to think that the new national curriculum proposals seem to have passed people by when actually the consequences could be terrible?(83 Posts)
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?
Mary Seacole is on the list (History). I read it yesterday.
I am interested in the ways the English curriculum will change now that 'Grammar and Vocabulary' seemingly has equal weight with (all the rest of) 'Reading' and (all the rest of) 'Writing' and (all the rest of) 'Spoken Language'. I particularly enjoyed reading that the subjunctive is now part of the prescribed curriculum for Year 6. Hands up how many of us can/need to use the subjunctive (and didn't learn it through learning a modern foreign or classical language)?
Almost the whole of the proposed KS4 curriculum for 'Reading' is literature-based, with minimal reference to any skills relating to multimodal communication and non-fiction texts. There's almost no creative writing; instead a big emphasis on accurate, formal essay writing.
Well - had a look at it properly now.
Maths looks similar - high expectations and a mention of Roman numbers to 1000 by year 6
Science - no obvious difference.
Geography - Looks interesting and doable in KS2
But history - there's just so much of it. It's going to be superficial. An hour on an area, next one, next one - no depth to it. And just so much to be expected to be covered. I can see some of it will be interesting and might grab the attention but I think it's overwhelming.
Looking back at my primary school days, I can hardly remember any of the history we did. Apart from the Romans and Vikings.
I agree it seems an awful lot to get through. DD has only just started roman numerals (Y3) and only up to 10.
This is an extract from Gove's speech.
"A TRULY 21st CENTURY CURRICULUM
And that is why in reforming our curriculum and examination system we have sought to incorporate the lessons we have learnt from the most advanced cognitive science.
So our new curriculum affirms - at every point - the critical importance of knowledge acquisition.
We have stripped out the rhetorical afflatus, the prolix explanatory notes, the ethereal assessment guidance, the inexplicable level criteria, the managerial jargon and the piously vapid happy-talk and instead simply laid out the knowledge that every child is entitled to expect they be taught.
There is new and detailed content on the mathematical processes every child should master - including early memorisation of tables, written methods of long division and calculations with fractions - which was either absent or obscure before.
There is clarity on the scientific principles and laws which drive proper understanding of the natural world.
There is detail on grammar and punctuation, clarity on the essentials of clear composition and a requirement for proper knowledge of pre-twentieth century literature.
In history, rather than a disconnected set of themes and topics there is a clear narrative which encompasses British and world history, with space for study of the heroes and heroines whose example is truly inspirational.
In geography, proper locational knowledge with an understanding of how to use maps and locate rivers and oceans, cities and continents.
And in foreign languages, there is a clear emphasis on the importance of translation - including the study of literature of proven merit."
The speech is here:
So much of what he says is false - tables and methods were clearly included. Science hasn't changed much. And I bet he won't make assessment easier. We need data, don't we
NotnowIamreading: raised hand here, twice over as DH is reading over my shoulder. We both us the subjunctive daily or thereabouts. Don't many people? I realise sentences such as "I ask that the papers be sent" are not very common but "if I were you..." occurs quite often in speech...
I think the history curriculum looks great. Much better than the endless repetition of WW2 that I got in the 80s. My only concern is that teachers will be too unfamiliar with the syllabus to teach it well.
I learned much of my early history from Ladybird books, now out of print. They were great. Frankly, (and I know most will disagree with me here) I'm not at all keen on the Horrible History series. I think the best way to put a child off a subject is to try and jazz it up: it gives the impression that the subject is not interesting in itself.
Toad, I agree that there is far too much Horrible Histories. It probably started off as a really good idea; a drop of irreverent humour to make children feel daring and shocking. Now history for children consists of practically nothing but. 1066 And All That was far funnier (in small doses).
Speaking as a secondary school teacher I'm trying to get my head around the sheer weight of content which I have to teach in 2 years due to a shortened KS3 in my school. 3 hours a fortnight (not including coming to lesson late - get this: today a kid said he was late as he had to go to Tesco to buy biscuits!). Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! And how on earth will we resource it? I am a history specialist and so are my 4 colleagues but time and money is not on our side. How to teach content, keep it interesting and teach the vital skills necessary?
I've been teaching 20 years and I can honestly say no two years have ever been the same. I wish politicians would stop tinkering and let us get on with it.
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