Do they really need karate and horse-riding?

The Quirky Teacher

This was a question that I asked at a recent meeting. We were discussing length of day and provision of clubs for children. Now, we’re all about Hirsch and want to provide a knowledge-rich curriculum; this is important since we mostly work with the very children and families identified in this article, but when it comes to extra-curricular provision, the assumption is that the more we provide that is similar to the life experiences of better-off children, the more we are ‘closing the gap’.

I’m not so sure.

Of course, all of the experiences such as karate, horse-riding, trips here, there and everywhere are beneficial in many, many ways, but I don’t think they’re the reason certain groups of children do so much better at school. I think the answer lies in a cold, hard stare at how advantaged children rock up to school at age 5 with a…

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