Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
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Many thanks for your understanding.
In a pressured curriculum, where the development of literacy is a high priority, there will be better ways of teaching writing and our findings suggest that the teaching of sentence combining may be one of the more effective approaches
How has the curriculum become more pressured than it used to be? Could it be due to the teaching weeks lost to exams, and because increased bureaucracy means that teachers have to be given ten percent ‘non-contact’ time?
Primary schools should return to a basic system of studying Maths and English for at least ninety minutes each every morning (9am to 12.30pm, allowing for breaks), and then having a series of different subjects for around two hours in the afternoons (1.30pm to 3.30pm) – The Arts, History, Geography, Science, and Games. Exams should be taken at the end of the Michaelmas and Summer terms (external exams where necessary, internal exams at other times).
The exams should determine into which group each child should be placed, so that one stream could have more challenging exercises and accelerated learning covering much wider topics than those required to pass public examinations, whilst others could cover the basics at a slower pace.
What’s difficult about that system? It worked for me, there was plenty of time to teach grammar, and there was no feeling of a ‘pressured curriculum’.