Continuing the debate of the proposed National Curriculum

(60 Posts)
mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 09:39:38

What do you think

MTSgroupie Wed 03-Apr-13 09:42:42

What do YOU think, OP?

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 09:49:36

I think the history curriculum is overstuffed and will result in a watered down coverage due to time limits. I also think the Hirsch influence could lead to insular thinking.
Having said that I don't think it is the straight jacket being portrayed in the media

hels71 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:34:28

I agree re History. Also I wonder how it will work with mixed age classes if it has to be done in order. I think the whole thing is a bit bonkers to be fair and does not seem to reflect what children could really do with learning and I wish they would just leave things alone to be honest. i have lost count of the changes that have happened since I started teaching.......Everytime it is suggested that this way is the best way then lo and behold a few years later it seems it wasn't...(having said all that at the moment I only teach music and just do things my way as I always have done...!!!)

ClayDavis Wed 03-Apr-13 13:50:44

Someone on the thread yesterday said the whole thing was a total disaster. I don't think it is. In ks1 particularly, there's plenty of room to teach in whatever method suits.

Given the Hirsch influence, it's understandably very knowledge based and I'd like to see more balance between skills and knowledge. Having said that, there's no reason why you couldn't add skill to teach alongside the knowledge.

KS2 history is a disaster. There is way too much detail to teach within 4 years. I don't think it will lead to knowledge and understanding at any depth let alone the depth expected of a 10 year old.

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 13:59:00

I agree about the knowledge and skills balance.

ipadquietly Wed 03-Apr-13 14:03:59

Main subjects (maths, english, science) are fine, as very little has changed. Science is even a bit dumbed down IMO, especially in KS1 - it's almost become 'nature study'!

As many of us have said on other threads, the history and geography are a joke (particularly as they'll most likely be taught in the afternoon grin - imagine!) And I'm still wondering how they chose Christina Rossetti to be one of the significant historical people for 5 and 6 year olds to learn about, along with the relevance of peasantry and parliament.

ipadquietly Wed 03-Apr-13 14:09:29

Sadly, I think the creative curriculum will be lost because of the demands of the humanities subjects. I think the links we've woven between subjects using the cc have made teaching and learning so rich and enjoyable over the last few years.

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 14:12:41

I think it will still be possible to teach the new curriculum in a creative way but that will depend on individual schools and teacher confidence.

ClayDavis Wed 03-Apr-13 14:17:48

I'm tempted to see if I can try and shoehorn the history curriculum into a long term plan. I suspect it won't go.

ipadquietly Wed 03-Apr-13 14:24:44

I agree that the syllabus can be approached 'creatively' by the teacher.

However, at the moment, we are able to be led by the children into areas we, as teachers, had never imagined possible - because they want to learn about something. For instance, we may be learning about castles, which is taken off at a tangent by the children, who want to learn about weapons, or medieval folk stories - whatever. We don't write our medium term plans until the children have told us what they want to do.

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 14:35:02

I think we need to remember that the curriculum is a minimum requirement and that as schools and teachers there is nothing to stop us from expanding to follow children's interests ... well nothing but the sheer volume of the history content hmm

ClayDavis Wed 03-Apr-13 14:48:23

He did get a bit carried away with the history curriculum.

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 17:33:40

I can just see him sitting discussing what to put in and someone saying "what about the stone age?"
"oo yes we must have that"
"well what about the Normans?"
"yes, yes"
"we forgot the picts and celts"
"stick them in too"
"the egyptians?"
"no they're foreign..."

ClayDavis Wed 03-Apr-13 17:50:55

"Greeks and Romans?"
"Well they're European. We're not massively fond of Europe but they can stay for now."

muminlondon Wed 03-Apr-13 17:57:04

I can see a load of children wandering round the playground going 'I-am-a-dalek-I-learn-FACTS-examinate!-examinate!-heptarchy-peasantry-freedom!' unexpected item in the bagging area

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 19:16:55
muminlondon Wed 03-Apr-13 20:01:52

Good article - pragmatic approach. I'd say communicating, listening and collaborating with teachers on implementation won't happen with Michael Gove in place. But Boris Johnson and his 'schools czar' Munira Mirza are also pushing a 'London curriculum' - consulting with the same Pimlico/Civitas clique (not, it seems, the teachers and heads who led the London Challenge), citing Ed Hirsch at every opportunity and attacking leftist teachers again.

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 20:12:33

Hirsch has been described as the Rip Van Winkle of educational theory

muminlondon Wed 03-Apr-13 20:34:37

That shows my cultural literacy up, you'd better explain that! Trying to Google it, because that's how I learn things, just getting a word cloud of 'Civitas-Hirsch-Briggs-JohnNash-Pimlico-Profit-Civitas' ...

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 20:42:53

Rip Van Winkle fell asleep and woke up 20 years later. Hirsch wants the world to turn the clocks back to before he fell asleep.

ipadquietly Wed 03-Apr-13 20:47:38

But with Hirsch - he fell asleep more like 40 years ago! He must have retired 20 years ago grin

learnandsay Wed 03-Apr-13 21:55:09

I wish Ferguson had reposted his comment from yesterday. He gave me the impression that he was saying some children (for lots of reasons, especially background) are totally unprepared for a rigorous, fact filled kind of education. And it wouldn't surprise me if that's true. But I don't see why my kids can't have one. The question then becomes what to do with the unprepared kids. We did have a tripartite education system once (Germay copied it and still has one.) It can be done.

learnandsay Wed 03-Apr-13 21:58:45

The big difference with Germany's existing tripartite system and ours is that in Germany you can move up and down the institutions in the system whereas with the old one in Britain you couldn't.

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 22:06:28

Children could move between schools under the old English tripartite education system learnandsay. My best friend at primary didn't get a place at grammar school but moved up after a year due to being top in his year group.

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