 11th Feb, 'Primary School Graduation Ceremonies Proposed' I quote an extract:

"Primary schools should host graduation ceremonies where teachers tell children which 'special talents' they possess, a leading government adviser recommended today. Sir Tim Brighouse said too many 11-year-olds were leaving primary school thinking they were not good at anything.

"The former London schools tsar, who was made a deputy headteacher at 26, told a teachers' union conference that schools should tell children they were 'brilliant' singers, writers or inventors at the graduation ceremonies.

'Why on earth don't we have primary graduation? Why not celebrate what the children are good at?' he asked a conference on assessment organised by the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Head Teachers, which are both campaigning for the abolition of the national tests (Sats) for 11-year-olds in England.

"Brighouse wants children to sit the tests at age 11 but to be told about their special talents as well just being given their results. The ceremonies should be locally organised rather than 'nationally prescribed', said Brighouse, who said too many children left primary school simply with a tag of '2a' or '3b', their level in national tests.

" 'I want kids to go into secondary schools with the confidence that they are good at something. At the moment they are going thinking they aren't good at anything,' he said."

My blood boiled, not so much that Sir Tim was asking the questions but rather that no one seemed capable of telling him that the solution is already here in the shape of the e-Portfolio. Perhaps no one dared tell him about his invisible clothes?

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