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Dear Foundation Stage and Primary educators,
The London group invites you to their discussion and development events, and there is an exciting proposal to begin a new network group - or two - in the West Midlands.
The work of the network groups has been very buoyant since the Networks Showcase Day in March, which really showed what can be achieved through the mix of optimism, determination and vision.
All the May and June meetings are open events - the groups are keen for new participation, so if you are interested in developing creative reflective practice in early childhood and primary education do come along.
After an'amazing' week in Reggio Emilia, the 41 UK participants, amongst the 400 strong international group from 41 countries are taking last-minute time to pack and buy presents for their families, returning with determination, often overwhelming thoughts , questions and also commitments of all kinds.
We have just closed the week, viewing the strong, observant and delicate collection of work from the children of the city of Reggio. They had prepared it as, not only a gift to the city but also a message to the planet:
"Planetary Messages are children's thoughts, questions, dialogues on the world, on the planet."
We thought you would like to see it too -
Shortly before Christmas 2015, the Education Committee decided that they would address this question. ("Now that's a good idea", thought many.) They invited public responses, identifying three questions of the enquiry:
- What should be the purpose of education for children of all ages in England ?
- What measures should be used to evaluate the quality of education against this purpose?
- How well does the current education system perform against these measures?
They received many responses, and you can see them - and read them all - here. The collection of submissions is a powerful set of documents, and worth publishing separately as a case study, we think. (In this article we are giving you an additional link to our original submission, it having been edited to conform.)
In our submission we began, as others also did, suggesting that they actually should begin by asking a preliminary question: 'What are the characteristics of learners?'
To be followed by their question And Then: 'so, what should education look like'?
We really hope that the portfolio of submissions will cause the group of MPs to think widely, and we are sure that some of them will.
In their first meeting last week (see the following video from the Parliament website) Gateshead MP Ian Mearns endeavours to steer Michael Wilshaw away from his 'performance indicators' back to the subject of the enquiry: