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Is the curriculum fit for purpose?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by andygoodeve, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. andygoodeve

    andygoodeve New commenter

    I seem to be bombarded with intervention groups. the poor pupils just seem to be having a diet of Maths and English. Is this really making these pupils ready for future life. It does worry me. How many staff in schools still remember these ideals? The curriculum should be one which is 'balanced, and broadly based, which promotes the spiritual, moral, mental, and physical development of pupils at the school, and of society, and prepares such pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of adult and working life' – DES. (1988).
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  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    1988?????? 30 years ago???????
    Why on earth would any country want the same ideals for education now as it did then?
    The world has moved on and let's hope education has moved with it!
    Who is bombarding you with these groups? What role do you have that sends these groups to you?
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  3. pedchamp

    pedchamp New commenter

    Surely there can't be that many intervention groups going on in the school.
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  4. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Oh yes there can. There are loads at one of my schools. Pupils are kept out of whole school music assemblies. This is wrong as they are being deprived of an exposure to music, which should be important, but sadly, obviously isn't. Last week there were only 6 year 6 children in ,out of a class of 30.The rest were doing small group intervention work.

    "The curriculum should be one which is 'balanced, and broadly based, which promotes the spiritual, moral, mental, and physical development of pupils at the school, and of society, and prepares such pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of adult and working life".
    This is just as relevant today as it was in 1988.-with emphasis on "balanced".
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
    guinnesspuss, TEA2111 and WelshMags like this.
  5. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    But sadly it hasn't.
    guinnesspuss and WelshMags like this.
  6. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I started teaching in the 80s. It was fun. No fun now, just targets, testing and stressed children.
  7. WelshMags

    WelshMags New commenter

    Yes I remember them (started teaching in 1983) and teaching in Y6 this year I feel really sorry for the children. They are not getting a broad and balanced curriculum because subjects like music, French and anything creative is squeezed out by the need to prepare them for SATS. The education system has not moved on thanks to government ministers who have no knowledge of how children learn. Data rules and teachers are not treated as professionals. I think it's gone downhill in the last 5 years. Before that there was a huge impact made on music education in primary schools through the Sing Up initiative and whole school instrumental teaching. The Tories soon scuppered that by removing funding, so it will be back to the privileged few benefiting from an all round education or those in schools lucky enough to have a head teacher who values the arts enough to fight for them.
  8. pedchamp

    pedchamp New commenter

    I suppose it depends what is at the heart of a school. It takes guts for school leaders to think long term, always worried about the next set of test results and the impending Ofsted. Sometimes need to think of pupils as humans rather than statistics. To engage and motivate pupils you need an engaging cross curricular curriculum where subject skills have a purpose. Single subject intervention groups have limited impact, especially engagement. They tend to be a default. Even worse when pupils are spending great quantities of the week sitting tests, unless it provides information for future teaching. the worst case scenario is if schools test pupils to try and eventually get a different result. Maybe schools need to look at the cross curricular English and Maths links that could be extracted from subjects like PE and Science.
    Inspirit, efm and TEA2111 like this.
  9. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    More like "Are Headteachers fit for purpose?"

    Same thing in my school. There is a constant stream of kids being dragged out for interventions with TAs or the PP person. They are out for 20 minutes then come back into the middle of a lesson for which they missed the main input.

    These tend to be the LA kids who love subjects like PE and Art, but yet again, they are dragged out in the afternoons to "catch up" with whatever lessons they had in the morning (despite the fact that they missed 20 minutes of that because of Intervention 1!)

    These kids just end up clock watching, counting down the minutes till lunch time or home time. They can't wait to get out of school at the end of the day. Bit like their teachers.
  10. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I agree. The removal of children for some interventions actually causes more harm than good, in my opinion.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  11. johnhendrickse

    johnhendrickse New commenter

    Hey everyone, I really am intrigued with the discussion that you are having here and I feel that I can add to this discussion with some insights that I have learned from a course I am taking called 'Integrated Planning, Assessment and Instruction'.

    I have found that the curriculum can be viewed differently by different people and our instruction and assessment is a result of the historical and ideological conceptions. The 'why' behind how schools function results in the how a school runs.

    The idea of the removal of children from classrooms I believe stems from 'individualism' and the idea that each student learns different. I feel that there the conflict that has arisen from conflicting viewpoints of what the role of education should be.

    You wrote:

    "The curriculum should be one which is 'balanced, and broadly based, which promotes the spiritual, moral, mental, and physical development of pupils at the school, and of society, and prepares such pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of adult and working life'– DES. (1988).

    Although I agree with some of this it exempts the role of education in transmitting culture and creating citizens who are critical of the laws that they follow. It also does not concern itself with how an educator is able to plan and assess students in a way that promotes this balance and at the same time prepare students for real-world situations.

    To find out more about what I have been learning in my course please check this out: http://teachingedu.weebly.com/module-2-philosphies.html

    I look forward to reading your responses.
  12. efm

    efm New commenter

    Yes and track back your intervention kids over their time at school. Probably the same kids, for the same subject/issues - year in, year out. Intervention of this nature is clearly ineffective. Let's take children who are already struggling to learn/ focus out of the classroom and throw them back in half way through the lesson :(

    In order to prepare them for the future, we need to ensure they like school. That way they have a chance of embracing the next stage of their education.
    Inspirit, TEA2111 and sparklepig2002 like this.
  13. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    even worse is that there is plenty of evidence that learning music improves Mathematical thinking significantly.
    The there is all the evidence about physical activity improving brain activity
    and of course, the historical evidence that hot housing approaches as practiced by the Japanese results in increased rates of suicide among children and young people.
    then again, we often remove pupils from the only lesson where they ever gain success to make them spend even more time doing the subject that they are learning to hate
    Inspirit and efm like this.
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I've been teaching 23 years and I don't think it is fit for purpose. I think for many of the children it is too hard and the steps (especially in maths) are too broad. This might explain the rise in intervention groups. Also there is less money, so more children with SEND are being put in mainstream school where they are unable to access the curriculum and then the help that may have been available in the form of a TA is being used for these children instead of the children that can access but need support. Finally it is not fit for purpose because it has been designed by a ***** who had a grammar school education in a world before decimalisation. Do children really need to know up to 12x12? It was only taught in the past because it helped with our measures system. Is spelling, handwriting and written calculation as relevant now in the world of technology? I'm not saying I don't think teaching these skills is important but I think there is far too much emphasis on a diet of maths and English and too much pressure for kids who are not 'average' to become 'average' Average by mathematical definition means 75% are average or above. Yet schools in the future will have floor standards of 85%? How does that equate?
    tobyn3 likes this.
  15. onmyknees

    onmyknees Established commenter

    The curriculum has become more rigid, boring, irrelevant, difficult, dry...... I could go on. I think education is in the most terrible state I have ever seen it. I'm so thankful that I taught in the 70's and 80's, when teachers were trusted. We had such fun and the children learnt! In my current role I work in lots of classes across the key stages. The teachers look bored, the children look bored; and the behaviour that I am asked to manage is a direct result of a curriculum that is unfit for purpose.
    sparklepig2002 and guinnesspuss like this.

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