It is exactly at this point in the year (every year) when you see Pre-Prep staff do celebratory fist-pumps in the air and dances of joy as the children they have been guiding since September suddenly soar with their learning.It is as if the additional dose of vitamin D provided by the sunlight during this summer term help all the ‘wires’ of learning from across the year to connect, clicking everything into place and resulting in the ‘lightbulb’ moments.
I am definitely among those who have ‘fist-pumped’ recently as I have witnessed children writing or heard them read and been left ‘agog’ at how, all of a sudden, they have achieved the next level and, in some cases, beyond.I have also recently spent a significant amount of time analysing data from both formative and summative assessments from across the current academic year to inform the children’s journeys going forward and have been so delighted to see just how far some children have progressed this year.In particular, I enjoy seeing results that show children who may find some of the more formal aspects of learning a challenge having made equivalent progress to their peers who perhaps find these aspects of learning slightly easier.This is the reason I am passionate about building on the principle embedded into the Early Years Curriculum to view every child as unique. It is so important to remember that children working towards age-related expectations may still have made the same amount of progress as those who may be working beyond age-related expectations and, in some cases, may have made even more progress from their initial starting points.This is especially true of some of our ‘summer-born children’ who can be up to 11 months younger than some of their peers.When put into context it is possible that some children were beginning to walk on the day another member of the class was just being born! Similarly it is a delight to see children who are excelling continue to make rapid progress in line with their learning rate.It is so important to remember formative education is not a ‘game’ but a period of time in which children need room to grow, explore and blossom according to what is developmentally right for them.Therefore our ‘fist-pumps’ are celebrating something individual for each child; there may be a big margin in what is being celebrated for each fist-pump but the individual successes hold equal weight.
I think working with children is perhaps is a high-ranking choice of career for job-satisfaction!