Just over a week ago, my fellow-blogger Sophie and I launched our #THISislearning campaign which aims to spread positive images, messages and stories about learning across social media on May 3rd – the day of the national Kids Strike. So far, we’ve loved the response we’ve had: the messages of support, the shared posts and stories, and the conversations in our Facebook group have all been inspirational and reaffirming. Sophie has written a great post summarising the progress so far, which really emphasised to me that together we can make a difference.
Along the way, we’ve noticed a few questions arising about the campaign from potential supporters and I thought I’d answer them here as it might make our aims a little clearer:
#THISislearning runs in parallel to the Kids Strike… but what is the Kids Strike about?
The kids Strike has been organised by Let Our Kids Be Kids, a group of concerned parents who feel our kids are “over tested, overworked and in a school system that places more importance on test results and league tables than it does on children’s happiness and joy of learning”. The National Union of teachers has already called for the SATs to be cancelled in 2016 and the plan is to show that parents are behind teachers in this, by keeping kids off school on May 3rd (before the SATs begin) for a day of educational fun learning instead. They also have a petition here which has already been signed by over 24,000 people.
Is it just about Year 2 SATs? I’m concerned about Year 6 SATs too!
The campaign started in opposition to year 2 SATs but many parents are also concerned about year 6 SATs and the pressures facing our kids in education in general. The response overall has been so great it has been widened to include all primary school-aged children.
I’m worried about taking my kids out of school on May 3rd – I don’t want them to miss SATs (and potentially have to re-sit them at another time).
It’s ok – 3RD MAY is NOT a test day! Your child will not miss any tests. It was chosen as a strike day because it is shortly before the SATs begin and has the aim of putting pressure on government to scrap the SATs this year. The NUT has already called for this and the hope was that by striking, parents can show teachers and schools that we are behind them should they choose to boycott SATs.
My child has such a lovely teacher – I don’t want them to think that this is against them.
There are many wonderful teachers in this country (hooray!). The strike is absolutely not against our teachers but rather against governmental policy. We want to support teachers who are trying to give the government the message that current educational policy is wrong. When I wrote this post in March, speculating about using our parent power to strike, many teachers commented to say thank you and yes, please take action! Many teachers have joined our Facebook group and many more have joined the Let Our Kids be Kids FB group and signed the petition. If you are concerned please speak to your teacher to reassure them, or if you prefer, there are letters on the Let our Kids be Kids website specifically for class teachers to explain the action we are all taking.
What If I don’t want to take my kids out of school on May 3rd – can I still join in with #THISislearning?
YES absolutely! We want to spend ALL DAY covering social media with positive messages not just during school hours – so feel free to join in after school. You are also welcome to use the #THISislearning hashtag in the run up to May 3rd.
If you’re at all on the fence about joining in the strike (or supporting it in any other way, for that matter) then I urge you to read this post by Sophie of Sophie is… which highlights some of the reasons why it’s important to take a stand regardless of the age of your children, whether they are doing SATs this year and however they feel about school.
I love the idea of spreading positive learning ideas, but my kids are not yet at school – can I still get involved?
YES, we’d love you to! This is very relevant to preschool kids because changes that are made to educational policy now will have a direct impact on toddlers and preschoolers in a few short years. Younger kids also love learning so please, have fun making mud pies together, or baking, making sock puppets, or building with LEGO… or whatever you wish! Kids learn so much doing these sorts of activities and we’d love you to share what you get up to!
My kids are homeschooled – can we get involved too?
Please do! As homeschoolers you may well have all sorts of ideas for fun educational activities people could do with kids on May 3rd. If you have blog posts about these we’d love you to link them up with our #THISislearning linky. And please join in the general sharing of positive learning messages on May 3rd!
What is your linky for? I have a post about what’s wrong with education – can I link it up? Can I link up a post about crafting with kids?
Our linky is for any post about education or fun learning activities. If you’ve written about what you would like to see change about the current education system, by all means link it up. similarly, if you’ve published a post on something creative or fun or inspiring that you think captures a fun way that kids can learn, then that is very welcome too! The linky already has both types of posts on it and we’d love more!
I’m not on Twitter – can I still take part?
YES! We’re also on Instagram and Facebook!
If you have any more questions please send them my way and in the meantime, thanks for all the support!