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Geography: Comparing the old and new KS.1

Geographical enquiry skills now termed as Geographical skills and fieldwork
No longer requirement for students to ask geographical questions or express their own views
Introduction of simple compass skills (directions etc)
New requirements:

Science: Comparing the new and the old – Key Stage 2

The new curriculum for KS.2 is divided into three sections. The first two can be analysed alongside the aims and objectives of SC1: Scientific Enquiry in the old curriculum (see Table 1). The third section – Programmes of Study (see Table 2) – can be compared directly with the old PoS.

Science: Comparing the new and the old – Key Stage 1

These changes seem to indicate a slightly reduced curriculum load and more emphasis on the names of things: animals, plants, classifications etc. Most schools should find resourcing the new unit on seasons relatively easy, but don’t throw away the ones for electricity and forces, they’ll probably be back after the next curriculum review.

The new Primary History Curriculum is (whisper it) really good

The history programmes of study have been the most controversial aspect of the curriculum review process. The current draft document, which is likely to become law in August with some minor revisions, is very different from the draft history curriculum published in February. These changes are likely to be welcomed by primary school teachers.

The curriculum: where are we now?

The National Curriculum feels like an experiment that is coming to an end. More an albatross than a carrier pigeon to the governments that nurtured it, it has failed to deliver on its original purpose of bringing enlightenment and world-class standards to our nation’s schools.

Exploring History Through Dramatic Inquiry

Mantle of the expert has always been an enigmatic approach, not least because of its name, which is hardly catchy, but also because it seems to contradict many of the assumptions of how a classroom should work. Some have called it nothing more than a drama convention, others like to label it as a return to progressive, laissez-faire education. The truth is mantle of the expert resists easy analysis and is difficult to pigeon-hole. On the surface it seems quite straight-forward – establish an imaginary context, in which the children work as a team of experts, for a client who commissions the team to complete various tasks, that create opportunities for curriculum teaching and learning – however underlying this simple structure is a sophisticated pedagogic approach that incorporates drama and inquiry to create multilayered narrative threads, complex power relationships and dynamic learning opportunities.

The tolerance of ambiguity

This blog started life as a comment on Debra Kidd’s article for #blogsync – Progress? It’s more complicated than they’d have you believe! however, as it grew I thought it might deserve a place of its own and so have decided to also publish it here and add it to the #bogsync list.

Some questions for the authors of the National Curriculum review

The 16th April deadline for submitting a reply to the DfE’s consultation on the draft National Curriculum is rapidly approaching. There has been a great deal of discussion over the past two months over the form and content of the document, principally in regards to the primary history curriculum. Unfortunately the national debate over the […]

Open letter to all teachers concerned by the draft National Curriculum

This letter was originally published by Debra Kidd  – @debrakidd – on her website Love Learning Debra was the only practicing teacher invited to sign the “100 Academics” letter published in the Independent – 100 academics savage Education Secretary Michael Gove for ‘conveyor-belt curriculum’ for schools Many teachers contacted Debra asking if they could add their voices. This […]

A system where good people, do bad things, for the right reasons

This morning I read a post on the Guardian website from another ‘Secret Teacher’. The article was a heart-felt groan of frustration and professional angst from someone who was doing bad things, for good reasons, and watching children suffer as a consequence. Later in the comments section, a contributor (@jadedjogger) asked: “Yes. It’s an own-goal […]

Draft Curriculum as a word cloud

Just out of interest I put both the draft national curriculum and the current 2000 curriculum into a word cloud generator – a visual representation of the most common occurring words in the two documents – below are the results. Unsurprisingly the word ‘pupil’ appears a great deal in both.What appears to be immediately different is the […]

Responses to the National Curriculum review

Consultation to finish 16 April 2013 On 7 February 2013 the Secretary of State for Education announced a public consultation on the draft National Curriculum which will run until 16 April 2013. A final version of the new National Curriculum will be available in autumn 2013 for first teaching in schools from September 2014. Background […]

Dispatches from Palestine

Luke Abbott has been working in Palestine for the last three years with the Qattan Foundation, training teachers and teaching in schools to develop exciting and meaningful experiences for students using imaginative-inquiry. Working with very limited resources and through a translator involves unique challenges and experiences. In this blog Luke describes one day’s work in […]

Some thoughts on the draft National Curriculum for History in Primary Schools

Key Stage 1 The KS1 Curriculum is divided into three sections: Vocabulary Concepts History studies Vocabulary The section on vocabulary seems a straightforward and reasonable list of words children should know and understand by the end of Year 2 Simple vocabulary relating to the passing of time such as ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘past’, ‘present’, ‘then’ and […]

Children learn best when they use their imagination

As a child I loved games. Playground games, skipping games, card games, board games like Risk and Colditz, obscure data games like Logacta and, most of all, role-play games, where I could imagine being someone else involved in dangerous and exciting adventures.

My love of games continued into adulthood and when I became a teacher I wanted to use them in my lessons to engage and excite my students.

Inequality is a part of the system

It seems like inequality is built into the education system.

I believe all right minded people in education, including Michael Gove, are motivated by a desire to close the achievement gap, but we are all hamstrung by an education system that disadvantages children who do not benefit from a rich learning environment at home.

20 Great books on education

A collection of twenty great books on education. Well , strictly speaking nineteen great books on education and one great book on Social Science. All are definitely worth a read. Some you can but through Amazon, others are out of print but available on the internet, either through the Google Books project or elsewhere as Pdfs. Follow the links…

Let’s imagine

Article for the BlogSync Initiative : “The Universal Panacea? The number one shift in UK education I wish to see in my lifetime”
Lets imagine, just for a moment, there really is a universal panacea for all our problems. A shift in thinking so monumentally seismic it will make us think differently about everything – root and branch.

The Mary Seacole debate: a teacher’s view of the primary curriculum

We should be looking not at the content and minute details of the primary national curriculum, but its purpose. My hunch is teachers do not view this argument as educationally important but rather as an empty balloon inflated by politicians and launched by journalists for reasons of politics and circulation.

Free education from political meddling and hand control to teachers

Last week I was chatting to my dad. He’s a retired head teacher who taught for 50 years (starting in 1957), I’m a teacher who started 17 years ago. We were, as teachers do, putting the world to rights. Essentially we are both educational optimists and although we complain about the specifics we have always believed things are generally improving… Until now.

A fresh look at behaviour management in schools

Teachers are judged by how strict they are. Everyone who has been to school thinks they are an expert and many policies are based on half-baked ideas about emotional intelligence and reptile brains.


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