As you can probably tell from what you have read so far, it has been a really vibrant week at school this week. It is good to note that our sports teams are beginning to produce some strong results and after this morning’s primary school assembly I wonder if we shouldn’t be considering having every day start with a Vumba session!
It was also lovely to see our Early Years team hosting children from St Catherine’s school this morning; serving the local community is an important part of our mission at KISU. I have great admiration for the skills (and boundless patience!) of Early Years teachers. I think many of us (if I am honest, including myself in years gone by!) may be guilty of underestimating the long-term impact of their work with our children. I was recently reading an article by Professor W Steven Barnett in the “Future of Children” publication by Princeton that explored exactly this. He concluded:
“Results indicate that early childhood programs can produce large short-term benefits for children on intelligence quotient (IQ) and sizable long-term effects on school achievement, grade retention, placement in special education, and social adjustment. Not all programs produce these benefits, perhaps because of differences in quality and funding across programs.”
Likewise, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) says:
“Several decades of research clearly demonstrate that high-quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood programs produce short- and long-term positive effects on children's cognitive and social development. Specifically, children who experience high-quality, stable child care engage in more complex play, demonstrate more secure attachments to adults and other children, and score higher on measures of thinking ability and language development. High-quality child care can predict academic success, adjustment to school, and reduced behavioral problems for children in first grade. Studies demonstrate that children's success or failure during the first years of school often predicts the course of later schooling. A growing body of research indicates that more developmentally appropriate teaching in preschool and kindergarten predicts greater success in the early grades.”
I have great faith in the work that goes on in our Early Years section (and I know that so too do those of you who place your very young children in their care); I think it compares very favourably with what is on offer elsewhere in Kampala and is having a subtle but very significant effect on the future life chances of the children who attend it.
Have a great weekend!