Early Childhood Action: ‘An alternative curriculum for under-fives’

7 Nov

7 February 2012 (updated November 2012: see Further Information and comments below)

Voice is supporting Early Childhood Action, “a coalition of those in the early years sector”, which was launched today with a letter (signed by Voice’s [previous] General Secretary) and an article in The Daily Telegraph.

The letter (7 February 2012):

“SIR We welcome the Government’s attempts to simplify the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, for children from birth to the age of five, but there is widespread concern about the direction of the current revision.

There is a need to consider the central place of imaginative, spontaneous play, and of young children’s physical development in the curriculum.

We must also look at the “schoolification” of early childhood, with its over-assessment and excessive monitoring. Controversial “early learning goals” are putting premature emphasis on cognitive learning.

Parents are under undue pressure to prepare children for formal schooling, according to a system too inflexible to cater for the highly diverse developmental needs of young children. Many feel disquiet about commercial influences and the statutory imposition of inappropriate computer experience on young children.

There should be ways to pursue equality without imposing an indiscriminate compulsory framework upon all children, irrespective of their needs.

Today we are launching Early Childhood Action, with the support of around 50 major figures and organisations, to form a coalition of those in the early years sector. We will be drafting an alternative curriculum document to build on the positive aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage, while addressing its key shortcomings.”

Dr Richard House, University of Roehampton
Philip Pullman
Sue Palmer
Baroness Greenfield, University of Oxford
Kim Simpson, Montessori teacher and counsellor/coach
Grethe Hooper Hansen, Ex-president, Society for Effective Affective Learning
Dr Jayne Osgood, London Metropolitan University
Ed Mayo, Co-author, Consumer Kids
Philip Parkin, General Secretary, Voice
Penelope Leach, Birkbeck College, London
Agnes Nairn, EM-Lyon Business School and co-author, Consumer Kids
Professor Emeritus Janet Moyles, Early Years and Play Consultant
Pie Corbett, Literacy specialist and author
Sue Gerhardt, Psychotherapist
Dr Aric Sigman, Child health education lecturer
Linda Pound, Early Years Consultant and writer
Dr Maria Robinson, Author, Understanding Behaviour and Development in Early Childhood
Robin Balbernie, Infant mental health specialist,
Sally Goddard Blythe, Director, Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, Chester
Dr Andrew Lockett, Early Years Consultant

Further information:

Previous Blog post on Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Voice’s Official Response to DfE’s Consultation on a Revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Letter to The Daily Telegraph on “too much too soon” (September 2011).

Early Childhood Action: Unhurried Pathways: A New Framework for Early Childhood (pdf) (October 2012)



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5 Responses to “Early Childhood Action: ‘An alternative curriculum for under-fives’”

  1. Dr. Margaret Simms 10. Feb, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    May I direct supporters of and others interested in Early Years Action to submissions on the EYFS review by TACTYC Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators: [www.tactyc.org.uk/our-view.asp]

  2. Richard Fraser 16. May, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Articles on “Children start school too early”: [www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9266592/Bright-children-should-start-school-at-six-says-academic.html] and [www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/rss/1132090/Re-discovered-research-says-early-school-starting-age-harms-children]

  3. Richard Fraser 29. Oct, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Nursery World: “Campaigners launch alternative EYFS”: [www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/1156825/Campaigners-launch-alternative-EYFS]

  4. Val Payne 07. Nov, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Early Childhood Action launched the alternative framework
    Unhurried Pathways at their inaugural conference at University of Winchester on Saturday 27th October 2012. It is an emergent document that welcomes feedback from practitioners across the early years field. For further information, please contact info@earlychildaction.com

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