Current Students and Staff

// University News

1 Sep 2016

Research finds 4-year-olds are not physically ready to start school

New research from Loughborough has revealed many four-year-olds are not physically ready to start school.  

Early Years specialists in the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences tested 45 Foundation Stage children at two different schools and found a larger number than previously estimated are experiencing problems with balance and coordination that are impacting their ability to learn in class.

Researchers used a range of tests to assess Foundation Stage children’s physical development at the start of the school year and found just under 30% were ‘of concern’ with almost 90% demonstrating some degree of movement difficulty.

The tests therefore reveal up to 30% of children are starting school with symptoms typically associated with dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder (dyspraxia), and ADHD.

A supplementary study that questioned over 25 primary school Foundation Stage teachers also revealed teachers believe children are starting school less physically ready than ever before, with 80% of teachers identifying the decline having happened in the last three to six years.   

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