primary education

(118 Posts)
SJKenyon Sat 09-Feb-13 18:22:07

This is first time I have been on Mumsnet. My children are older than primary age but I am a primary teacher. I wanted to post this to make as many parents aware as possible of the draft primary curriculum which came out for consultation on Thursday. It is available at directgov.uk. It is 221 pages long but parents need to see it asap, not just teachers. Take a good look at the history and geography sections and then the lack of interest in Art in particular. If you want your very young children to be subjected to this kind of statutory curriculum from next year, then look no further. But if having your 6 year old learning about the importance of nation, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel along with Isaac Newton and Christina Rosetti (all KS1), is of concern to you, or the inclusion of the Crusades in KS2 worries you as a Muslim parent, then perhaps you should take a very close look at this. If parents and teachers unite to say no to this, we have until April 16th to prevent it. As a teacher, I am deeply concerned by it. So should all of you be as parents.

Willsmum, in what way is it better than what we have now? (Genuinely curious; I teach mainly ks2.)

Willsmum79 Thu 14-Feb-13 21:31:44

I teach Y2. Just come into this (had no idea the draft currciulum was out - but I may get brownie points at work for 'downloading it'!!! grin )
I have had a quick look, and from what I can see, I like it. Although would hate to be in the position ofmy KS2 colleagues and looking at the history list shock.
And did someone (Mrsz?) mention that they would be looking into extending the school day?!?!?!?!? Was this a passing comment or actual fact???
I may have to switch DH and DS (13 month old) into hibernation mode and move them into a cupboard for 6-8 weeks each half term.

ipadquietly Thu 14-Feb-13 21:08:54

And another thing I don't understand. How are maintained schools going to be assessed against the academies and free schools who are teaching their school-specific curricula?
There will be no reliable accountability. So how will they measure if education is effective?

...illadvised, innappropriate, unrealistic ...

ipadquietly Thu 14-Feb-13 21:02:47

I bet pub quizzes will be very competitive in 20 years time!

I see that the scaffolded learning model has been completely ditched......

Have these people ever met 7 year olds? Do they realise that they are only just developing a concept of time and space? Do they realise that something is really difficult to learn without a frame of reference, and democracy, parliament and war and peace may be a little advanced for your average 5 year old? Are they aware that MS schools are inclusive a percentage of pupils find it difficult to learn?

I'm working up to replying to the consultation doc over half term, but, as I said, I am finding words difficult to find to describe my feelings about the draft. Xenophobic has to come into it...... imperialistic, arrogant, naive, ill-informed....

Was

>> Skills... skills....skills... now that can be dull.

No, skills shouldn't be dull. It isn't all reading and writing. It's about understanding, which comes about due to using ict, drama, reading, drawing, discussing, thinking (!), sharing, plaing games .... Now, trying to memorise too many half-understood facts; that's boring.

I totally agree with ipadquietly about geography. That worries me more than the history. Eas the adjective you were seeking 'appalling'?

Haberdashery Thu 14-Feb-13 20:28:23

>> Skills... skills....skills... now that can be dull.

This sounds nuts to me. There is nothing more satisfying than learning to understand something properly.

ipadquietly Thu 14-Feb-13 19:00:48

The draft geography curriculum is astounding (can't quite get the right adjective):
KS1/2 UK, bits of Europe, N/S America

Then, when the children have reached 11 (taking into account that most migrants are from the Indian subcontinent/Asia)
KS3 Africa, Asia, Russia

Australia seems to be too insignificant to deserve a mention (unless we blinked and missed it).

It is truly reprehensible.

shock

mrz Thu 14-Feb-13 18:54:04

I think it's just so overcrowded there won't be an opportunity to study anything in depth

take3 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:52:15

"-the key stage two material is deadly dull!"
Well.. it depends how it is taught - it is up to the qualified teachers to make learning fun.

I think it is great that the curriculum is becoming more knowledge based rather than just skills based.... children do NOT have to read and write brilliantly to enjoy british history - we just want them to get excited about learning.... whether they are writing well or not. There is so much to learn and so much to find out about. If children enjoy finding out at Year 1/2 then what a great gift we are giving them.... personally I can't see how that can be dull. Learning can be SO much fun. Skills... skills....skills... now that can be dull.

squareheadcut Thu 14-Feb-13 17:27:11

i did it - i wrote a letter and uploaded it to the website - thanks for bringing this to my attention.

And what a brilliant way in the the topic for, say, year 6! (Maybe a bit grusome for younger ones.) I am not, per se, against any of the suggested topics, just the way it is being done. And I do think that I could make any topic interesting, given long enough in the classroom to really address it and enough notice to google the materials properly.

Oh good grief, of course there is - discovered when they were making the relief road for the Olympics! blush
This teacher needs to do her homework. This teacher needs to do her homework. This teacher needs to do her homework. This teacher needs to do her homework. This teacher needs to do her homework. This teacher needs to do her homework. [Repeat 100 times]

adeucalione Thu 14-Feb-13 15:24:19

LaBelle, as an aside, haven't you got a really famous viking mass burial pit in Dorset?

Actually, I don't think that the Iron Age, etc, would be boring at all, and it would be quite nice to use local features such as Stone Henge and long barrows in my history teaching. And I don't agree that as 'non specialists' we primary teachers would be unable to effectively teach new topics. Many of us are reasonably intelligent and can both read and use google.

Vikings not really a big feature of the history of Dorset.

It's the prescription that makes me so angry - who are they, with their private-school-in-the-60s background, their lack of knowledge of education and their total unwillingness to use the state system for their children, who are they to tell us what to teach?

I really like the MFL ideas, but why will we be forced to choose a language from their list? Who wants or needs to spend three years in a state primary learning Ancient Greek? Why not learn Urdu and celebrate the local community? Why not Italian?

I have nothing against learning about South America, but think that learning about Africa is really valuable and very relevant to KS2. I want to be able to choose what is relevant to my school and my pupils and, heaven forbid, my enthusiasms and talents.

adeucalione Thu 14-Feb-13 11:36:04

That big long list on the first page looks horrendous, but actually there is quite a lot of overlap.

I don't know whether someone has already linked to it, but the Historical Association has published the PoS here and it looks OK to me.

HelpOneAnother Wed 13-Feb-13 23:36:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

choccyp1g Wed 13-Feb-13 23:12:52

LaBelleDameSansPatienceWed 13-Feb-13 22:27:51 Pyrrah has confused education with free childcare.

Please don't put the idea into their heads...or next they will be charging us for "the childcare element" of school.

[completely off topic I know]

DewDr0p Wed 13-Feb-13 23:03:29

I dislike a lot of Mr Gove's meddling with the education system and this is probably yet another example. It all seems so regressive.

But OP I do think you have rather undermined yourself with the reference to gravity. Ds1 learned all about it in Yr1 and was very keen to hang out of the window explaining it to the decorator painting the windows "so what it means is that if I lean too far I'll go splat on the ground" grin The poor guy was terrified that ds was about to give a full demonstration I think!

PolkadotCircus Wed 13-Feb-13 22:54:04

I'd be livid if the day was longer.

My dc are 9,9 and 8-they're knackered when I pick them up which is why I don't do homework midweek.We do it all at the weekend.And what about Brownies,Cubs,swimming,music lessons,ballet and just playing outside with their mates like kids should be doing at 4pm?

Pyrrah has confused education with free childcare.

That is by the way, though.

Far worse is the fact that people are actually supporting a curriculum that allocates an hour to Henry VIII and presumably another hour to the crusades.

There will be far more children coming home convinced that Guy Fawkes was trying to inflate King James under the new curriculum; if you have an hour (less time for sharpening pencils, changing out of PE kit, handing out books, going to the toilet and all the other ittle things that eat into my history lessons) to cover each topic from that list, there will be no time to check the comprehension of each of 30+ children.

I am even more upset by the geography; the fact that there will be no study of Africa or Asia, although in many schools a large minority if the children will have backgrounds in those parts of the world. My school has valuable links with schools in both Nigeria and Pakistan, which teach our children so much about the experience of children in other parts of the world and also provide useful funds for the partner schools. Will all these now have to be dropped? And how will we afford a new library of books?

I do like the KS2 MFL, but why does everyone forget that it has been a curriculum entitlement for several years, introduced by Labour?

Kelloggs36 Wed 13-Feb-13 19:47:56

I looked at the proposed History curriculum last night and almost cried! How dull! At the moment, children LOVE learning about WW2 and the Victorians and this is to be thrown out in favour of learning about the spread of Christianity, and iron and bronze age - dull, dull, dull and boring! All that was interesting and fun in History learning has been chucked out for some political idiot's ideology.

I'm sure she will learn like all kids but up till now the learnings seemed do subtle I was merely expressing surprise at the sheer volume it appeared to be.

The point was that they have possibly only just grasped the basics by then and it seems a massive jump. My dd is in yr one still bringing home pictures and salt dough Xmas decs I just right now can't picture her doing all that stuff. I'm surprised that's all it's just weird seeing it all written down

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