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School staff call for more learning through play

07/04/2009 Joanna
School staff from across the UK have argued that there needs to be more time for learning through play in the national curriculum for primary children.

A survey of 700 primary, junior and middle school staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

It found that the majority of those questioned believed that it is important for children to learn through play up to the age of 11.

Most respondents stated that the current curriculum is too full for primary children, with many arguing that more time should be dedicated to subjects such as music, art and drama.

And many believe that schooling should start later than it currently does, with almost one-third stating that this should not occur until they are six and 37 per cent believing this should be after the age of five.

Of those surveyed in England and Northern Ireland, one-third said that they believed pupils' enjoyment of learning is being spoiled by national testing and assessment.

However, schools secretary Ed Balls yesterday announced at the ATL annual conference that key stage 1 and 2 tests are here to stay.
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