to think that the new national curriculum proposals seem to have passed people by when actually the consequences could be terrible?

(83 Posts)
soverylucky Sat 09-Feb-13 12:52:31

Yesterday the new proposed National Curriculum was revealed. It is a draft document that is open to consultation. I am horrified at some of the changes that are proposed and it would seem on some teaching forums others are too. Yet the story doesn't seem to be covered elsewhere. Why is this?

Catsnotrats Sat 09-Feb-13 17:19:33

Ntitled can I ask if your child's prep school goes up to 13? And is it selective?

NTitled Sat 09-Feb-13 17:22:54

Yes, up to 13. Not selective as such (they do assessment days etc, but no formal entrance exam), though I am sure there is a good degree of other subtle selection involved.

kim147 Sat 09-Feb-13 17:25:07

That's a hell of a lot for KS2 considering the teaching hours available. It's going to be very superficial.

Also - how many primary teachers know all that history and can explain the basic contexts? I think I'm quite good at history but there's things there I'll have to research.

Haven't even looked at the science and geography bit yet.

NTitled Sat 09-Feb-13 17:30:59

That's another point - prep schools tend to be taught History (etc) by subject specialists. Maybe that should be the case in all schools.

Catsnotrats Sat 09-Feb-13 17:41:18

That's the problem ntitiled - Gove wants us to all aim to this standard, but actually your children are achieving it because they have so many advantages and opportunities outside of school. I'm sure you have taken your dc to places where these events actually happened (plus expensive school trips), have discussed it with them, bought interesting books etc etc. Plus they probably have a loving, stable home, had high quality language from babyhood, are well nourished etc. And they obviously academically able.

A few of the children I teach in my east London state school also have had all of this, and I think could probably cope with this curriculum, I can think of another couple who haven't but are very academically able and are interested in history who would be fine.

However the majority haven't had all of this. Many never leave their local area and don't go on educational day trips other than what we can provide for minimal cost. Many have parents with little English who weren't particularly well educated in their own countries. Some have parents who have been failed by our educational system and have no interest in learning whatsoever. Many have poor diets and live in overcrowded, damp housing. Many don't have their own books because of cost or lack of parental desire to own books. Our local libraries are seriously under-resourced. Some of our children have SEN, and this list represents knowledge that is far removed from their educational needs.

I would love for all my children to be capable of learning all of this, but it isn't going to happen for so many of them. Aspiring to be like prep schools is all very well but there are so many barriers that make it practically impossible.

EcoLady Sat 09-Feb-13 17:55:38

The primary history does strike me as bonkers. No 20th century at all until secondary school, all because Gove wants history taught in chronological order!

I teach yr4 and am just starting to look through it during half term sad

soverylucky Sat 09-Feb-13 18:00:10

When you factor in that a language must also be taught at KS2 I just don't see how you would get through all that content - well you would if you went back to the old days and just dictated every lesson. There is no allowance for years of research into different learning styles.
Many primary teachers will have not studied history since they were in year 9. They will not have the subject knowledge for this. At secondary school students will not study these topics again. They will follow a broadly British History curriculum that begins in about 1800. I would say that about 90% of the resources that high schools have will now be of no use at all to the teachers. The language in them is designed for older pupils and will not suit the new age group that they are designed for.
As a pp said - there is virtually no social history at all. My 15 years of teaching experience tells me what students do and do not find interesting. Yes the proposals will be exciting for some and yes some pupils will not find it too hard but as a teacher I have to think of all of my pupils and their interests. The current curriculum is not perfect but it is many times better than what is being proposed.

Catsnotrats Sat 09-Feb-13 18:05:58

We also have the same problem with resources in primary schools, Victorians, WWII and post-war Britain are all current popular topics which will become obsolete. There is also currently very little out there aimed at primary pupils for many eras (especially medieval) as they are currently not on the curriculum and so there is no demand. Will we be given funding for training and new resources? I somehow doubt it.

corblimeymadam Sat 09-Feb-13 18:08:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theluckiest Sat 09-Feb-13 18:10:04

I am a year 4 teacher and the history content has actually made me bloody cross. I adore teaching history....loved it as a child and love getting my kids to be excited and inspired about it.

Yes, there are some cracking bits of history included in there but teaching it chronologically through KS2/3 seems utterly bonkers to me. What person in their right mind thinks that children leaving primary school should know the dates of the 100 years war but not have a clue who Winston Churchill or indeed, Adolf Hitler were? Or Queen Victoria for that matter.

Looks like a guaranteed way to turn a whole generation off history for life.

FWIW Gove is a dick. That is all.

kim147 Sat 09-Feb-13 18:14:08

No doubt the Daily Mail will complain pupils don't know about Churchill.
And what about all these attractions geared up for primary visits - adapt or die?

LeeCoakley Sat 09-Feb-13 18:24:33

Recent (ish) history is the most interesting at a young age because it's 'living'. Many children have gps or ggps who can add actual details or who have artefacts. Parents can pass down verbal knowledge from their parents and feel involved. It sets the stage for a more 'dry' style of learning later. Some of those topics would bore me silly and most children will be put off History long before GCSE choices.
Maybe Gove was only interested in children rote-learning the dates. I'm sure that's all there'll be time for!

The only possible way to cover this in the time available (effectively <1 hour a week, 40 weeks a year), would be to dictate it while children take notes in their history books. Certainly no time for any other method, such as all the interactive, varied, adapted-to-different-learning-styles, catering-for-SEN teaching which we have been practicing for the last few years. Back to chalk and talk with a vengeance. sad

And what about mixed-age classes? I am planning to instruct year 5 to cover their ears while I talk to year 6 about de Montfort or Wallace ... otherwise it would spoil the chronology. (And I bet they'll be so fascinated that they will beg year 6 to tell them all about it in the playground.)

jamdonut Sat 09-Feb-13 19:53:56

I love History, and I did A level History - Medieval World History, and the Tudors and Stuarts.(Back in the days when you sat a final exam - no coursework)

When I was in Junior school (Oooh way back in the early 70's) we learned History following a time line starting at the Romans and following roughly what is set out earlier in the thread.I loved all that. (I know this because I pestered my mum to buy me the same set of books about Roman,Anglo-Saxon and Medieval history that we were using in school ,because they were interesting and had lovely pictures of life in those times!)
I don't see why it can't be taught in that way. I didn't learn about the 2nd World War till I was in Secondary school (what would be year 8 now,I think).

kim147 Sat 09-Feb-13 19:57:51

I'd love to know where the resources are going to come from for all this. Where are the textbooks etc?

Seeing as how the Government has no money. confused

cakebar Sat 09-Feb-13 20:23:21

I support a chronological based approach, you have no frame of reference for anything without it. It doesn't matter what you leave primary school knowing or not knowing, it matters what you know when you leave education.

There is plenty of social history in there for the person who says there wasn't any! Introduction of the printing press, colonisation of the new world, the peasant's revolt, feudalism.......... I support the changes to the history curriculum.

Wellthen Sat 09-Feb-13 20:58:43

I find it interesting that the OP is very concerned and yet only talks about History. Its not even a core subject. 1 subject not being to my liking wouldnt make me want to chuck out the whole proposal.

Also they dont have to be taught every era. They simply have to understand the chronology.

soverylucky Sat 09-Feb-13 21:15:35

wellthen you are correct. I did state earlier in the thread that I was probably BU as I was concentrating too much on my subject. I should have been specific in my title.

I don't have a problem with a chronological approach as that is how I teach at the moment. What bothers me is the amount of content at primary school. I do not see how all this can be done and when the students reach secondary school they can not go back to it. Primary school teachers have often not studied History since year 9 and I worry about the nature of the content not being taught by specialists. I am also concerned about the resources that will be required and those resources that are no longer needed.

I also have concerns about some of the content but it would appear that is a point of personal preference.

lazybastard Sat 09-Feb-13 21:32:27

What age range is KS2?

kim147 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:33:25

Year 3 to year 6

So 7yrs old to 11 years old.

Andro Sat 09-Feb-13 22:18:01

I think that list looks really interesting - we studied a lot of it when I was in KS2 (missed some bits and studied others instead). I still remember the projects we did charting the progress through the ages, the roman/anglo saxon/viking/ norman invasions and the ancient Greek and Roman history that started a life long love of these periods.

I suppose it does seem a lot though - but I have no idea what our list would have looked like written out so it's tough to judge.

Laradaclara Sat 09-Feb-13 22:28:50

Looks like its aimed at producing a nation of people good at pub quizzes.

2kidsintow Sat 09-Feb-13 23:07:50

Yet another reason I am grateful that I live and work in Wales.
Our curriculum was changed in 2008. To a skills-based one that specified all the skills in each subject, then suggested a range that the skills could be taught through.

We are facing new literacy and numeracy strategy changes, but not this overhaul.

shewhowines Sat 09-Feb-13 23:14:50

if they want it chronological, then wouldn't it make more sense to start with recent history and work backwards?

BatmanLovesVodkaAndCherryade Sat 09-Feb-13 23:49:57

It misses out Ancient Egypt, one of our favourite topics sad

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