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3rd most important curriculum subject

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by h4zelh, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Hey, I have been asked this question and there was quite a lot of debate, just wondering what people think. After Maths and English, which is the next most important national curriculum subject, and why?

  2. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    I'd say ICT because they dominate most businesses. Although I'd like to say D&T, lol.
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    PSHCE in my opinion! In fact I'd put it above maths and English in terms of usefulness to the children.
  4. Why do you feel it is that important?? Isnt learning to read and write more important??

    Im surprised science hasnt been mentioned yet as that was traditionally the 3rd subject
  5. CITIZENSHIP closely followed by PSHE.
  6. I dont get that! I would have thought the young people need a good basics of science as they are the basics of most things, e.g. human body, physics etc. Or ICT as computing is so important in the modern world
  7. Englich --> Maths --> Science!
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'd say that if you don't have the personal and social skills from good PSHCE teaching you are unlikely to be able to learn to read, write and count anyway.

    I also think it is no good schools churning out lots of children at level 4/5 (looking at primary) in maths and English, if they are totally clueless about the world and society and how to get along with people. The country needs good and useful citizens and if we foster those qualities when children are young, we can then teach those people the knowledge and skills needed for work later.

    But yes, I do think learning to read, write and count is important and I also think science and ICT are important. As is a good appreciation of music and the arts. Being fit and healthy is also important, so PE...Sheeesh good thing I'm not in charge of slimming down the curriculum!
  9. Lol, there are arguments for lots of subjects. I think Science. It is the basics for a lot of things and a baccaleareate subject in secondary.
  10. My head says science or ICT abut my heart is also thinking about what the children need and in many schools these days it is PSHE and Citizenship.
    I teach Year 5 and 6 in a very tough school which one of the TAs said at times ressembles working in a 'zoo' because of behavioural issues and I have children in my class who struggle with sharing and paired/group work, no matter how I mix the groups there is always some arguments and bickering (It gets very wearing!) There are lots of strong personalities and many of the children in the class forget there are 30 other children in the class and are quite needy, struggling to work independently. Many of these children have very poor social skills: manners at the table; shouting at each other when they speak; talking over each other; no manners (please/thank you); temper/anger issues; bullying or just general low level name calling; behaviour needs with some children oblivious as to what the right choice is. Now it could be argued all children exhibit some of this, as it is part of being a child, but this school is in the middle of a council estate and there are a lot of social problems. Some of the parents come steaming in and shouting if there is a problem or fight their children's battles for them (so the children never learn to) or they are the ones you never see or who never turn up for parents' evening (11 of my parents haven't bothered to make an appointment). So it is a case of, 'meet the parents, you meet the children'.
    PSHE might not be a priority in some schools, but in others it is an essential part of the curriculum because it replaces what some of the kids are not getting at home. At one school I worked at there was a massive gang influence, with some kids as young as 7 or 8 involved in the junior branches of gangs that carried guns and knives. This was real life for some of these kids, so the prevention work that was done in school in partnership with the police and community organisation was of massive importance and had a huge impact.
    I think how important PSHE is in a school depends on the type of school it is and the kind of catchment/parents/social skills and social issues. You cannot look at this through the blinkered eyes of one school. I think Science and ICT should be the 3rd subject but also recognise that for some schools it has to be PSHE/Citizenship.
  11. Hi,

    I must say after seeing the battering and slagging off citizenship/PSHE get on this website it's heart warming to see people seeing its importance , espically NQT's who are the future of teaching

    As I am sure you are aware Citizenship is currently at risk, if you have a few moments it would be great if you could respond to the review or join the democratic life campaign.( or both if you have the time)

  12. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    I agree Mrbrightside83. It worries me that there are essential behaviours, skills (and emotions) for learning which need to be in place before the 'academic' learning can properly begin, and that some NQT's have not picked up on this.

    .... However, I do believe I saw the OP's name on the Headteacher forum asking for a school to observe lessons in before their PGCE interview, so I may let them off.

  13. So does that mean you think that citizenship should be taught as the first curriculum subject. I thought it was something that was taught alongside the curriculum.

    And yes I dont have much school experience, or I wouldnt be asking these things. Everyone starts somewhere
  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I think to continue to ask 'which is most important' misses a key point. All subjects are important and so all need to be taught.

    When I trained there was lots of talk about 'the hidden curriculum', those things we teach children but are not curriculum subjects. Lots of PSHCE and citizenship learning comes into this. We teach skills about behaviour, society and how to get along with others all the time, not just in a lesson. It is a vital life skill and so deserves to come into all lessons and activities.

    Watch any reception class in September. The first things they learn are how to sit on the carpet, line up, treat others, etc. Even in other classes, experienced teachers will tell you the first thing they do with their class is establish rules that mean the class can learn. Without those things no-one can learn and yes they are absolutely vital. Once those lessons are learned and structures in place, then academic learning can take place.

    There are several threads on behaviour and other forums at the moment from people now asking for advice. They are trying to teach academic subjects, but haven't taken the time to set the ground rules and sort the citizenship at the start. They are finding that learning is impossible.
  15. Thats really helpful thanks. 'the most important 3rd subject' is my interview question but I wanted to hear people opinions, not what answer I should give if that makes sense. I do agree with you that the ground rules are important.
    I think I will answer the question saying science is an important 3rd curriculum core subject, and mention ICT as important, then go on to talk about a 'hidden cirriculum' and that the most imprtant lessons arent always 'curriculum subjects' especially in schools in deprived areas.

    Thanks for the ideas.
  16. Hey,
    I think it also depends on the school that you work in. I work in a Catholic school and after English and Maths, R.E. is seen as the next core subject and is taught every single day of the week as is english and maths. However, other schools may not see this as so important and depending on other issues in the school may see other areas as important.

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