Imagine that you are observing from the side of a swimming pool and are watching children learn how to swim. As you watch, you notice the different variety of abilities, confidence levels and fears that they display in the water. Some children seem to grasp these new skills with ease while others seem to struggle and need a bit of extra assistance and encouragement along the way. With a swimming gala looming ahead, the decision has to be made as to who is competent enough to compete at the next level, and who may need extra practice in mastering the skills that are needed.
“In a scenario such as this one, it is without a doubt that any child who has not sufficiently mastered the skills at this level will become more fearful, less confident and progress slower if they were forced on to a more challenging level. They may even risk drowning in the process!” says Cindy Glass, Director and Co-founder of Step Up Education Centres.
She adds that while learning to swim is not quite the same as learning to read, write and progress academically, the principal of learning any new skill is the same. “It is best to achieve sufficient mastery of each level of study before progressing to more challenging levels of learning.”
Sadly, for generations, the need to repeat a school grade has been classified as a failure, leaving scores of parents and learners struggling to embrace