Monday, 27 October 2008

Cut the clutter and instil a love of learning

Sir Jim Rose, the leader of the Primary Review, is due to make his interim recommendations in the next few weeks. But he has already told the House of Commons seclect committee on children, schools and families that his key goal is to instil a love of learning in children - and increased specialist teaching could help with this.

When asked how creating a more balanced curriculum would square with teaching to the test that is common in Year 6, he answered that the tests were not the only issue. The key, he said, was to create a system that would bring out the best in fast-developing 10 and 11 year olds. He hinted that one of the most important ways to do this would be to bring more specialists into primary schools.

He said: "The problem in Year 6 is more than that [teaching to the test]. It's the dgree of expertise you need to keep up with lively 11 year olds who are on the march to good quality work in secondary. Eleven year olds are terribly underestimated in what they can achieve. If you have a class teacher system hanging on in there, you are asking a lot of the class teacher. Look at what they are capable of in music when they have a specialist teacher or someone in PE who really knows their subject well."

1 comment:

brian_smith said...

You report what Sir Jim said but not what your personal thoughts are (possibly deliberately). I agree with him about lively 11 year olds and specialist teachers being able to introduce some valuable stuff. The trouble is that I'm so passionately opposed to the present system overall. What I seem to see is that "raising standards" means "find some aspect of the Victorian 3Rs that can be counted and then test children to destruction and publish league tables that render schools in fear of their existence". This is supposed to be education for the 21st century. See for the full rant. The reason I mention it is because I've been out of the primary class room for some years now and I wondered how your opinion coincides or differs, compared with mine.
PS I note that you're following me in Twitter so you may already have read the current rant :-)