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Gove speech in Birmingham on Thursday

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by andrew61Isaiah, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. SteveWoodhouse

    SteveWoodhouse New commenter

    He might do, but I don't think he will.
    The Select Committee has been conducting a short enquiry into the EBac and is due to report before the Summer Recess. The DfE is also due to put out its memo of intent (saying what will be in January's league tables) before the recess. It is normal for the department to respond to a committee's recommendations within 60 days.
    It would be very strange, and possibly seen as 'not the done thing' for Gove to announce changes (or lack of them) just before the committee's recommendations are published.
  2. I wouldn't be so sure - it seems this government's policy is to charge ahead without recommendations. :p
  3. SteveWoodhouse

    SteveWoodhouse New commenter

    Having watched the open committee hearings, I think that will be one of their criticisms.
    Has anyone else read the written submissions yet? Three large pdf documents - they might as well just have stuck up a word doc saying "Gove - you complete ***".
    It was quite nice to see at least 3 submissions from MFL groups supporting the inclusion of RS (hug your French colleagues).
    Steve W
  4. How do you acccess the written submissions?
    i would love to read them
  5. SteveWoodhouse

    SteveWoodhouse New commenter

  6. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    In haste, but look forward to reading that.

    A friend who teaches in Birmingham has been attending some high powered planning events this year, where Birmingham is responding to the 'changes in curriculum' and setting out its own plans. He was telling me today that at the meeting today someone reported back on what Gove has been saying regarding comparing our education system with those at the top of the international league - I think its the pisa .listing.

    I think Gove's argument is that we have to go back to traditional methods and take out innovations such as they have been following particularly in Birmingham I think - looking at the deep roots of learning and focussing on establishing skills such as - resilience, responsibility, emotional stability study techniques, how we learn,. that is what makes up the 'roots' of the tree of learning. Then the trunk is curriculum - many schools have strong curriculum but can't progress well because roots aren't in place and until that's right you wont get effective learning. Then that curriculum itself has to be flexible and creative. One speaker who impressed my friend was Gareth Mills.

    It seems that Gove thinks we should be higher up in the international Pisa league so he thinks we should abandon all the new ideas, creative ideas, and 'deep roots' skills, going back to rote learning, just do the times tables, lists of kings and queens and dates etc.

    But if you look at the education in the most successful schools they have a very integrated and creative system which is much closer to the 'deep roots' Birmingham model than anything Gove is suggesting. And today Gareth Mills brought in the article about the Tory plans to cut Global Warming from the curriculum - I think everyone at the event (which is all the top educationalists from Birmingham area) agreed that its a totally crazy idea and at least in that part of the country they are going to completely ignore it and continue teaching this really important aspect of our curriculum.

    There was no specific mention of RE - but it was a primary rather than a secondary event.
  7. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Oh dear!

    I could not resist having a look at this and a sizeable chunk of my evening has disappeared as a result.

    I copied some of the submissions and will upload as a resource. There are so many that I can;t even begin to say I've looked at all those that relate to RE, but the ones I am putting up are all excellent. Hopefully it will be of interest and save you some time.
  8. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Just uploaded ten reports - but not the long ones mentioned in an above post which mentions support from languages. I will read them later
  9. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Reading more of the reports this morning. I'm uploading some more and giving a brief indication of their contend in the file name - how many pages and what my view is of the contribution to the RE debate. One I just read includes -

    15. Religious Studies

    Religious Studies is regarded as the ?heart of the curriculum? in Catholic schools precisely because we consider that it has a claim to be the humanity, par excellence. In an increasingly confusing world, Religious Studies pupils have the opportunity to engage not only with the most profound metaphysical questions concerning human existence and the nature of reality, but also with the most fundamental ethical dilemmas of our day.

    Religious Studies demands knowledge and skills in history, textual criticism, anthropology, ethics, philosophy and theology. Thus its omission from any measure which seeks to ensure that pupils receive a genuinely broad education is indefensible.

    16. Religious Studies is popular with pupils. It can contribute to building a more harmonious and integrated society. 80% pupils who studied RS at GCSE level believe it can promote understanding between people with different religions and beliefs. More than 60% said that taking the subject had been a ?positive influence? on them. [3]

    17. It seems that Religious Studies has become a victim of its own success. A*-C pass rates at GCSE are slightly higher for RS (72.7%) than for history (70%) and geography (69.4%). However, 4% more girls take RS than take history or geography and as their pass rate over all subjects is 7% higher than that for boys, one would expect the overall pass rate for RE to be slightly higher. Furthermore, most pupils in schools with a designated religious character are entered for the full course examination, well resourced and taught by specialist teachers. This is naturally reflected in higher exam results.

    from the Catholic Education Service.

    I think these reports are very valuable and we can copy sections from them when providing our students in year 9 with reasons why RE is a good subject to include in their GCSE options. (Assuming we have won the EBacc review and still have a GCSE option for RE.)

    Must fly now. Have a great weekend - and don't forget to send me a pm to discus ways I can support your dept in the last few weeks of term. DMC

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