Anyone else HORRIFIED by the new history curriculum?

(79 Posts)
corblimeymadam Fri 08-Feb-13 10:55:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InTheoryBut Sat 09-Feb-13 17:23:48

Thank you Badkitten. Will think carefully and respond appropriately.

outtolunchagain Sat 09-Feb-13 17:25:40

This is how I was taught history ; chronologically instead of the obsession with WW2 and the Tudors.How can you possibly contextualise modern history without understanding the earlier stuff. I remember making a replica Magna Carta at primary school .

I vividly remember being taught about Richard The Lionheart and the crusades in about the equivalent of year5 , it was also a good way to start to learn about where the Countries around the Med are etc .,plus about the long term impact of people trying to impose alien cultures etc and when I came to do the Ottoman Empire and the First World War my basic knowledge from primary came in useful .

The problem with the curriculum at primary level is the paucity of expectation in it.I have discussed philosophy, politics religion etc with all of mine from the when they first began to talk you just do it in an age appropriate way.Have just had a very interesting discussion with my year 6 ds about why we have an established church and what the impact of that is on our system of democracy .Yesterday he was interested in what we mean when we talk about 'the Crown' in a court of law .

RustyBear Sat 09-Feb-13 17:30:14

By the looks of that curriculum, I can probably replace the entire history section in our junior school library with a few copies of 'Our Island Story'....

My view on primary education is that it should be laying down the foundations for future learning and a very important foundation is that they need to be interested! Unless we are going to send them all down the pits at the age of 11 there is plenty of time in life to learn about the heptarchy and all the rest of it. In primary history it doesn't actually matter which periods they learn as long as a) it's interesting and b) it helps them develop tools and understanding for studying things in depth in the future.

And the curriculum seems so imperialistic sad

Empross76 Sat 09-Feb-13 17:50:25

Not in Wales... phew!

corblimeymadam Sat 09-Feb-13 18:03:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theluckiest Sat 09-Feb-13 18:23:59

I am utterly baffled by the idea that Gove has decided that children leaving primary school will be able to spout dates, tell you when the Peasants Revolt was (with probably not a clue why it happened because there was no time to cover anything in depth) yet will not have the foggiest who Queen Victoria was. or Mary Seacole. Or Churchill. Or Hitler. Or have the remotest interest in history because they have been fed facts and dates and not much else throughout their primary years.

Seriously, what can we do to stop this madness? Please can Gove go and speak to someone who has a clue? Or who will be affected by his stupid, prescriptive and blinkered ideas. Like teachers. Or children. Or parents. What a tit.

I'm sure Ofsted will adore the future history lessons where we sit kids in rows and learn dates by rote cos we don't have time for anything else.

HanneHolm Sat 09-Feb-13 18:25:19

Think the current curric is illogical. Why Norman conquest at secondary school ? Why ww2 at primary ?

corblimeymadam Sat 09-Feb-13 18:31:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Netherlands Sat 09-Feb-13 18:41:23

Well, it is a consultation, y'all are free to complain thru appropriate channels.

I disagree with chronological teaching as best, I prefer the dip and dive approach.

I'm glad Peasants Revolt is in there, though. It's big in local area history (we live a ten minute walk from an important battle field).

Then again, yr8 DS is learning all about Witchfinder General. I got deliriously excited telling him about the evidence I have that my mother's G-x-many)-parents were among Hopkins' victims: was DS interested? Was he Fig. (Sulk).

cricketballs Sat 09-Feb-13 18:50:35

I'm thinking that it is his way of encouraging all schools to convert to academies - then they can give up following his stupid curriculum!

I say this as a teacher which welcomes the computer studies inclusion but even the suggested topics for KS1 & 2 are not possible for non specialists to cover with any confidence

legalalien Sat 09-Feb-13 19:05:10

I'm with outtolunchagain.

Fortunately ds has a brilliant y3 teacher this year.

Am I being stupid ... why are the crusades such a big deal? confused

I can understand that they are very interesting to study, and teach all sorts of geographical and religious concepts. Is it just that? I mean, I'm sure I could come up with a rousing defence of studying them, but if they are going to be one of the few topics children study before they drop history at GCSE, are they that worthwhile?

blush Sorry, I just noticed where this thread is. It came up in active.

None of my business, ignore me.

legalalien Sat 09-Feb-13 19:32:11

LRD i think you get a view even if you're not a teacher? It would be weird if teachers saw themselves as a closed community.

Oh, that's very nice of you to say. I just felt a little rude barging in here to insist someone justify teaching the crusades to me! I will rephrase given where this thread is:

I wonder why the crusades is given this prominence. Is it because it's a convenient topic to study religion and geography as well as history? That might be fair enough. It seems - to me - a slightly odd point of medieval history to choose to bring to prominence. It might be I've got a bit of a feminist/class objection here - would children study what happened to the people who didn't go off fighting, too, do you think?

soverylucky Sat 09-Feb-13 19:43:07

Hello all. I was directed here after starting a thread in AIBU. Didn't know the staffroom existed!

We MUST and I mean MUST get as many people as possible- primary teachers, secondary, parents - EVERYONE to complete the consultation form. We can't let this happen. If you love History then you want to encourage it. The approach that primary schools take at the moment, whilst not perfect, gives pupils a 'taster' of what History is all about. The new proposals mean that many will be put off the subject for life.
I am so worried and upset about what these changes will mean for my job. Who on earth was on the panel that decided this?

We must spread the word too. The u-turn on the ebac has meant that this story has just been buried or lost somewhere. I can't emphasise enough how terrible this idea is. In all my years of teaching this is the worst thing I have ever had to face. I would strike on this issue - I really would.

outtolunchagain Sat 09-Feb-13 19:52:38

Surely the point about history is that everything is related. How can you seriously understand the Irish question without understanding how the partition of Ireland came about and in turn how can you understand how partition came about if you don't understand how Ireland was unified and the hatred engendered from the Cromwell years.

Learning the chronology is important because we have a generation , probably two, who see history as a series of snapshots rather than a series of interlinked and dependent events .

I learned history as a massive thrilling story and I was never bored and didn't find it dull , far more teenagers seem to find it dull now because its just random events , the thrill in history is in the interdependence of events and spotting the links and understanding how one action several centuries ago still has implications today .

Sorry that was a bit of a rant but we have lost the art of this and it really saddens me .

soverylucky Sat 09-Feb-13 20:05:37

History is a very popular subject - our numbers of pupils opting for it increase every year. When parents visit they always say how interesting the curriculum looks and how they wish it was like that in their day.
There is nothing wrong with it at the moment. Primary teachers dip in and out with topics. They have limited time, often it is not a subject that they have even studied to GCSE level and they have to incorporate it into the other subjects that they teach. At secondary level a chronological approach is taken. Starting in year 7 with the Romans usually and finishing year 9 with a 20th C topic. Obviously some topics are covered in more detail than others but again - if a pupil now has the basics they can select history as a GCSE option and look at some areas in much more depth and frequently new aspects of periods that they have looked at before. The process is then repeated at the end of KS4 where pupils can choose to study the subject at A-level.
To have specialist teachers only teaching a 200 year period is utter, utter madness!

outtolunchagain Sat 09-Feb-13 20:14:18

But nationally the numbers taking GCSE history are falling at least they were until Gove said everyone has to do history or geography for Ebacc ( don't agree with that) no local state schools around here actually even teach it as a separate subject in year 7 and 8 .

A huge proportion of GCSE students study the causes of the Second World War and the same is true at A level . Surely that can't be right .

soverylucky Sat 09-Feb-13 20:54:24

I would need to see the numbers as I have taught in 3 different schools and have never taught the causes of WWII at GCSE level or A- level. Obviously it would seem that is an option at some schools but I would really like to see statistics of how many students are taking each of the different exams.

HanneHolm Sat 09-Feb-13 21:00:47

Think ind rev and empire needs far more stress. And post war. Too many end at 1945

Feel a bit naughty going into the staffroom unbidden, but as the mother of 3 history buffs it makes me sad to think, if you are all correct, that they will have to turn into date learning robots. They love the dip into approach at the moment, dd1 (7) is looking at the 60s and really enjoying it.

I don't in principle have a problem with a chronological approach, as long as dd2 gets to do the Egyptians at some point, although she will probably know more about them than her teacher, having been obsessed with them since she was 4.

I do think though at primary school this should be very much a 'selected highlights' approach. Giving teachers a range of suggestions covering a date range, and they need to select 3-6 topics to cover during that year would be ideal. You would then end up with primary school chidren who were excited about history, and you can go back and teach it all in more detail in Secondary school.

Having said that I don't think chronology matters too much as young children cannot really grasp how long ago things happened, as dd2 (5) demonstrated by asking dh which era of the stone age he was born as, and how old he was in the Stuart Era.

HanneHolm Sat 09-Feb-13 22:04:44

I think Chronology is vital. I really do

corblimeymadam Sat 09-Feb-13 22:09:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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