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Dear Gavin Williamson, schools need kindness in this Covid crisis but you bang on about behaviour

Judging by the education secretary’s speech, ‘behaviour, behaviour, behaviour’ could be the Tories’ next election slogan

One of the most uplifting moments I’ve experienced as a school parent came when watching a nursery school teacher – let’s call her Doreen – working with a class that included one of my children. Groups of children assembled in turn by an aquarium while Doreen gently encouraged each to talk about what they could see, making sure they didn’t talk over one another – that they listened to each other as she “echoed” what they said, repeating back key words. She gave value and power to each child as they described what was going on the aquarium: “That one’s chasing the stripy one …” “Chasing … yes?” The moment she saw one child getting distracted, she “herded” the child back into the group by gently saying their name, asking another question such as “What do you think?”.

Through this teacher-led open-ended dialogue, the children became absorbed; they built up shared ideas and meanings; developed trust with one another and the teacher, and found voices to express what one of their senses (sight) could perceive. These were three-year-olds.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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