High praise for James Chubb

PUBLISHED: 12:35 16 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:30 10 June 2010

This is a letter I have been meaning to write for far too long, the content of which I have had an increasing need to communicate with The Exmouth Journal. With all the self-imposed gloom and doom, there is a little ray of sunshine in the form of a certai

This is a letter I have been meaning to write for far too long, the content of which I have had an increasing need to communicate with The Exmouth Journal.With all the self-imposed gloom and doom, there is a little ray of sunshine in the form of a certain James Chubb.This dedicated young man is a credit to Exmouth.My main reason for writing is to encourage all the readers of The Journal to read his articles, which are always balanced, intelligent, knowledgeable and relevant, especially at this time of year when occupying children can cause some parents a headache.Exmouth is an area offering a wealth of interesting and differing environments for our children, but there is a growing tendency for youngsters to sit in front of screens of varying sizes for push button entertainment. Some of the content is mindlessly appalling and visually abusive.Now there is an opportunity for families to use the new cycle routes while soaking up the ever-changing scenery of the coast and estuary. Recent 'experiments' have shown that children undertaking exercise learn in a more efficient way afterwards.Personally, I appreciate James' refreshing attitude to the priority he gives to the needs of the very young.In Finland, formal education does not start until the child is seven. A considerable time is spent outside, emphasis being put on the child's physical and social development. It is interesting to note that they come top of the table for 16 year olds. We are going wrong somewhere along the line. With continuous testing, with the obvious stress and feelings of failure at a very young age many children experience, is it surprising that an increasing number of our youngsters are opting out? Is it time we got the children more active, with daily energetic physical exercise as part of the National Curriculum being considered? Let our teachers teach and assess our children. The time saved from preparing the children for the seemingly endless tests can then be spent on developing an imaginative and stress-free timetable.If all else fails, in desperation, go and hug a few trees.Jenny Ackland,April Cottage, Marley Drive, Lympstone.

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