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New National Curriculum

Discussion in 'History' started by dasboy, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. If you are an Academy you don't have to teach this durge! So stealth privatisation tactics again. Gove has got a nerve. What are the consequences of not following this PoS?
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Some good ideas on how to respond to this noinsense (from History Teachers' forum):

    I wholly share the desperation expressed by those who have already
    posted but am concerned by the hypothetical nature of the solutions
    offered. We need as a profession to ENSURE this disaster is averted. I
    was in my Principal's office first thing on Friday to discuss strategy.
    Some ideas to start with:
    <ul class="bbcol decimal">[*]Write to your local MP & the constituency MP of your school if they are different. Ask all colleagues to do likewise.[*]Involve pupils and parents. They could sign a petition created
    by the school History Department. (The consultation document claim it
    wants submissions from all sectors)[*]Use a History lesson to ask all students to write a personal letter to Gove & their MP.[*]Everyone register their views at the Historical Association,
    in the Forum as well as the online poll. The forum can clearly identify
    the different contributors so the more negative contributions the
    better.[*]Liaise with colleagues in your area to ensure these types of
    measures are being applied on as wide a scale as possible. My Principal
    is going to ring around the Headteachers in the area and identify me as a
    potential 'co-ordinator' of critics.[*]Contact all of your feeder primaries to encourage a similar
    response. As a parent of a primary school child I am chilled at the
    prospect of my son missing out on high quality 'specialist' teaching of
    crucial issues like the Reformation and Civil War.[*]Contact the Education Select Committe chair, Graham Stuart. graham.stuart.mp@parliament.uk They have already contributed to the demise of some of Gove's plans.[*]Contac Nick Clegg and Stephen Twigg.stephen.twigg.mp@parliament./nick.clegg.mp@parliament.uk[/LIST]
    Sorry if these ideas seem 'prescriptive' but I feel teachers are often a
    little passive and fatalistic. WE MUST ACT NOW. The very nature of our
    discipline is under attack. The advances of the last 30 years could be
    reversed. PLEASE DO SOMETHING EVERYBODY. The consulataion period only
    lasts until April. Good luck.
  3. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren Occasional commenter

    Comment withdrawn. Need some time to think about this.
  4. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Right people, get your thoughts together..... Are you annoyed because you are secondary teachers who face having your curriculum pinched by primary schools, and having to teach something less exciting in its place OR are you a primary teacher upset at having to teach what is normally taught in Y7 and 8? Primary wise this will certainly put a stop to primary teachers picking a period of time just because it ties in with a class topic and a visit to a museum.
  5. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I'm a middle school teacher, upset that my primary colleagues will be forced to trudge through over 1500 years of History, with no particular experience or expertise, and no time left to actually make meaningful connections for children to history that will allow them to foster a love of the subject, to learn the skills of analysis, and to open up to them the exciting world of learning for interest, rather than just ticking boxes.

    I'm also upset that students will reach the end of compulsory history at 14, having not thought about any pre-20th Century history for the last year or two. I'm also upset that some key elements of British history, such as the civil war, the Tudor reformation and the Norman Conquest will have been briefly covered by non-specialists, thus defeating the whole point of a chronological curriculum: no child is going to be able to build on their knowledge of Magna Carta during Secondary school, having only spent 45 minutes talking about it in Year 5.

    And this was a bad thing because...? Frankly, if you're teaching seven-year-olds in Birmingham and your school is near a canal, wouldn't it be for more heinous not to bother teaching about the heyday of canals, because it happens to belong in the KS3 curriculum? What about students in Coventry not bothering to find out about the destruction of their city in WWII? Or students at Michael Faraday primary school not learning about the local Scientist, because he was born after the required periods?

    Primary History absolutely should be about learning local, relevant and topical history. We're not training children to take history degrees; we're teaching them to become educated, informed and responsible citizens.
  6. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    To me this is part of the problem - primary teachers have for too long got away with very wishy washy lessons. Pupils in Y7 have no interest in history whatsoever, no knowledge of key dates or any key events. If history can stop at 14, then these key facts must be taught well before 11 years old. I agree that certainly some of the primary curriculum should be brought across to KS3.
  7. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    And you think this content heavy diet proposed will do that? As a secondary History teacher I'm absolutely certain it will do the reverse, and pupils will be switched off before coming, and won't have learned many of the historical skills we look for either.
    IMHO it would be a disaster for both the study of history and all pupils if this ever gets off the ground.

    For the record I'm with Tafkam re: the approach primary schools should take in what they choose to study.
  8. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    I think History has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Horrible Histories being one - you have children hungry for knowledge and a passion for learning. Some people hate Horrible Histories, some love it, but you can't deny the impact it has had on children 7-11 years old. Ironically the guy who created it will have nothing to do with schools, and disagrees with practically everything they have done with History. But sadly children over the years have done very little history - a bit on Romans, Egypt, Tudors, Victorians and World War I. Nothing comprehensive, often tied in with an art project or some dressing up and role play. Whilst very lovely and creative, children have not been learning the hard facts they crave. You cannot say children will be put off - if they are then tough - we are the teachers and they are the pupils. They learn Maths for 12 years, why not HIstory?
  9. Pupils in year 7 have no interest in History whatsoever.......
    On what are you basing this theory?
  10. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Some children like 'hard facts' , but others, probably most, don't and the chances that, at 14 or 16 or 18 they don't remember much of what they 'learned' as far as facts are concerned (and much of it will be misremembered and factually wrong).
    But a love of history,and basic skills of reading and asking questions - they can be learned and will prove useful to later study of the subject.
    Over 30+ years of parents evenings I can't count the number of parents who have said to me 'how much I wish we learned history the way my son/daughter does - it's so much more interesting than when I was at school' (and remember most of my career has been spent in selective or independent schools).
    That's another question altogether - but we don't have enough hours to teach all subjects for the same amount of time, do we...

  11. Just letting everyone know that I have started an already growing campaign against the proposals on a facebook page 'Save school history' at https://www.facebook.com/SaveSchoolHistory and also on a twitter feed @saveour_history. Hopefully if we can get the numbers we can add to the opposition of the plans so please feel free to contribute. Moderators, I realise this is only one side of the argument but it is certainly reflects the most popular opinion so far so I hope you will let this post stand.
  12. The new content places a lot of emphasis on the twentieth century. We do a two-year Key Stage 3 in my school so I guess that means we will spend year 8 doing the twentieth century, the straight on to GCSE, which is Modern World History - i.e. more twentieth century.
    Anyone see a way of this. I have deep reservations about the bittiness of SHP, too.
  13. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't have said so; it just saves it all up for the end!
    Maybe not, if Gove gets his way?
  14. Hey, maybe you're right. I should just let Govey sort me out!
    On the other hand, if Modern World still exists at GCSE - do you see a way out of my difficulties - and I gues that of may others - in going on to this after two years of deep imersion in modern history as the only experience of the subject kids will have had at secondary school?
  15. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    That we all collaborate to put a stop to this nonsense! That's the only way out I can see.
  16. MrsArmitage

    MrsArmitage Occasional commenter

    Riiiiight. I will remind my year seven students when they are frothing at the gills with excitement when they tell me what they learnt about the Egyptians or Victorians at Primary! No children, you did NOT enjoy history!
  17. Yes, it is true that kids arrive very excited about History because of the briiliant teaching that they have had.
    Don't let them divide us like this!
  18. They're running an online polle: currently 96% say the draft curriculum is a negative change. They seem pretty peeved by the whole thing, so they would be a good conduit for our views.
  19. At the moment primary children most frequently do bits of history that fit in with a topic. This is often fun but in a very essential sense it is not 'learning history' in that they come away with no real sense of the story of the past unfolding. There is a problem with primary history, just because what you have done has been fun it is not adequate if the children are not getting any real sense of the past unfolding. In the same way that having fun with number games will not provide an adequate grounding in maths and the risk of making the subject less fun is not a justification for not really teaching the discipline. Secondary history is often no better in helping children piece together an idea of the past.
    I absolutely agree that the new curriculum has too much content but do feel very sad at the implication that if history is not taught as part of a topic it will be boring. Its not just a minority of children that enjoy a story unfolding.
  20. There is also a problem with the assumption that children don't need so much 'boring' content and that skills are more important. Someone even said that this content based approach would destroy the discipline of history in schools. First children don't necessarily find content boring but there is also a mistaken assumption that one can teach skills as separate from content. An earlier post said we want children to think critically but this is only possible with plenty of knowledge. A child has no problem thinking critically about things they know a lot about (can I believe my little brother) and when they say 'we can believe this source because it is a newspaper' what they lack is not awareness that they should be critical but the KNOWLEDGE that you can't believe everything you read in the paper. We need to teach them lots of knowledge if they are to be able to think critically about anything. There is a vast difference between a superficial judgement using formulaic reasoning and the sort of judgement that has marshalled a wide range of knowledge and brought it to bear in reaching a decision. Teaching the former won't make the child skilled in the latter.

    My problem with the proposed curriculum is there isn't the time to teach anything in any depth and children won't assimilate the detail. There is just far too much stuff to cover.
    The lack of expertise and speed of introduction of this curriculum are real problems but a short term ones. The inability to teach the subject matter through topics simply demonstrates that topic work is not always the best approach for teaching something chronological. Cut the content by about 40% there is just too much of it but even so don't lose sight of the importance of content!

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