Read the letter below and imagine that you are Principal Jenkins. Write a response to Mrs Blake, counteracting the arguments she made.
Dedication Primary School
Dear Mr. Jenkins,
As a parent of an eleven plus student who is now preparing to write the examination for entry into secondary school, I would like to share with you my views on the issue of extra lessons. Your school offers extra lessons on five evenings of the school week and half-day on Saturday. I think this is outrageous!
Do you believe that there is a real need to give extra lessons? Do you believe that after children have been subjected to a whole day’s teaching, they are mentally alert to respond to extra lessons? A child’s capacity to retain knowledge when he is both physically and mentally exhausted is nil. This policy of teachers to cram knowledge in children’s brains is out of line with psychological research on the learning capacity of young children. You ought to realise that extra lessons have a negative impact on children in their future education. Children are known to lose interest in subjects and in studies generally, if they are goaded on by too much extra teaching.
Sir, how could you deprive young children of their freedom on evenings and Saturdays? Children need to enjoy their childhood days, to participate in activities other than schoolwork and to meet other children in their neighbourhood on the playing field. What memories would they have of childhood, if they are denied the opportunity to learn and grow at the same time?
It is time to take a hard look at what is happening in your school. Children need to relax, rest and play. These activities will help them to restore energy, to liberate their minds and refresh them for another day’s work. Don’t you realise that children who are subjected to too much mental pressure often experience mental blocks during examinations?
Wake up to the realities which children in extra lessons face – late home coming, late supper, late washing up and, to crown it all, a barrage of homework in every subject.
Put an end to this child abuse. Get your teachers to work diligently during the normal school day and there’ll be no need for extra lessons!