Friday, 29 August 2008

'Give Children books, not SATs'

Two posts in one day?

Saw this link on an email list and thought I'd refer to it here.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/michael-rosen-give-children-books-not-sats-910225.html
Michael Rosen: 'Give children books, not SATs'

'...."Testing does something to children, something to teachers, something to parents, something to the whole conversation about education," he says. His everyday speech, you notice, has the same lively stream of consciousness as his poetry.
But by far his biggest concern is what testing has done to his greatest love: books. Literacy standards at 14 fell this year, according to Key Stage 3 tests. Rosen is currently tub-thumping on behalf of the National Year of Reading, a campaign to celebrate the written word, and has written a poem for the cause – printed exclusively today . What he wants above all is to re-inject a sense of enthusiasm into the study of literature in schools. Love books, he says, and school will be a cinch; over-test children, sterilise the English language, and you only make it harder...'

Here's the poem. It's lost some of the formatting when I cut and pasted it, so I've tried to restore it a bit. Sorry Michael, probably made a pig's ear out of it...

'Words Are Us', by Michael Rosen

In the beginning was the word
And the word is ours:

The names of places
The names of flowers
The names of names

Words are ours

Page-turners
For early learners

How to boil an egg
Or mend a leg

Words are ours

Wall charts
Love hearts

Sports reports
Short retorts

Jam jar labels
Timetables

Words are ours

Following the instructions
For furniture constructions

Ancient mythologies
Online anthologies

Who she wrote for
Who to vote for

Joke collections
Results of elections

Words are ours

The tale's got you gripped
Have you learned your script?

The method of an experiment
Ingredients for merriment

W8n 4ur txt
Re: whts nxt

Print media
Wikipedia

Words are ours

Subtitles on TV
Details on your CV

Book of great speeches
Guide to the best beaches

Looking for chapters
on velociraptors

Words are ours

The mystery of history
The history of mystery

The views of news
The news of views

Words to explain
the words for pain

Doing geography
Autobiography

What to do in payphones
Goodbyes on gravestones

Words are ours.

www.michaelrosen.co.uk

1 comment:

Book said...

Super poem. I'm always on the hunt for great children's books and have recently discovered Bayard and their series of StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks and DiscoveryBoxBooks (which has a special focus on teeth!) They have work by acclaimed children's books illustrator Helen Oxenbury appearing in the Storybox series for September. In addition to this, they also have some great activities for rainy days: http://www.storyboxbooks.com/potatoprinting.php, http://www.adventureboxbooks.com/macaroni-picture-frames.php, http://www.discoveryboxbooks.com/skittles.php Enjoy!