The National Curriculum.

(199 Posts)
seeker Tue 11-Dec-12 12:13:59

People complain about it all the time.

Which bits of it do they not want their children to learn?

monica77798 Tue 11-Dec-12 13:17:16

I guess it is different for different people. But perhaps there are some parts that some people think is a waste of time for their children to learn when they could be learning something more worthwhile. Personally I think that maths, English and science are important, but perhaps more emphasis should be placed on basic maths skills (rather than quadratic equations etc that nobody is really going to use in life), but there should be more freedom and flexibility in other subjects and choice of subjects, so that children can explore topics that are of interest to them rather than subjects that are just going to send them to sleep.

LaVolcan Tue 11-Dec-12 14:09:03

(rather than quadratic equations etc that nobody is really going to use in life)

So research scientists don't live in real life?

seeker Tue 11-Dec-12 19:30:43

So you're saying that the national curriculum is too rigorous, Monica? Never heard that one before!

Ronaldo Thu 13-Dec-12 06:30:14

I am not sure it is so much what is taught as the prescribed way it has to be taught - with levels and targets ( and subsequent comparisons and recriminations for teachers).

In may areas pupils would be better taught things that are locally relevent to them and which will hold them in stead for any possible(?!) employment.

The curriculum is over crowded for many students. They cannot take it in. There is a lack of any time for more practical subjects and so probably 80% of pupils are poorly served as they might find some success in those practical skills which are disrespected in the NC.

I could go on about other things in the curiculum and why they are not valid but I wont.

seeker Thu 13-Dec-12 09:11:50

So that's two people saying it's too rigorous. Not what I was expecting qt all!

lljkk Thu 13-Dec-12 09:17:35

NC is regimented.
It's too stuck on sit-down learning styles.
The very existence of NC discourages innovation.
The marking schemes for NC levels are very rigid.

I don't think it's terrible, just too prescriptive. There should be room to teach cooking as science and history as also literacy; instead the NC tends to be require single categorisation, not helpful.

Startail Thu 13-Dec-12 09:39:38

Very rigid and introduces stuff to early and repeats it's self.

DDs do projects on WW2 at both KS2 and KS3, DD1 recycled chunks of hers.

Primary science is mostly a waste of time, most primary teachers are not scientist.

Cooking, studying their local environment, doing topics relevant to their pupils would all be more useful, than here's a battery here's a torch bulb.

It all has to be done again because 50% of the children are too young to get it.

The English curriculum is quite beyond me, I couldn't begin to mark practice long writing practices. The reading tests are hard.

My DDs happen to be very good at comprehensions and DD2 at English of any sort. However, looking at the papers I wonder how much lower and middle ability DCs get out of them. Yes they get their L4s, but how much would they learn doing slightly easier more accessible texts they might truly understand.

Maths is just dry and horrible for any child who has working memory problems because of the concentration on tables and mental maths.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 13-Dec-12 10:04:58

Yep, too prescriptive in terms of levels and sublevels (OK I know they don't officially exist and soon levels won't either) and assessment.

Primary English curriculum stifles creativity: obsessing over how many metaphors and adverbial phrases you've used does not a good writer make.

Primary curriculum generally is overcrowded. KS2 teachers I know of despair of receiving children whose reading and writing could/should be better but who've had to do electronics in yr 1 and 2. As one example.

Secondary curriculum is possibly too broad for less academic children. Foreign languages for students with a poor grasp of English, for a start. It should be more flexible and cater for these students. But I don't know how to solve the problem of deciding who and when these 'less academic' students are without getting it wrong. Without wishing to restart the grammar/sec mod/comp debate maybe one idea would be an opposite of the current division of the top 25% and have pure comps but ones where the 'bottom' 25% (should it be possible to work out who these are) were creamed off at, say, year 9 to do a reduced curriculum but increased life/vocational skills etc?

BooksandaCuppa Thu 13-Dec-12 10:08:53

Oh, and agree with Startail about primary science. I have no idea but imagine it's the one area of the primary curriculum which has the most varied teaching quality

We did a lot more natural history at primary in our day and I think that would still be interesting for students up to 11 and save some other areas of science for secondary?

LaVolcan Thu 13-Dec-12 11:02:54

Being able to deliver good primary science does seem to depend on having a teacher who specialises in Science during their training. In such a person's hands, ( just going by what I saw at my son's school and a school I worked in), it could be very stimulating and exciting. Otherwise, no it's not good.

I imagine that many school teachers lack scientific knowledge because it's only relatively recently that they have been required to have a science GCSE as a basic entrance requirement.

Personally I found at school, the 'nature table' - a clutter of objects dumped on a table - which was all the science we got, just completely turned me off.

throckenholt Thu 13-Dec-12 11:18:48

I think the National Curriculum is not the problem - it is the way it is implemented in schools. The current way is very limiting and very much taught to the test.

It is too prescriptive - in that it doesn't leave much room for exploring interesting stuff as it comes up.

I think the thing I hate most it that it pinpoints at what age any given thing is taught - regardless of the child - their interests and their abilities. Forcing a child to do something too soon can cripple their chances of ever understanding it.

It is control freakery gone mad.

Startail Thu 13-Dec-12 13:40:23

I did science right up to postgraduate level and the old science KS2 exam was by far the worst I've seen and l have done a lot of science exams.

Strangely worded and ambiguous questions accompanied by equally hard to follow drawings.

Answering them seemed to be very much a case of just learning the right phrase to put in the right box.

DD2 just didn't seem to do any science and still got L5 on teacher assessment.

Startail Thu 13-Dec-12 13:42:05

Mind you, GCSE science HW is pretty odd too.

Ronaldo Thu 13-Dec-12 13:53:09

Seeker - please read what is written. I for one ( of the so called two you cite) did notsay it was too rigorous but that it was innapropriate abd that it was prescribed ( lacks flexibility). Someone later used the word ridgid to describe it. I would concur with that.

I do not value being paraphrased wrongly. It leads to a lot of ill will and ill feeling eventually.

Ronaldo Thu 13-Dec-12 14:25:57

On a personal note -which might expalin what I feel is wrong with the NC, I do not want my DS to be in a state school partly because of the NC. He is an able child ( by any ones assessment and without being big headed on my part!) and the NC wont suit his needs or abilities. In fact, rather than rigour, it is "teaching and learning by numbers". The exact opposite of what I want for my DS.

It is not by accident that the best schools in the country are private and do not use NC.

vess Fri 14-Dec-12 13:52:50

It can be great if done properly.
However, it's neither broad enough, nor rigorous enough. And if you have the misfortune to live near a primary school where they've decided "to make it relevant to children's own experience", then your children will spend years writing about footballers and pop stars instead of literature and history.

seeker Fri 14-Dec-12 20:09:56

I'm sorry Ronaldo.

It was you saying "The curriculum is over crowded for many students. They cannot take it in" which made me think you thought it was too rigorous.

If what you meant was "too difficult for the lumpen proletariat, but not rigorous and academic enough for my wunderkind" perhaps you should have said so.

mrz Sat 15-Dec-12 10:29:18

The NC isn't rigid quite the opposite. Are people confusing it with the non statutory Literacy/Numeracy strategies/frameworks and the QCA units for other subjects?

I agree it's overcrowded.

Cat98 Sat 15-Dec-12 18:40:34

Ronaldo - surely your point about private schools is partly due to smaller class sizes, entrance levels of pupils, disposable income, engaged/pushy parents, work ethic and level of competition? The fact that many teach purely to pass exams may also play a part but this may be controversial..

Ronaldo Sat 15-Dec-12 20:19:53

Ronaldo - surely your point about private schools is partly due to smaller class sizes, entrance levels of pupils, disposable income, engaged/pushy parents, work ethic and level of competition? The fact that many teach purely to pass exams may also play a part but this may be controversial.

Actually I think it is a myth (one promulgated on MN too often although I have avoided the controversy) that all the parents of DC in private schools are asyou describe above or that the schools have highly selective levels of intake and "pushy" parents.

Frequently the differences between DC in state schools and those in private ones are similar to each other and as diverse. Not all have pushy parents. In fact many in our boarding dept are dumpred by their parents who want lives free of their DC. Many more are dumped on us because their parents are ashamed of their lacj of ability or they are challenging in some way behavioiurally and we have to sort it out. many more day pupils are dumped on us and we are expected to superbise homework ( prep) and offer support because the parents, frankly are CBA.

Thats the hard reality. I agree we have smaller classes. I agree we have parents who come from slightly higher income groups beyond that, little is different than in state school.

We do instill as schools an ethic of work and of pride and often DC thrive with us because of discipline and no DC with challenging behaviour. DC with challenging behaviour are invited to leave us very quickly. I know most independent schools will operate similar systems in many ways - especially those who do not select heavily ( many despite what the myth says).

But we are nearly all free of the NC. This does allow a balanced curriculum , not one which is crowded with political correctness and too many subjects and a policy of teaching which never seems to do more than place rootless flowers in pretty vases. Often less is far more in the long run.

Not many parents really know what independent schools do and dont teach IMHO.

LaVolcan Sat 15-Dec-12 21:00:34

Ronaldo those will challenging behaviour are asked to leave us very quickly. I am sure that nearly all schools would like to take that easy option but unfortunately it's not available to them.

We are nearly all free of the National Curriculum. Bully for them. Where do you think the NC came from? Did the state school teachers demand this? My recollection is that this was a government initiative. However, state schools are bound by law and have to do their best to make it work.

seeker Sat 15-Dec-12 22:15:12

" DC with challenging behaviour are invited to leave us very quickly"

I'm wondering why this is something to be proud of.......

mrz Sat 15-Dec-12 22:24:00

"Many more are dumped on us because their parents are ashamed of their lacj of ability or they are challenging in some way behavioiurally and we have to sort it out."

"DC thrive with us because of discipline and no DC with challenging behaviour. DC with challenging behaviour are invited to leave us very quickly."

aren't these two statements contradictory ...you admit in the second to failing

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 15-Dec-12 22:30:58

I do actually agree, having looked at various sixth forms lately, that history a level is too twentieth century based.

And English is messed up across the board: too much emphasis on 'the reader' and what the readers emotional response might be to things. At degree level, this takes some painful beating out of students.

ReallyTired Sat 15-Dec-12 22:37:40

I think the national curriculum is a dramatic improvement on what happened 20 years ago. It may not be perfect, but it challenged schools in deprived areas to up their gain. I believe it has improved educational standards in the UK.

The national curriculum needs to be revamped for the 21st century and maybe slimmed down. The national curriculum suits 90% of children. There are issues with both the top and bottom 5% of children who may well need something different.

mrz Sat 15-Dec-12 22:42:56

TheOriginalSteamingNit it depends which exam syllabus the schools follow
Cambridge covers 1794- 1900
AQA is more social and economic focused
Edexcel England in the middle ages etc

seeker Sat 15-Dec-12 23:26:31

Whwt I don't understand about the history curriculum in both primary and Secondary is the obsession with WW11. By the time dd does her A level next year she will have covered it, in different forms, 3 times!

And the history all seems so episodic. I'm sure most primary children don't know which came first, the Egyptians, the Victorians or Ann Franck!

LaVolcan Sat 15-Dec-12 23:37:05

@seeker - history was always like this though, wasn't it? Jumping about from the Ancient Greeks, via the Bronze Age, Egyptians, then suddenly it's the Vikings, and then the Industrial Revolution. There was never any sense of the timelines or how things were happening in parallel. And of course, as has been said before, if you changed schools you could end up with the Romans 3 times and never 'do' the Vikings or whatever.

seeker Sat 15-Dec-12 23:45:15

Was it? I don't know- I was home educated by a history nut and spent ages doing time lines, and reading books like Our Island's Story..........!

seeker Sat 15-Dec-12 23:47:05

As evidenced by the fact that even though I intended to, I couldn't put my three examples in the wrong order!

BooksandaCuppa Sat 15-Dec-12 23:54:11

The key stage 3 history curriculum is mostly chronological though, isn't it? At least I know in both the school I work in and ds's independent school they start at 1066 going up to present day by the end of yr 9 (obviously leaving pre-middle ages to primary school!)

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 06:44:28

LaVolcan - I did not suggest or indicate that I am not aware that state schools cannot do as independents do vis challenging behaviour -nor that they would not like to do it.

Seeker - I am not setting this up as something to be proud of as you try to put it. I just wrote it as a fact (there you go again, putting in something that was never there).

However, I mentioned it because I do believe, without emotions, that teaching and learning for all DC is affected by pupils with challenging behaviour. It isn’t confined to just those classrooms where such DC are taught, it’s a whole school issue and it affects all behaviour through the school and outside. I think it changes the ethos. That’s why it is a significant difference between private and state schools.

I think it is unfortunate and IMHO really morally reprehensible that DC in state schools should not have the advantage of going to school in an environment free from such challenging behaviour. Being exposed (subjected) to such behaviour does not make them better people more able to cope, it just normalises behaviour that should not be accepted anywhere.

I personally think state schools should have the same rights as private ones. However, they do not, and hence, I do not want my own DC in state provision. It’s a significant factor in teaching and learning and the environment which promotes achievement (or lack of)

Neither LaVolcan am I unaware of where and how the NC came about or that it is an imposition on state schools. I did not agree with it when it started. I still do not see it as a way of providing a full and rounded education for any DC. Again it is unfortunate that it is imposed in state schools. But it is also a significant factor in the level and type of achievement for most DC. It has not in any way IMHO enhanced learning or educational standards since it was introduced. Hence it is not something I want to expose my DC to.

Hope that explains.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 07:01:47

I think that generally people haven't actually read it when they complain! I also agree with mrz that people confuse it with literacy/numeracy strategies and QCA units. It isn't the NC , it is the way that it is implemented.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 07:04:42

State schools can't have the same rights as private schools- they have to educate all DCs- they can't just wash their hands of those who don't fit. If they do the ultimate and expel a DC another school has to find a place for a fresh start.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 07:05:47

Many more are dumped on us because their parents are ashamed of their lack of ability or they are challenging in some way behaviourally and we have to sort it out."

"DC thrive with us because of discipline and no DC with challenging behaviour. DC with challenging behaviour are invited to leave us very quickly."

aren't these two statements contradictory ...you admit in the second to failing

No Mrz.not contradictory at all. Those with behaviour issues either change very quickly or are invited to move on.

Let me give you an example of such a DS - (he was at that Scottish School where a certain Duke and his wife sent their first born - not mentioning names of schools here for reputation reasons) - the boy was challenging in his behaviour there.

He was invited to leave.

He went to another school of high repute. They also invited him to leave.

He came to us and we took him on the grounds that we could only accept him if he did not disrupt our classes. Unfortunately he lasted on morning with us before an incident (he told one of the teachers to "f* off” in his first lesson. He was out of school before the lunch time bell rang (and out of class before the first 20 mins was up).

He was then sent to a more minor school but o good reputation somewhere in North Devon. His parents it is rumoured agreed to pay triple fees and provide him with an LSA (although he did not have any kind of statement!) and he was taught virtually in isolation. He boarded because his poor frazzled DP did not want him home. Again he was not given great opportunities to mix with others unless he could behave himself. It was also told to me that most of the other pupils avoided him.

Most of our real success stories are DC who are sent to us because they are not top box sharp tools (although some are top drawer). Their parents do not want them seen to be failing educationally and in a private school that "shame" can remain secret. A shame (embarrassment).is what many such DP feel it is. These DC often accept discipline and find schools like ours places which are secure and certain in a world where their parents are always moving around and have little time for them.

And whilst their parents may want their DC to get a suitable education, they are not driven by it - so not engaged in the way is often suggested (after all if you are going to manage dad’s estate you don’t need qualifications do you?).

Many times their parents do not care about their education (as I called them CBA).

But challenging behaviour is not accepted. After all if you were paying 10K or more (even in a minor private school) for your DC to be educated would you want foul mouthed abusive and disruptive pupils with your child? (I doubt it). Its economics really - we remove the foul mouthed and challenging or we lose revenue from many more parents. who remove their DC instead.

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 07:28:30

"He came to us and we took him on the grounds that we could only accept him if he did not disrupt our classes. Unfortunately he lasted on morning with us before an incident (he told one of the teachers to "f* off” in his first lesson. He was out of school before the lunch time bell rang (and out of class before the first 20 mins was up)."

So "sorting it out" means "Do what you're told or you're out on your ear" Or am I misinterpreting you again?

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 07:39:49

I certainly didn't study WWII at either O or A level seeker.
The Primary NC says Britain since 1930, which many schools interpret as WWII but they could just as easily study the Space Race or an important figure.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 07:44:18

So "sorting it out" means "Do what you're told or you're out on your ear" Or am I misinterpreting you again?

Whilst I prefer to phrase it differently (as I do not want to be emotive about it) it is a reasonable representation this time.

However, it is a policy which prepares DC forlife and achievement in the work place. After all no employer wants an employee who cannot do as they are told - and if you are disruptive you are soon told to collect your cards (P45).

Similarly in most social situations no one likes ill mannered people.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 07:48:55

*No Mrz.not contradictory at all. Those with behaviour issues either change very quickly or are invited to move on.*

sorry but I would consider I had failed professionally if I gave up on a child.

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 07:57:22

grin at a school allowing 20 minutes to sort out a behavioural problem before giving up.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 07:58:18

I would certainly not have given up by lunchtime on the same day that he started!

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 07:58:39

No Mrz.not contradictory at all. Those with behaviour issues either change very quickly or are invited to move on.

sorry but I would consider I had failed professionally if I gave up on a child

Can I be really frank mrz? I dont want to offend but sometimes I feel its attitudes like that you express above that fails all our DC in the state system.

Its not failing a child to say "I think I (or we in a school) cannot deal with this DC. It means that we cannot provide that DC with whatever they need within our institution. To say otherwise is being unprofessional.

Not only that it fails all our other DC who deserve better.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 08:00:08

I would certainly not have given up by lunchtime on the same day that he started!
We made the rules clear from the outset. What wouldyou have us do? move the goal posts? That is precisely why state schools fail all DC - it sends out the wrong message.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 08:01:24

The big difference, Ronaldo, is that you don't have to know or care what happens to the DC. The state still has to educate the excluded DC.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 08:02:42

I can't see why you even took him on in the first place- his track record made it highly unlikely that he would follow the rules!

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 08:04:11

Yes of course if a school can't deal with a child then they have to go somewhere else, or the school needs more help.

But a school deciding it can't cope after 20 minute.........

cornycarrotshack Sun 16-Dec-12 08:05:21

At what point do you try to establish the causes of a child's behaviour Ronaldo?

'state schools fail all dc' - really?

cornycarrotshack Sun 16-Dec-12 08:06:49

'I can't see why you even took him on in the first place- his track record made it highly unlikely that he would follow the rules!'

They took him for the £££££ obviously.
The parents would still have to pay that term's fees.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 08:16:37

Silly of me to miss that corny! grin

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 08:32:00

Sorry Ronaldo but I think it's attitudes like yours that fails children in state and private sectors.
It takes time to get to know a child and to write off a child in a single morning is criminal in my opinion.
I'm very impressed that you are able to work out why a child behaves badly in such a short period of time and recognise your inability to ever teach the child what is acceptable.

solittletime Sun 16-Dec-12 08:48:26

Just to get back on track, does anyone have experience of the international primary curriculum?

Is anyone able to make a comparison with primary curriculum in other European countries?

I was educated in Italy and think my primary years gave me an excellent foundation. I am also happy with my dd's state school but can't put my finger on what frustrates me about the curriculum.

I work in a primary school and hate that I feel I can't stray away from the framework when helping children in literacy groups, for example.

And there doesn't seem to be much geography?

And don't get me started in teaching grammar!

Finally my view (narrow as only based on one school) is that there is so much input from teacher's but then not enough time to let children work independently.

Sorry if I haven't explained myself very well.

solittletime Sun 16-Dec-12 08:49:13

Teachers, not teacher's, before anyone starts!

solittletime Sun 16-Dec-12 08:51:11

Ok, on teaching, not in teaching. Have to correct myself since I mentioned grammar!

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 08:51:25

I work in a primary school and hate that I feel I can't stray away from the framework when helping children in literacy groups, for example.

Why do you feel like that? The framework isn't statutory you don't have to follow it (unless your school insists ) there is lots of flexibility within the NC which is the only statutory document.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 09:08:16

exotic fruits - by comparison to us both the Scottish school and the other place were hard. We had long discussions with the DC and his parents and he was fully aware of the exopectations and the consequencies ( except he clearly did not believe it) . No child is allowed to swear at a teacher and stay in school. Not in my school.

In state schools this mamby pamby attitude of setting a rule and then making an exception is what is wrong. No clear lines of discipline. It sends out the wrong message.

It sends out " you can do what you like, we wont do anything"

Like the NC, its a disrupters and dumber down charter. Dumb and dumber. I will not continue to argue. I have given my opinion.

Too few people have the guts to tell it like it is on MN sometimes. Despite thinking it.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 09:11:10

The parents would still have to pay that term's fees.

No, that is where you are wrong. We did not charge the fees. We had an agreement to try him out. His parents were at their wits end. The boy was promising faithfully .... it was his previous schools fault he said. He wanted a chance. I am sure you have heard it before. We gave him a chance.

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 09:14:33

"Like the NC, its a disrupters and dumber down charter. Dumb and dumber. I will not continue to argue. I have given my opinion."

I Have Spoken grin

I'm afraid that your paterfamilias persona carries little weight among people who actually know what they are talking about.

solittletime Sun 16-Dec-12 09:19:59

Good question mrz! Maybe I should just break from the mould! I guess I started, got given all this paperwork, and that's my current frame of reference, being relatively inexperienced.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 09:20:04

It sends out " you can do what you like, we wont do anything"
On the contrary it sends out the message "You've won! Carry on as you like, we don't know how to stop you so we won't bother trying." (*because obviously that's what adults do when they meet a challenge ) hmm

ReallyTired Sun 16-Dec-12 09:28:24

Ronaldo state schools cannot permamently exclude a child at a whim. Certainly not after one morning for swearing.

State schools attempt to nuture even the most troubled of children. Certainly there are children who need special educaton for one reason or another, but I feel that swearing on its own is not a reason for permament exclusion. (Ie the sort of child who repeatly throws chairs around the classroom would need special school.)

Ronaldo do you actually have an recent experience of state schools or are you just going on hearsay.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 16-Dec-12 09:41:23

Oh do not start him off, reallytired! Otherwise this thread will be just like all the others about Jabed's son and career etc. he's already tried derailing it a bit but we're only on page 3: perhaps there is hope!

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 10:13:37

How recent is recent? I was working in a state school four years ago.

My DS was in one two years ago (until I removed him because of the issues of behaviuour and curriculum I have raided here).

I know one thing - nothing has improved in the last two years.

BrianButterfield Sun 16-Dec-12 10:18:06

I find that the way children have been taught English at primary school is often very prescriptive (obviously this varies but this is my general experience).

On their first lesson in y7 I ask what they liked, didn't like, were good at etc in English/literacy at primary and some of the answers make me despair. One girl wrote that she was good at "uplevelling sentences". I presume they've been taught to get a sentence to a higher NC level by adding clauses or whatever, but it's such an awful, dry, joyless view of English which goes against all my teaching principles.

In the first term of Y7 I often teach A Christmas Carol, and I wait for the first child to pipe up "you can't start a sentence with 'and"!" (and someone always does) so that I can show them Dickens does it on the first page of CC...

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 10:23:39

I think one of the problems is that many parents, and some teachers, think that you aren't allowed to teach anything that's not on the NC.

Also, lots of younger people have q rosy view of the past, and forget that, PR NC there was no consistency. Children learned what teachers wanted to teach. Which was sometimes fantastic,inspirational and challenging, sometimes dire.

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 10:24:49

"My DS was in one two years ago (until I removed him because of the issues of behaviuour and curriculum I have raided here)"

When he was 4.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 10:35:50

Ronaldo state schools cannot permamently exclude a child at a whim. Certainly not after one morning for swearing

I know that Really Tired and I am really tired of hearing it again and again
(sorry about the pun). As a parent I am really tired of hearing it. It is not acceptaable for my DS to have to suffer so that teachers can pretend to be " professional" and put him in harms way whilst they have a go at "nopt giving up".

I believe our schools would ten times better or even more if they could give up. I think the single reason education does not improve and standards fall and people bemoan the existence of a state sector is precisely because teachers willo not stand up and be counted and tell the government tio get lost. The same goes for parents who need to write to their MPO's and tell them that poor behjaviour in schools needs to be addressed with exclusion of badly behaved children ( who clearly need a different type of school; to that5 the majority need).

I know why teachers shut up. Its a culture of fear. I was afraid to say anything when in a state school. For a long time I put up with abuse and lerss than acceptable standards in classes - both behaviour and in terms of education because I was afraid. My classes were well behaved compared to many more as other teachers were far more intimidated. In the end though - before I left and after I had my notice in - I took the kids to task and told them what I really thought. The initial look of shocj was followed by compliance and behaviour all round improved. I kicked the troubled ones out and told the SMT to keep them out ( and they did - these DC were suddently fropping the GCSE and doing something else or going to day release or were in isolation). I could teach and my classes got good results that year.

There is a duty of care to my DS ( and yours MNers - I am really gob smacked that you mums sit here and think its all hunkey dory) and it is not being met in state schools

If you want your child to have an education as good as those in private schools, If you want to get rid of the private sector you need first to get off your bgums and petition for a removal of inclusion.

Then you will find parents who are currently removing their DC because of the problems in state schools will send them there ( and all standards might rise)

One of the things suggested in the 1944 education act which refused to bar independent schools was that state schools under the new system would be so good no one would want to send their DC private.

For a while too it seemed to happen. Private schools cut back - then parents started to realise all was not well in the state school.

If no one mentions the elephant in the room it will never get moved and the midden heap will get bigger too.

State schools attempt to nuture even the most troubled of children. Certainly there are children who need special educaton for one reason or another, but I feel that swearing on its own is not a reason for permament exclusion. (Ie the sort of child who repeatly throws chairs around the classroom would need special school.)

Exactly - and the do so at the expense of other DC. Its not good enough. If you were to swar at a nurse or a doctor or even a call centre operative you would be cut short and sent on your way. Same should apply in schools. Its life. Its a lesson that needs to be learned young.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 10:40:42

yes, when he was 4. I was told he had to start school in the September of that year ( the school year in which he would become 5 the next August - something often discused here).

This of course was erroneous but the LEA and the school did not tell me what the situation really was. We sent him into Reception and the rest is now history. But I learned a bit about state schools from visits during his time in that class ( before I came to MN and asked what I could do about it - and got told to take him out and HE) Thanks to advice here my DS has been saved from more opf the abuse he suffered in those few months in school. I still regret he ever had to be placed in that situation and blame myself as his father that I did not protect him as I should have sooner.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 10:44:55

I am old enough and experienced enough not to have a rosy view ofthe past. However, nothing has improved as a result of the NC, that I am certain of.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 16-Dec-12 11:02:16

On the contrary it sends out the message "You've won! Carry on as you like, we don't know how to stop you so we won't bother trying." (*because obviously that's what adults do when they meet a challenge )

Excellent post, mrz

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 14:46:21

My DS was in one two years ago (until I removed him because of the issues of behaviuour and curriculum I have raided here).

Didn't you remove him because his teacher suggested he had handwriting difficulties and suggested helping him with fine motor skills Jabed? You got very upset with me for posting some suggested activities as I recall.

ReallyTired Sun 16-Dec-12 16:53:06

Exactly - and the do so at the expense of other DC. Its not good enough. If you were to swar at a nurse or a doctor or even a call centre operative you would be cut short and sent on your way. Same should apply in schools. Its life. Its a lesson that needs to be learned young.

Children are not adults and part of being a teacher is assisting with personal and social development. Unless you are sectioned under the mental health act it is not not complusory to see a doctor or a nurse. It is complusory to go to school.

If a deranged person (who is detained in hospital against their wishes) swears at a pychiarist or a mental health nurse then they don't get refused treatment. A mentally ill person who behaves badly may well be moved to a more secure unit but they will not be refused treatment. Education is similar. A child can swear like a trooper and still have a right to an education.

LaVolcan Sun 16-Dec-12 17:11:43

No, it's not compulsory to go to school - hence Education Otherwise or home schooling. Apart from that ReallyTired I fully agree with you.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 17:17:56

However if the parents have decided to enrol the child in school then it is compulsory for the child to attend.

ChristmasKnackers Sun 16-Dec-12 17:35:47

ronaldo you just sound like shit teacher to be honest. One who can't cope with the challenges we face.

I despise the fact that you are pleased that the child was thrown out. Ever heard of Every Child Matters?

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 17:59:43

I don't think the national curriculum stretches the most able in Key stage 2. Or should that be, the focus on children to attain a level 4 at the end of year six places pressure upon teachers to focus their attention on the chuggers. I took DS1 out in year four because provision was not being made for him.

I don't think the work in primary in challenging enough and recently when my mother died I unearthed some of my old school books. DS1 and I sat and looked through them. Pages and pages of handwriting, using an ink pen, joined up, few spelling mistakes and still I was receiving Bs for effort and content! I was 7 years old. My teachers had very high expectations.

I also think the NC at primary is too wide and varied and children need to master the basics of English and Maths otherwise their enjoyment and attainment in other subjects is limited.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 18:03:33

Yet again I think that people are confusing the NC with how it is implemented in schools.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 18:06:08

I agree exoticfruits. There is nothing in the NC that prevents teachers from stretching pupils

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 18:11:36

The NC is implemented in schools not hospitals or zoos, so of course it matters how it is implemented in schools !

What it actually is and isn't is relevant but only within the context of what is implemented. Or do we just want to look at it as a stand alone document never intended for use.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 18:13:45

It is a framework. I wonder if people have actually read it. I am convinced they confuse it with QCA units etc.

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 18:18:21

I think some people can not read, read sentence two !

So what is it that prevents teachers from stretching the most able pupils? It's not the NC so what is it? are they a nuisance? my son was a nuisance, it would have been far easier for his teacher to sit him in a corner with a book to read. oh, that's what she did, she also refused to answer his questions, failed to mark his work, rarely set extension tasks and withheld his books so that he couldn't complete the homework in the time frame she had set. When she set extension tasks and he finished these, she refused to mark it and couldn't give him any feedback because her mental maths skills meant she had to consult a book for the answer!

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 18:21:09

"The NC is implemented in schools not hospitals" not quite true ... have you heard of the home hospital education service.

Feenie Sun 16-Dec-12 18:21:55

That's not the NC, Mini, that's a shit teacher.

LaVolcan Sun 16-Dec-12 18:23:00

Pages and pages of handwriting, using an ink pen, joined up, few spelling mistakes and still I was receiving Bs for effort and content! I was 7 years old. My teachers had very high expectations.

I am not sure that this entirely due to high expectations. Some of it is educational fashion. I went to one junior school which taught joined up writing using ink pens from age 7-8. I changed school, aged 10 and they were still printing (can't remember whether they used ink or not) and weren't taught joined up writing until just before secondary school. I can't remember the reason here - I think they felt that it confused children if introduced too soon. (I thought them very babyish.)

Fast forward to my children's schools, and they began to introduce joined up writing at age 7-8 again, although pen and ink had bitten the dust.

We got stars for our work - no such thing as As or Bs until secondary school. Or marks out of 10 for spellings, arithmetic etc.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 18:25:47

What it actually is and isn't is relevant but only within the context of what is implemented. Or do we just want to look at it as a stand alone document never intended for use.

Well it is a stand alone statutory document that lays out what must be taught between the ages of 5 and 16. What it doesn't do is say how or when each part should be taught. The fact that 11 year old pupils in primary are achieving level 5 & 6 (the expected level for most 14 year olds) seems to suggest some schools are doing a very good job of stretching pupils in primary.

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 18:25:55

Mini- that's a rubbish school and a rubbish teacher. And one who will get her arse bitten by OFSTED.

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 18:28:36

hahahah home hospital, can you find something similar for training circus animals?

Please read para 1, I didn't say that the NC was of and in itself the whole problem. What I said was that teachers focus on levels. It is the focus on ensuring ALL children attain a L4 that was the problem.

The NC stipulates what subjects should be covered and the level of knowledge children should be expected to attain. I assume the level of knowledge is what is measured when children are assessed. Or are you assessing something else entirely?

So are you going to tell me that Levels have nothing to do with NC?

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 18:41:47

The fact that 11 year old pupils in primary are achieving level 5 & 6 (the expected level for most 14 year olds) seems to suggest some schools are doing a very good job of stretching pupils in primary

Or could it be that the levels are too easily obtainable and when they were set, there was little variation and only a small step up between each level.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 18:42:43

Minnie I have a pupil who needs frequent hospital stays and she has a teacher who must follow the NC. So not hahahah but fact!

and no the circus animals don't follow the NC but the children of performers do.

LaVolcan Sun 16-Dec-12 18:43:13

hahahah home hospital, can you find something similar for training circus animals?

You are being really offensive Mini. Do you not think that children who are sick are not entitled to an education?

LaVolcan Sun 16-Dec-12 18:45:56

I was so furious with Mini for her insensitive post that I put too many 'nots' in - it should read that 'Do you think that children who are sick are not entitled to an education?

cornycarrotshack Sun 16-Dec-12 18:51:45

Mini you are very ignorant

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 18:54:23

No, I was being self deprecating, sorry. I laughed because I was laughing at my own stupidity, when Mrz put me right. Of course children in hospital require and deserve education.

ReallyTired Sun 16-Dec-12 18:54:58

I worked in a hospital school and they followed the national curriuclum. The children got the treatment that they needed and kept up with the classmates inspite of being months off mainstream school.

If there was no national curriculum then the education of sick children would suffer even more.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 19:19:33

The NC means that if DCs are in hospital they won't miss out-it also helps if DCs move around e.g. army families.

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 19:26:50

It also means that a crap teacher can be called to account. Which did not happen in the past.

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 19:32:06

Heavens, it was a joke because I had used zoo and hospital as an example in a previous post.

If that is the case then why do some children still study the Romans twice and miss out on the Vikings. In one school it is Tudors in Yr 2 and another Tudors in Yr 4. So exotic that doesn't hold up and is a contradiction of what mrz said.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 20:12:15

I despise the fact that you are pleased that the child was thrown out. Ever heard of Every Child Matters?

My DS was not thrown out. Where did you get that ideafrom or are you just trying to make some story up to justify your personal abuse of me? I will thank you not to make things up in pursuit of that.

Yes everychild does matter. That means my DS and your DC. However from much of what is above here, it seems that only those who have mental health issues matter to the detriment of all others.

I wont continue further except to say that this side of the Atlantic big questions are being asked about societies sanity in allowing children with clear mental health and other social problems in the community or in school and about the matters arising from not being able to section such individuals, especially in the light of the events of a couple of days ago in Sandy Hook.

They dont have to be grown up to run amockand its being questioned closely now. Nothing more to say as I know it will be a sensitive issue on MN.

As for the NC, well it isnt working is it?

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 20:18:07

Didn't you remove him because his teacher suggested he had handwriting difficulties and suggested helping him with fine motor skills Jabed? You got very upset with me for posting some suggested activities as I recall

No mrz, I did not remove him because of handwriting issues. That was the issue that brought events in the school to light for me. It became apparent that the class teacher did not even know who my DS was and she got him mixed up with anothyer child and told us the sorry tale. When asked to explain she could not because she had got it wrong and knew it ( had we continued he might well have been labelled with something he was not suffering from).

However going into the school it became apparent as to why she had made the mistake and why she didnt know who the hell was who. She had a class with a large number of challenging children with different social needs ( and mental health issues?). There was fighting and spitting and kicjing and such and the crunch came when my DS who was becoming more distressed in this class came home having been kicked by one of those poor kids who we cant give up on as teachers. So, I removed him from the school because they could not keep him safe.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 20:19:25

My DS was not thrown out. Where did you get that idea from

Christmas wasn't referring to your son Jabed but this child
Unfortunately he lasted on morning with us before an incident (he told one of the teachers to "f* off” in his first lesson. He was out of school before the lunch time bell rang (and out of class before the first 20 mins was up).

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 20:31:19

The same boy wasremoved from two highly prestigious schools in a similarfashion before ours - but they are not to be equally criticised for " giving up" then?

I supposethe school who sorted the problem by getting in a special tutor ( and triple fees) and teaching him in isolation for the duration was doing better then? At least we were honest and sent the boy home and didnt take the fee. We were also honest and true to our other kids in the " every child matters" way too imo

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 20:34:44

The fact that 11 year old pupils in primary are achieving level 5 & 6 (the expected level for most 14 year olds) seems to suggest some schools are doing a very good job of stretching pupils in primary

I think it is because they teach to test. The NC lends itself to that. Ofcourse its not real learning because it isnt grounded and secure and it becomes lost quickly at secondary level and on the process of teaching to levels cgoes and nothing is gained, secured or really learned. No education at all in fact.

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 20:43:59

Do you want children sectioned? Ronaldo

I agree that the number of children with special needs in mainstream education has increased in recent years. Whether that be because of the closure of special schools or because of an increase in children with SN. I do wonder at times how teachers can be expected cope without significant resources being allotted to these children. But at what point you draw a line and say a child needs special provision outside of mainstream, I don't know. I know I don't like your attitude, of giving up.

I used to run after school maths clubs in primary, behaviour a problem at times. One 6 year old had a tantrum of the sort you would expect from a 2 yr old. She was actually an incredibly bright but spoilt child. What would you have done with her? Ronaldo she hadn't learned how to behave from age 0-6 being at home with her parents, do you not think that the school may have been the best place for her. I have no doubt that over time she will learn to reign in her temper and she will do very well. Certainly the teaching staff didn't spoil her and give her special praise.

Reception and indeed perhaps yr 1 is far too early to write children off, or write off an entire school. Children enter school from disadvantaged homes, they don't need to be written off, they need teaching.

I am sooooo glad you do not teach in state schools.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 20:54:16

Can I firstly say that the young man I gave as an example of earlier was in senior school - year 3 ( year 9 to state schools) so it want really about writing DC off young.

However, my DS is 6 , the same age as thouse DC at Sandy Hook. Maybe we do need to look at the issue of taking DC out of mainstream earlier and I do think it does need to be raised about sectioning.

Dysfunctional families seem to be a trend in " personality disorders". Such disorders in my understanding start young also and they are difficult ( some psychologists say impoosible) to treat. So maybe removal is the answer?

Sometimes we have to think about the largerpicture and keeping us all safe rather than the needs of one individual with severe difficulties.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 20:55:42

14 is hardly elderly Jabed hmm

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 20:55:42

I am sooooo glad you do not teach in state schools

So am I.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 20:56:48

No but any difficulties are well established by then according to what I have read.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 20:59:51

The same boy wasremoved from two highly prestigious schools in a similarfashion before ours - but they are not to be equally criticised for " giving up" then? of course they were equally failing as professionals
I supposethe school who sorted the problem by getting in a special tutor ( and triple fees) and teaching him in isolation for the duration was doing better then? no they were ignoring the real problem but at least educating the child academically

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 21:01:17

No but any difficulties are well established by then according to what I have read. so when faced with a difficulty we give in hmm

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 21:11:39

Personality disorder is psychological, intractable in some cases yes.

I agree there is an issue with poor parenting and some problems seem to cluster in lower socio-economic groups. I guess that is what you are driving at.

I'm more interested in the wider socio-economic question of why that is, because if the inequalities perpetuated by class, money and private education are allowed to continue, if people in the lower socio-economic groups continue to suffer poor health, low income and low life aspiration and chances then the trend will continue and worsen. Private schools are actually one of the symptoms and one of the causes of that inequality.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 21:14:32

No but any difficulties are well established by then according to what I have read. so when faced with a difficulty we give in

I think we may have to look at alternative solutions sometimes.
When I wasa young man I recall a prayer plaque in my college which read
" Lord grant me the strength to change those things that can be changed, the grace to accept those that cannot and the wisdom to know the difference"

Well, maybe we need to know the difference between when we should not give up and when we should accept what is (and sort a different solution).

For all our sakes we need that wisdom.

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 21:21:37

Hitler had a solution, it wasn't a good solution. The solution is not to point the finger at a whole group of people and say we need a solution.

You say that children with SN and behavioural problems prevent other "normal" children from learning and that these children must be removed. Removed to where? What sort of education do they need or do they just need containment?

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 21:22:32

I prefer not to write of children jabed because what will the future hold if these young people don't learn.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 21:22:40

off

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 21:59:19

I keep wondering where they are removed to? Obviously private schools don't need to care- the state does.
The NC does not do Tudors in year 2 and 4 - can you quote the part were it does?

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 22:06:54

In DS1's school they covered the Tudors in yr 2 and in his friend's school they covered it in year 4. DS1 covered WW11 in yr 5 ( although he wasn't in school then, so we covered it at home) and his friend covered the war in yr 3

I followed the NC for two years at home with DS1 and DS2. Except for maths.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 22:13:33

So he didn't do it twice? It would be quite a different approach in year 4 to year 2.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 22:17:40

I worked in a school where every year group taught the same history, geography and science topics each term, obviously covering different aspects and in more depth with older children. This meant nursery to Y6 were learning about The Romans, Italy and Earth in Space ...

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 16-Dec-12 22:22:38

When I was in what's now year four, we did Butterflies all year because the teacher liked that. In the now year five we did a lot about Jesus for the same reason. Think NC came in around the time i was year 6. (1989?).

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 22:25:35

That sounds interesting, did it work well. Were there opportunities for children in different years to work together?

I know in DS2's school they had a couple of special days when they did this.

mrz Sun 16-Dec-12 22:28:48

No it was an utter disaster

JumpingJetFlash Sun 16-Dec-12 22:39:41

In a school I worked in recently, we did the same idea Mrz and it was a great success with lots of cross class collaboration but it was a very small school of 80. We chose overarching titles like 'Carnival of the animals' or 'I like the way you move' and ensured we taught the subject knowledge/ skills (of which there isn't a HUGE amount) at age appropriate levels. We also sat and planned together as a whole school (so ALL 4 teachers lol) which sparked off some fab ideas and ensured progression. Why didn't it work at your school do you think?

MiniTheMinx Sun 16-Dec-12 22:44:47

oh dear. It must be costly too because any reusable resources would be in short supply.

I remember spending year 5 in primary doing art because the teacher only seemed to have an interest in paint and glitter ! I do think the NC is good and on the whole an improvement because we really were at the mercy of our teachers idiosyncrasies before smile One teacher had all of us doing long division for an entire term, nothing else. It was gruelling and to this day I'll turn the house over to find a calculator, despite her expert teaching.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 04:43:17

Removed to where?

Well we couldtry the solution that seemed to have a number of reasonable outcomes for many years - special schools. OK I have said it.
But we got rid of them because

a) they were expensive - it is a big job providing proper facilities and teachers for pupils with needs.

Neither were all spcial schools lumped into one. We had schools for learning difficulties of various types and schools for those who had behavioural and psychiatric difficulties. But its a big expensive old job doing that. Far cheaper to throw them into mainstream and make the community take care of them for you.

b) a number of parents are overly sensitive about this. DC need schools that are for them. It doesnt work to provide them with lessthan what they need.

I am not looking at quality of solutions, just putting solutions on the table

(if these were elderly people it seems though society led by Dawkins and the atheists would be happy to cull them and I doubt you would disagree mini.I am not suggesting that and never have)

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 05:13:20

Mini - btw, Ido thinkthat thereseems to be a much larger number of SN DC
(especially behavioural problems as opposed tolearning difficulties) around these days.

Over here the conjecture is that this results from fragmented and dysfunctional families rather than economics.

exoticfruits Mon 17-Dec-12 08:04:32

So......you have DCs with inadequate parents, dysfunctional parents, and you just put them all together in a 'special' school with all the SN children. hmm Have I got that right? And then 'normal' schools are just for well adjusted DC from 'good' homes and those without SN. The 'good' teachers can then just get on and teach and they can't make much progress in 'special' schools because it is a different job- more social work and nurturing- not to mention the entire range of SN. Most of society can then pretend they don't exist because they are 'out of sight, out of mind'.
Not a world that I want to live in.

seeker Mon 17-Dec-12 08:39:15

"(if these were elderly people it seems though society led by Dawkins and the atheists would be happy to cull them and I doubt you would disagree mini.I am not suggesting that and never have)"

This is the single most despicable thing I have ever read on mumsnet. Can I suggest we all leave the thread, and no longer engage in any way with the person who said it?

exoticfruits Mon 17-Dec-12 09:13:58

I think you are right, seeker.I couldn't believe what I was reading. It seemed to be saying keep all infirm, disabled, mentally impaired, dysfunctional etc, etc, etc, etc i.e. anyone less than 'perfect' out of the way. It was the reason I started with 'so....' I couldn't think that was what was meant. In summary it seemed to mean- 'keep anyone who might inconvenience my 'perfect' DC , firmly out of sight and definitely away from any contact.
I get increasingly annoyed with Ronaldo's posts, which seem even worse since the name change, so best not to engage.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 09:14:08

Over here the conjecture is that this results from fragmented and dysfunctional families rather than economics

Economics underpins the entire history and social relations between man. It is the social totality and is responsible for all forms of social relations. It dictates every aspect of peoples lives and how they relate to others. It is the cause of the dysfunctionality within society. Deal with that and you deal with all forms of disadvantage and all forms of social behaviour that stems from inequality.

So no, the answer is not to move children into special schools and further divide men upon economic grounds and further disadvantage them. The answer is to change the economic relations that lead to inequality and dysfunctionality, broken homes and families, crime and lack of social cohesion. Job done, no more disadvantaged children, and while we are at it, the first place to start is by removing charity status to private schools.

exoticfruits Mon 17-Dec-12 09:15:38

I agree Mini.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 09:16:08

I knew the Nazi/eugenicists was lurking under the surface, forgive me seeker and Exotic, it was actually the only reason I joined the thread.

Read back through his posts, it's there as plain as the nose on your face.

exoticfruits Mon 17-Dec-12 09:17:38

Especially the charitable status- unless they are doing far more than playing lip service to it. It would be far cheaper for LEAs to put some of the really disadvantaged DCs into the private schools- it would be better for them and a saving to the tax payer.

exoticfruits Mon 17-Dec-12 09:18:28

It was definitely Hitler's solution.

seeker Mon 17-Dec-12 09:20:14

I agree with both of you.

At least his posting style is so obvious that w'll be able to spot his next name change.

So depressed by mumsnet recently.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 09:41:06

Me too seeker, I think it is a symptom of feelings in wider society. Politicians clustered in the middle, populations moving far left.....far right. It happened after the great depression.

Anyway I think the national curriculum is a great thing and wish it was extended to all schools. I would see the resources of the failing private sector (once I had worked out how to throw a monkey wrench in !) requisitioned into the state sector so that all children benefit equally.

exoticfruits Mon 17-Dec-12 09:42:28

There are a few depressing threads lately!
The general trend of this is very depressing, the DC with the luck to be born into an economically and emotionally stable family should get the best of everything. Those without that luck should be separated and out of sight and put up with second best of everything - if even that!

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 10:00:08

NC is the best way of ensuring access to all children to learning of equal relevance and standard. The levels are wrong, somehow can't put my finger on it. And the pressure primary schools are under to ensure that level 4 at the end of year six means that not all children's needs can be met. I found this because DS1 needs were special, in the same way that any child may have SN. His needs were at the other end of the scale but no less valid especially if over time we want working class children to aspire and achieve. Education should be the spring board for equality not the means by which we prevent equality. Over time we need to raise working class children to become the teachers and policy makers of the future, not welfare claimants with poor social skills and fewer opportunities for happiness. (rant over) or else in another 20 years people WILL take seriously what Ronaldo is saying!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 17-Dec-12 11:21:38

It's a very odd leap of logic that anyone who would argue that 'every child matters' in a Dawkinite atheist who wants to kill all the old people. Frankly a bit mad, really.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 14:48:03

I cant believe you lot. Mini suggest the Hitler theme. On the contrary to what you are saying I proposed that it was not an idea I stood for. However, I do know many MNers would agree to culling the elderly! I have seen them say it - so Hitlers solution for old folk is it but not for kids?

But then, when my DW was in hospital having our DS a woman in the next bed wastelling us how the medical profession had attempted to make her abort her baby because she was "old" (late 40's) and they said it would be special needs. The baby was perfect and healthy btw. She was saying how glad she was she had not let the young doctor and midwife make her do it.

However, I do think that special schools are a solution to the increasing needs of DC in state schools. But I wouldnt want to lump them all in together. I think there needs to be differentiation between those whose needs are learning based and those whose needs are social/ personality disorder.

Those DC need good teachers who are specialist in the area. I think lumping them into mainstream is tantamount to letting them rot on the bottom of a heap with under qualified and over stretched teachers and resources.

So not quite the solution you have in mind seeker. But I would expect nothing better from you than to twise what I say and then bully others into playing " send hiim to Coventry" The fact other MNers cannot see that speaks volumes for their lack of differentiation anyway.

Maybe I wouldnt want to speak to them - or teach their DC .... or yours for that matter seeker. I really truely hope I do not ever have to meet your offspring if they are anything like you appear here.

God also forfend I have to ever have my DS in school with them or anyone like them

Yet you want rid od me? I wonder why really? Am I taking all the attention you want away from you in some way? You want to be the big girl with the big ideas?

Happy Christmas to you
(PS - I never made a secret of my name change or why I changed. I wont be changing it again, so there is no need to try and witch humnt me across the forum) .

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 14:53:17

NC is the best way of ensuring access to all children to learning of equal relevance and standard
But it doesnt does it mini? All it achieves is the same low standad for all in state schools. It purpetuates the inequalties and even widens the gap educationally between those who are taught within the NC and those who are educated outside of it in private schools.

So one education for the plebs ( I am sure seeker will like that word) and another for the elite. And a gulf betweeen.

Forget SN, they have no chance at all in that ststem in either place as the NC does not serve their needs at all..

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 14:54:08

It's a very odd leap of logic that anyone who would argue that 'every child matters' in a Dawkinite atheist who wants to kill all the old people. Frankly a bit mad, really.

#Thats because you made it up. I didnt say that. I would be logical. Work that out.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 15:02:56

I have to say this, in the light of Sandy Hook and Dunblaine and many other cases, had the purpetrators of those horrific incidents been locked away safely when it was first recognised they had problems the parents of a lot of Dc would not be left in anguis.

It also brings to mind another case - that of James Bulger whose murderers had shown signs of maladjustment long before.

Lets face it we have to start protecting DC. Every child does matter. But it might be that some DC are not getting their needs met appropriately quickly enough and the result is tragedy.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 16:44:32

had the purpetrators of those horrific incidents been locked away safely when it was first recognised they had problems the parents of a lot of Dc would not be left in anguis. or if the schools hadn't written them off by lunchtime and tried a little harder perhaps hmm

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 17-Dec-12 16:48:55

I'm afraid you're sounding like an increasingly unhinged, unpleasant reactionary and I have no wish to interact further, Ronaldo.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 17:26:52

Good for you OSN and maybe you can take the seeker character with you?

Both of you have done little to enhance this thread.

Maybe we can get onto the NC instead?

OK Mini, you are the one batting on about inequality and the need to remove it. So, what do you want those of us who have the " advantage" in the education system to do? What is it you want me to do with my DS so that I can ensure that some child from a disadvantaged background gets a chance instead of him? I taking it that is what you want? You need those families like mine who have economic, social and educational privledge to do something to level the playing field - but what exactly?

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 17:30:06

How can you be absolutely certain without any doubt that you are locking up the right people when you make a pronouncement upon their sanity or criminality and personality long before they do anything? That is a very dangerous idea.

It is not always possible to predict which children will grow up to have problems later in life. And to be honest with you, if you went down that route and at the same rate at which people are being thrown onto the pile of slodge (ie unemployed, disenfranchised and disadvantaged) then we would end up fairly quickly with pretty empty main stream schools. The answer is for schools to educate not further disadvantage some children.

The attack on Seeker seems totally unjustified and unpleasant.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 17:33:58

Near to whereI live ( in the UK) there is a school which specialises in dealing with children with educational special needs ( of many kinds and multiple needs too) . Now I was under the misaprehension it was a state school.

I was told by my DW that in fact it is fee paying. So a lot of parents shell out a lot of cvash to have their DC removed from the state system to meet their needs to it seems?

So why is it everyone here dends the inclusion policy so when clearly it is not even popular with DP who have SN DC when they have the opportunity to geta better facility such as the one I mentione, they pay.

I mean, I have to say its facilities are superb and I had always thought the state did them proud but clearly its parents doing it.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 17:37:21

How can you be absolutely certain without any doubt that you are locking up the right people when you make a pronouncement upon their sanity or criminality and personality long before they do anything?

So despite any of the warning signs, instead of acting - not necessarily locking up but heavily supervising perhaps ( as they do with many ex offenders - after all why should they have to keep signing when they have done their time for their ctime?) and we wait for a precious and innocent DC to get killed? Fine. I can accept that you think that.

I guess I just have to make sure my own DS is not the one who is incident waiting to happen then. I can do that. I just make sure he isnt around "likely groups" - not a good idea is it. whatever we do?

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 17:38:17

<<<<Good for you OSN and maybe you can take the seeker character with you?>>>>>

wow, do you want them contained somewhere as well !

Me next.......yes please. I'll gladly go with seeker and SteamingNit

Are you this charming in RL ?

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 17:39:47

if you went down that route and at the same rate at which people are being thrown onto the pile of slodge (ie unemployed, disenfranchised and disadvantaged) then we would end up fairly quickly with pretty empty main stream schools. The answer is for schools to educate not further disadvantage some children.

So what is it you want? You want me to disenfranchise my DS in the name of equality is that it?

You havent answered my question there yet.

Seeker and I have a history and she has spent sometime on this thread twisting my words ( with a little help from her friends)

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 17:41:11

So you cant answer the question mini? You nare going to cut and chase off with the others?

Well that gets us everywhere doesnt it? If you cannot hold a discourse and present your views how do you hope to promote your argument?

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 17:59:19

Can you sing that "with a little help from my friends" ..........that is?

Lets talk about the NC,

<<<All it achieves is the same low standad for all in state schools. It purpetuates the inequalties and even widens the gap educationally between those who are taught within the NC and those who are educated outside of it in private schools>>>

How can it widen the gap between all students taught in mainstream state? when all state schools follow the NC. Surely if schools followed their own curriculum the differences in provision would be wider, differences in subject, depth & breadth of study, differences in targets and depth of knowledge attained and differences according to the particular ideology of the school.

How does it widen the gap btw state and private? Well the NC itself doesn't. However private schools are free to follow it if they choose, some don't. Of those that don't and those that do, I think you'll find that the differences between standards and results are minimal.

The difference between private and state, is that private can, by and large choose it's intake, they can be selective. They also have smaller classes and better facilities. They can exclude pupils easily as you have made great bones to explain and they often have parents that support their children and share in the ethos of the school. There are many reasons why there are differences, but the NC is not the cause of the discrepancies.

I followed the NC and sent my HE son into secondary at 11 working btw the levels of 7a and 4a.

Whilst I think that there maybe a problem with how the levels are paced/stepped, the classes huge, the teachers stretched and resources thin on the ground, the problem isn't with the NC.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 18:04:01

Perhaps you should just continue your policy of removing your DS in the name of equality

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 18:07:10

who? mrz, mine is back in school, a state school. Very happy too.

As for MrRonaldos wonder boy.........he has been saved from a fate worse than death, he has been saved from the NC according to his father.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 18:08:13

My remark was to Jabed Mini

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 18:09:08

He was saved from a teacher who suggested that a four year old boy might have some fine motor difficulties shock

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 18:12:53

Not uncommon in boys at four, even the clever ones wink

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 19:46:55

My Ds is not the subject of the NC mrz. imho I " saved him not so much from the NC but from silly teachers who couldnt tell one child from another and so were playing God with childrens lives for nothing.

Therewere no motor problems that was whizzed me off. The problem was his class teacher could not identify him and left him fending for himself in a class which she was not in control of because of the disruption and behavioural difficulties there ( hence I do have a bee in the bonnet about behavior I am afraid) .

But this is supposed to be about the NC. The NC does not suit the needs of wonder boys like mine or even average boys ( not fogetting girls there). In fact it suits no one other than Ken clarke who based it on the school matriculation exam he took somewhere in the 1950's I think. Then it was dumbed down to suit the non grammar school types who were the majority of DC for whom it had to be made to work...... so something of a pigs ear really.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 19:49:53

Of course mini,I am quite happy for others to be satisfied with whatever schooling and curriculum they choose. If the state system suits you, then fine.

I do not find it particularly useful for my DS ( but he is one of those who many teachers here would suggest should be left in a corner with a book bought by me on Amazon because they have other priorities. So, he is left to me ( and my DW) who have our own skills and several books from Amazon to help.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 19:53:37

How can it widen the gap between all students taught in mainstream state? when all state schools follow the NC.

You have misreadme, it widens the gap between state school provision ( which is uniform) and private school provision, with the latter clearly coming out on top ( by all measures used ). .

So I asked - if you want to close that gap, which you keep saying you do, then how areyou going to do that? It seems your bee in the Bonnet is about the advantages socio economic and educational, given by the likes of me and my DW, so I asked, what is it you want us to do for youy so that the gap is closed? For it is clearly folk like us you want to do something, as the NC is perfect isnt it and its our advantage that disadvantages the disadvantaged.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 19:58:01

The difference between private and state, is that private can, by and large choose it's intake, they can be selective

They can but many do not . My own school is semi selective - that is it gives some scholarships to bright DC. However we have a very broad ability spread ( including many who would be bottom set in mainstream) because we accept on fee payment - thats basically any DC.

Many schools are like that, yet most of us still seem to be providing the less able with a rounder education and the skills for employment.

This cannot be accounted for by "pushy parent" syndrome because a lot of the parents are in fact busy with their own lives and do not take interest in their DC's education - that is left to us ( for which they pay us).

So you see your argument is a red herring.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:03:05

They can exclude pupils easily as you have made great bones to explain and they often have parents that support their children and share in the ethos of the school

I think this is probably the key. But what would you advocate? We are not allowed to exclude? But we have a fee paying customer. But so does state school doesnt it? The tax payer - you , me and other DP. I wonder what they want? I know ou customers often come to ( sorry real world here) get away from the disruption in state schools. Many cite to us as reason for application ( especially mid year applications) that they aregetting their child away from disruptive classrooms.

Surely it would be better for all DC if some children who are clearly not haviung their needs met in stateclassrooms and are so disruptive, if they could be more easily excluded? That way the education in state schools would more or less mirror ours.

Then would the field be equal?

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:10:44

I do not like the NC, but I do not think - as you say - it is the main issue in the inequalities argument.

I just think the NC is naff for reasons I have already stated- its shallow , its over crowded. there isnt time within it ( even though one could argue it has scope) to do more than cursory teaching (which is probably why somany have complained about the same thing being done over and over and nothing else addressed).

There ares omethings I do not think I want to see in the curriculum at all and I have chosen a school for my DS based on not wanting him to be exposed to that particular indoctrination. Of course others may be quite happy. I can accept that. Thats why its good private schools arefree to choose - it means more freedom and flexibility for those of us ( I am not alone) who dont want our DC messed with.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:13:14

Perhaps you should just continue your policy of removing your DS in the name of equality
If it makes you happy mrz ( safe in the knowledgeyou will never have to teach him I am certain) then I can happlily agree. After all I would be concerned if you were to be teaching wonder boy as you call him - why call him that because he is an able child? Smacks of inverted snobbery and prejudice. And you are a teacher?

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:14:13

I can just imagine mrz how you treat all the "wonder boys" who come through your classes. Its very sad to hear how you speak of them

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 20:20:03

From a recent article in Times

"David Hanson, chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools, said: “It’s one of the great strengths of independent schools that we can look around to find a curriculum that suits our needs. The reality is that in too many [state] schools in this country, children are given a limited experience because they have to follow the National Curriculum which is dominated by literacy and numeracy often at the expense of music, art and sport.”

I don't agree with this statement and I don't agree that state schools concentrate only on literacy and numeracy to the detriment of other subjects. So much so, that if anything I would say that primary schools need to focus on raising the level of attainment in those two key areas. Not because they are failing pupils necessarily but because children who fail to grasp the skills in those core subjects will struggle to reach their full potential in other areas. But we know the NC doesn't focus just on those key areas and in fact requires schools to provide a very balanced and quite broad curriculum. That shouldn't prevent schools from ensuring that subject leads are not working with teachers to raise standards in maths & English and it doesn't prevent schools from setting children according to ability and it doesn't prevent schools from ensuring that subject leaders teach those subjects, leaving sewing and RE et.... to the class teacher. It is up to the individual school to decide if it wants to stretch it's most able pupils or leave them sitting in the book corner. Mine sat in the book corner but that was one teacher and one school, not the entire state primary sector and not the fault of a NC.

Maybe there are improvements that can be made, maybe it needs review, maybe it needs updating but that doesn't mean that a NC in all schools is a bad thing. It should in principle ensure equality of provision and opportunity.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:28:52

The problemwith the NC and many stateschools is that it seems to take them double the time to teach the curriculum compared to preps.

I do think that has a lot to do with other issues. Preps do not have the interuptions or the additional difficulties - so we come back to really choice in what is taught . I prefer not to have my DS taught NC.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 20:32:20

I can just imagine mrz how you treat all the "wonder boys" who come through your classes. Its very sad to hear how you speak of them

and exactly how do I speak of them Jabed?

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 20:33:32

I can tell you this ...I wouldn't be gloating that they had been removed before lunchtime because I couldn't do my job

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:37:00

You call them "wonder boys" mrz - thats enough to tell me what you think and feel about able children.

Clearly you are prejudiced. Why call them wonder boys ( or girls)? Its derogatory and you know it is. You said it to flame. But it clearly expresses how you feel about such little DC in your care.

You are in the state system I hope? I would hateto think any prep teacher would be saying that about an intelligent child in their classroom.Its most unprofessional.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 20:39:35

I have never in my life used the term "wonder boys" jabed please don't make up untruths

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 20:43:27

I said wonder boy, did Mrz ?

Is prep stacked to the rafters with the precocious then ?

ahhh silly me, of course it is, because they can be selective about their intake. That must make lesson planning so much easier.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 20:45:49

No mini I didn't and never have but the truth doesn't matter to jabed.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:47:49

Well it seems both you and mrz have used the phrase. I am surprised at you mini. Why callmy DS wonder boy? You have an able child yourself- you condone his being called wonder boy ( and sat in a corner with a book?).

But mrz used it as well.

Preps are not stuffed to the rafters with avle pupils - there is a normal disrtibution curve in most classes ( and they do not select in many cases). However, no child should have to be described in derogatory terms surely?

Mostof the prep teachers I know value all their pupils and do not go around calling the most able " wonder boys" or indeed the least able " thickos " or two planks" or similar. Every child matters mini.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 20:48:00

I am now imagining Jabed with a stop watch. "lesson one.....lesson two..... home time....your 20 minutes is up, you failed to be precocious enough"

Of course it probably takes longer, state teachers have to differentiate for every ability. In prep the kids are dragged along wailing until they fail at the first hurdle and then they are summarily dispensed with before lunch time.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 20:48:57

untrue jabed I have never used the phrase (apart from in response to your lies)

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:51:07

I am sorry mrz, you are quite right you did not use the phrase it was mini ( and I see it quoted in your post) I made a genuine mistake.

So mini - all I said to mrz really applies to you ..... your attitude is beyond my belief. I guess you are not a teacher ( or at least hope not)

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 20:52:07

I don't think anyone is seriously using the term to run down bright children. Don't be so prickly.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:53:13

Of course I could say mrz , as you think my DS is not suitable for your teaching, and you would preferme to keep himout of the state system your view is the one expressed by mini .If I am wrong about that, then please clarify.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 20:55:28

I joke about wonder boy to DS. It often takes the wind out of his sails. I don't want a precocious big headed brat.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 20:55:49

You are still mistaken jabed ...I quoted your use of the phrase and only you

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:57:44

In my own experience state schoolteachers arerarely able todifferentiate for higher ability because they are too busy supporting those at the other end. all very commendable I am sure.

Of course looking at it the other way, by being able to differntiate quickly and establish that DC are not suitable for our particular school is cost effective and saves empotional drain on all in trying. It means people can move on quickly and find a place where they can fit it. Soonest is always best in such situations as DC need to settle and be stable.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 20:57:59

Actually, he has a great sense of humour and doesn't take himself seriously, is that not one of the signs of a bright child, early humour, Jabed?

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 20:59:05

I apologised mrz. I take it you lack the grace to accept?

OK fine. I was wrong to say said what you did not . However you clearly want to milk the situation.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 21:00:30

Now the state system is to play pass the parcel with bright children and children with special needs, LD, behavioural problems and psych issues.

Christ the roads will be busy.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 21:03:56

Actually mini, my DS is very able but he is not precociousin any sense that you seem to want to use the word. He is quite sensitve to the needs of others and often will play down his own ability to allow then to feel they can achieve ( even though he may have done more).

He does not need wind taking from his sails. He isnt big headed. In fact we do not make a big deal of his ability and he probably has litle idea of how far ahead he really is. Which is good. I believe in slow education.

So you see, he does not need to be called wonder boy. Yes I am prickly where my own DS is concerned. I have been here too often and been called names like whizz kid and computer brain - and it isn t nice!

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 21:04:53

"I was wrong to say said what you did not"

Could I have that in English?

Quod numquam doctore. Gratias agimus Deo, non pro privato elit.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 21:10:36

MIni - go boil your head. You are a bright woman, I am sure you can use the redundancy of the English language to fill in the words I missed out. Dont play sillies. Its childish.

I bet your child loves it when you call him wonder boy. I wonder what he will say when he grows old enough to tell you what he thinks in a full and frank exchange of adult views? If he is as bright as you say, I suspect he is quite hurt really but plays along - after all you are mus mum and he loves you.

I dont have to do that.

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 21:12:03

Yes Jabed you were wrong to say what you did but as the only time I have used the phrase was in quoting you after you made the accusation it could hardly be a genuine mistake could it.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 21:13:12

I was educated in a state SM , everyone knows that here. A good example of the paucity of state education, I am very much the boy in the corner with a book from amazon - self taught.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 21:13:44

above to mini.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 21:23:17

to me, sorry didn't realise too busy boiling my head.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 21:29:43

I was IQ tested because I was a bored malcontent disrupting the class grin can't you tell. No sitting in corners with books for me. In fact most of the library content was boring so I gave that a miss. I'm too old for amazon but I did pinch all my father engineering books and my mothers Jackie Collins.

Actually I loved school, it was a hoot most of the time and sometimes long before we had the NC the teachers actually used to teach us something sporadically depending upon their own idiosyncratic likes and dislikes.

Some teachers were better than others obv but on the whole NC is and could be a great way of raising standards. Needs tweaking that's all.

Ronaldo Mon 17-Dec-12 21:48:48

One of the greatest lessons I learned in school was boredom toleration and how to get on for myself.
It was clearmy teachers consideredme a " wonder boy" and a " whizz kid"
(yes thats what they called me in the same way as you use it I am sure - to take the wind from the sails of the upstart who was better than he should be).

I could not be a malcontent or disruptive - mother would have given me a thick ear for being a trouble maker and my father would have been severe in his censure too. So I got on with it quietly.

Its no bug deal to be a malcontent disruptive influence - bored or not. No one likes a trouble maker.

MiniTheMinx Mon 17-Dec-12 22:06:06

It was clear mine thought I was a nuisance at times but my state school teachers didn't give up on me and kick me out before lunch time. In fact I spent a great deal of time sat in the head of upper schools office.....not because I was naughty but because he was head of history and he knew I was interested in history.

This is the great thing about state schools, they do accept children as they find them and for the most part work with that to achieve the best possible outcome. That can't be said of the attitude and selection within private schools can it?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 17-Dec-12 22:36:10

So yeah, the national curriculum. As I've experienced it, it's an improvement on what I used to fanny about doing in primary school for sure. Maths at secondary is beyond what I did at GCSE, but some subjects seem a lot more 'topic' based and I'm less keen on that. (ie., you could be doing a module on Healthy Lifestyles in French, German, Biology, RE and English....). Whilst I'm not keen on Gove's list of Books Wot Are Good, I think there's room for a more rigorous approach in English, and this has been my impression of teaching first year students from both sectors.

Mustdo2 Thu 10-Jan-13 08:47:13

I have taught in both sectors and am now a private tutor. The NC provides a useful structure to ensure that learning is broad, teaches skills and is rigorous. Most teachers are able to use their own creativity and talents to embrace DC's interests while still covering the NC requirements. Class size and behaviours matter, but ... the big question is ... who knows what children need to know in this ever changing world and job markets?

wildirishrose Thu 10-Jan-13 09:06:41

I wish schools would teach to learn instead of teaching to tests. Its revision time at our school and I've spent the whole of Christmas teaching my son what the school should have taught him.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 23-Jan-13 22:07:57

I think that PHSE, citizenship should be taught at home and takes valuable time form reading, writing and Maths.

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