If the recent media coverage of the new primary school assessment and testing arrangements are anything to go by you would think that primary schools are pretty horrible places to be right now.
On Friday afternoon I had the pleasure of visiting Grassmoor Primary School in Chesterfield and I wanted to share some of what I saw.
The Department for Education (DfE) recently sneaked out an announcement (hidden in a consultation), that GCSE and A level ICT will be axed.
Stanley Park High recently hosted a visit for ATL members. In my last blog, I explained about their Excellent Futures Curriculum, and the pupil-led graduation ceremony that we observed.
Every week we see headlines decrying the crisis of skills teaching in our schools, the gist: our schools fail to prepare our children for the world of work. John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said recently: “Businesses feel very strongly that the education system must better prepare young people for life outside the school gates, or risk wasting their talents.
For many children in this country starting secondary school can be a pivotal moment. The TES recently reported the following: “A range of studies over the past 20 years has shown that about two out of five pupils fail to make progress on standardised tests of English, mathematics and reading by the end of their first year in secondary school.”
Ken Robinson, one of the most influential and inspiring voices in education, entitled his 2009 book ‘The Element: how finding your passion changes everything’.
The Curriculum is more than simply facts and figures arranged into subjects; as Dylan William has stated “The National Curriculum is the intended curriculum which then gives rise to the implemented curriculum. Neither are the real or enacted curriculum, the daily lived experience of young people in classrooms; curriculum is pedagogy.”
The mood at Stanley Park High is a happy one, in which all students and staff are united in joint purpose – learning. The students were engaged in their lessons and moved around the school in a calm yet purposeful manner. They are proud of their work, keen to do well and have true respect for their teachers.
ATL wants a broad, balanced curriculum which prepares young people for life. Here are three principles that should underpin a curriculum and assessment system.