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Culture killed in results drive

As headteacher of a challenging and improving school, I am concerned at the continual drive to improve pupil performance. We are now fast approaching the situation where much of the joy of teaching has been removed.

Children have become "vessels" that must be filled with knowledge. Even when they are only partially full, we must test, monitor, give targets and plan for learning outcomes.

Children now have a scant knowledge of English history, the battles of long ago are not taught, let alone remembered. Capital cities, rivers, knowledge of hills and counties are lost in an attempt to provide literacy and numeracy skills. Other countries value their history and culture, why don't we?

Until there is a return to allowing heads and staff the opportunity to plan, deliver and evaluate the curriculum, then progress will be limited.

Many of our behavioural problems would be addressed if more time could be given to developing sport skills alongside art, music, dance or drama. Am I alone in thinking this, or are we now all conditioned into thinking that it is only results that count?

Richard Maudsley


Whitings Hill primary

Barnet, Hertfordshire

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