Our school days are the best years of our lives – or so they say. But do children feel the same? We all learn more easily if we enjoy the experience. Children who are happy at school will do much better academically than ones who are bored.
For this week’s survey we wanted to find out whether or not children like going to school or if they would prefer not to have to go. To discover the answer we asked this question: “Do you enjoy school?”
Now, there may be different reasons why children like school so we offered the following four options:
Our survey sampled a total of 3,448 schoolchildren and the results were quite positive. 70% of our respondents said that they do enjoy going to school – although the reasons they gave were different. Only 31% like going to school to learn while 39% enjoy it for the social aspect. This isn’t so bad – after all, if they are happy at school (whatever the reason) then they should do better in lessons.
Slightly less than a third of our respondents said that they do not enjoy school. Even amongst these, 12% said that they enjoy learning – it’s school itself that they don’t like. In a different environment they would perhaps do much better.
Now we know the general trend, let’s look how different age groups compare. Amongst primary aged children the statistics were even more positive. A whopping 77% said that they enjoy going to school. That’s a huge proportion.
Even more heartening, 34% of our KS1 and KS2 aged respondents said that the reason they liked school was because they liked to learn. But that leaves 23% of youngsters who do not enjoy school. Even amongst these, a good portion do enjoy learning. 9% in all said that they like to learn but do not like school.
Having seen the mostly positive results from our primary aged children, then we must assume that their secondary aged counterparts are less enthusiastic. Disappointingly, this is the case. Amongst children aged between 12 and 17 the number who enjoy school drops dramatically. A mere 58% said that they like going to school, and only 26% said that they liked going in order to learn. The majority enjoy the social aspect rather than the academic one.
42% of our respondents in KS3, KS4 and KS5 told us that they do not like school. That is a shockingly high statistic. That almost half of secondary school children do not enjoy the experience. Learning is much harder if your state of mind in not good.
Interestingly, the number of people who like to learn but not at school is highest in this group. This may be a sign that it’s not the learning that is a problem, but other parts of school life. However, we cannot from our data determine what these may be. That would require another survey.
The main point which stands out in our survey results is the different attitudes of primary and secondary school children. The proportion of children who like to learn at school drops from a third to a quarter after the move to “big” school.
The number of children who like to learn does not change significantly. The number of children who like to learn but don’t like school does. In years 1 to 6 only one eleventh of children fall into this category. After year 6 this rises dramatically to one sixth.
So, it seems from our results that children of all ages like to learn (well, most of them). In primary school they enjoy school for this reason. In secondary school something happens which puts them off school, but not off learning.
We could try to surmise the reasons for this: bullying, rebellious spirit, having to do lessons which are of no interest alongside the ones that really excite them, emotional or hormonal problems, or something else. This would be mere speculation though. Whatever the reason, it seems that secondary schools are failing a great many of their pupils.FASCINATING CHILDREN’S SURVEYS
Here are the results from the 3,448 children who answered our question "Do you enjoy school?". The survey was conducted in the week ending 7th March 2021.
|Do you enjoy school?||Percentage of Respondents|
|No. I like being with my friends but not at school||18%|
|No. I love learning but school is boring||12%|
|Yes, I like being with my friends at school||39%|
|Yes, I like to learn at school||31%|