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Moved from England

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by ACRoss, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Just moved back from teaching primary in England for last 3 years. Getting to grips with CfE again (was beginning to be introduced before I left) starting with a P6 class next week.
    Finding the experiences and outcomes quite vague especially in comparision to the very prescribed curriculum guidelines still used in the places that I taught down south. What I'm really wanting to know is how much of each curriculum area should be taught.
    Are there any guidelines as to how much of each curriculum area should be taught? If so, where are they?
     
  2. Just moved back from teaching primary in England for last 3 years. Getting to grips with CfE again (was beginning to be introduced before I left) starting with a P6 class next week.
    Finding the experiences and outcomes quite vague especially in comparision to the very prescribed curriculum guidelines still used in the places that I taught down south. What I'm really wanting to know is how much of each curriculum area should be taught.
    Are there any guidelines as to how much of each curriculum area should be taught? If so, where are they?
     
  3. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    It's good to see primary schools liaising closely with their associated secondary / secondaries.
    However, if primary teachers need someone with a specialist science qualification to unpick some of the Es and Os in primary school science, it does raise some interesting questions about the nature of science teaching in the primary school.
    If it requires the expertise of a qualified science teacher, why do we not have science specialists in primary schools? Presumably, because that would be too expensive.
    In the original 5-14 Guidelines, science was included in the Environmental Studies document that was largely written by secondary specialists of History, Geography, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. It was so wide-ranging and unmanageable, a primary adviser (NH) was given the task of slimming it down to something primary teachers could actually teach within the school week.
    Eventually, however, the powers-that-be decided that science should have its own document within the already overloaded 5-14 Guidelines. For some reason they seemed to believe that a single primary teacher should be able to teach all the subjects provided by an array of secondary subject specialists, albeit at a 'more basic' level and with 'support'.
    It is, of course, a complete nonsense. There are subjects, such as music, science, MFL, PE etc where you need a properly trained specialist to teach the subject effectively. Unfortunately, the Scottish Government want everything on the cheap.
    Ad hoc arrangements whereby secondary specialists help primary colleagues make sense of what is required may help but that does not provide consistency across LAs and schools and, as has been suggested, secondary specialists have too many changing timetable commitments to make such liaison a long-term solution.
    Of course, science has always had a part to play in a child's experience since compulsory primary education was established in the late 19th century. There was 'Nature Study' and the development of an interest in the world around them. Children did 'experiments' to find out which objects floated, they built simple electrical circuits, they did projects with a scientific approach such as pond-dipping and they went out into the environment on field trips to museums, zoos, farms etc.
    That was primary science in action, at a level appropriate to younger children, without clogging up the curriculum and detracting from the time spent on other important areas such as literacy and numeracy.
    In short, I believe the curriculum planners can't make up their minds about the purpose of primary education. They intrinsically believe that it should be holistic in nature, particularly at the early stages, with different curricular areas woven seamlessly together but, at the same time, they want to prescribe the experiences and outcomes that primary teachers should artificially engineer so that pupils acquire specialist knowledge in discrete areas of the curriculum.
    Of course, it could be that the Curriculum for Excellence is deliberately intended to be vague in order to blur the distinction between generalist primary, and specialist secondary, education so that financial savings can be made at every stage of school education.
    In which case, a CfE is not a genuine curriculum for the purposes of improving education but simply an 'excellent', if misguided, way to reduce costs.
     
  4. And you were expecting from "Education" Scotland---what exactly? Something remotely helpful? Hasn't anyone told you that they do nothing but....well, they do nothing. They have a very fancy website, and that''s pretty much it. They serve no purpose whatsover beyond promoting and ensuring their own existence, which happens to be very expensive for taxpayers, but no-one minds. Political favourites have to be put out to grass somewhere.
     
  5. NAIL. HEAD. WHACK. Bravo, fly.
     

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