OPINION: Fresh start to school

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Children don’t start their formal schooling until the age of six in many countries – all very different from the ordered way we go about things in the UK.

There is a school of thought that youngsters here are locked into lessons from too early an age, but the current system sees pupils taught and tested from the age of four onwards. Now one Sheffield school is offering an alternative, with the timetable based around play rather than the more usual sessions in literacy and numeracy. Days at Sheffield Small School in Sharrow still have rhythm and routine but learning comes almost accidentally, through a variety of entertaining and exciting play activities. Project co-ordinator Chloe Forfitt wanted something different for her own child – and decided to go out and create it herself. It will be interesting to see whether her fresh approach captures the imagination of other mums and dads.

Move will ease queues

It’s a small victory – but an important one. Sheffield Council has bowed to pressure from frustrated visitors to its ‘dump-it’ site on Blackstock Road, Gleadless Valley, and agreed to extend opening hours by two days a week. The measure will no doubt go some way towards easing the dreadful queues which have snaked outside the centre ever since its operating times were cut to just four days. Despite the change, Blackstock Road has remained the busiest site, and there have been claims flytipping has increased locally since hours were reduced. Of course a sacrifice has had to be made – quieter recycling sites in Deepcar and High Green will each be closed for an extra day to make the plan possible. But this should balance the availability of council tips more effectively and hopefully banish the queues once and for all.

Shine on..............

Now this is more like summer. After all the waiting, this weekend is reminding us all that the sun is fun.