4+ : Our tips for the day

on Jan 4, 2017

img_5860Christmas trees, stripped of their shiny ornaments, are shedding their last needles onto the pavements. Night falls fast and early. Fresh Moleskine diaries are bursting with New Year resolutions. That can only mean one thing:  4+ assessments are coming right up.

And while three-year olds up and down the country, still mesmerised by their Christmas haul, are blissfully unaware of what is about to happen, the same cannot be said about their parents. Behind a serene front, many will have spent the holidays fretting that their child is not quite “ready,” or worrying that the mid-nap slot they have been allotted will harm their chances.

And who can blame them? The process of letting anyone “assess” the character and academic potential of one’s child is daunting. Even more so when you factor in that it all happens in an allocated 45-minute timeslot, amid strangers, in a completely new environment.

The headteacher may have insisted at open day that no reading or writing would be expected and promised the session would be play based, informal and fun. Realistically, it’s unlikely to be a barrel of laughs for the parents sitting outside the classroom on uncomfortable miniature chairs.

So what CAN parents actually do to ensure it all goes as well as possible?

Aude is a co-founder of Magus Education. She is an Ivy League graduate and worked for more than a decade as a journalist for publications including Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal. She writes about all education matters and has a special interest in multilingual children.