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Children begin formal education at four years old


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge.

Write about the following topic:

In some countries, it is thought advisable that children begin formal education at four years old, while in others they do not have to start school until they are seven or eight. How far do you agree with either of these views?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:

In today’s globalized world, the age at which children should begin formal education is a topic of much debate. While some countries advocate for an early start to school at the age of four, others believe that children should not begin their formal education until they are seven or eight years old. In my opinion, both views have their merits, and the decision ultimately depends on the individual needs and development of the child.

On one hand, there are several benefits to starting formal education at a young age. Proponents of early education argue that it helps children develop important social and cognitive skills at a crucial stage in their development. By beginning school at four, children can start learning basic literacy and numeracy skills, as well as develop their social and emotional intelligence. Furthermore, an early start to education can help children adapt to a structured learning environment and establish good study habits from a young age.

On the other hand, there is also a compelling argument for delaying the start of formal education until the age of seven or eight. Advocates for a later start to school believe that children benefit from more time for unstructured play and exploration during their early years. This can foster creativity, independence, and a love for learning that can serve them well throughout their academic journey. Additionally, delaying formal education can reduce the pressure on young children and allow them to develop at their own pace, without the stress of academic expectations at a young age.

Ultimately, the decision of when children should begin formal education should be based on a holistic understanding of the individual child’s needs and development. Some children may thrive in a structured learning environment from a young age, while others may benefit from more time for unstructured play and exploration. Therefore, it is important for education systems to be flexible and adaptable, allowing for a range of approaches to cater to the diverse needs of children. By considering the unique characteristics of each child, we can ensure that they have the best possible start to their educational journey.

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