A step forward;Leading Article;Opinion;News and opinion

26th November 1999 at 00:00
THE NEW curriculum document may not be the radical slim-down so many teachers hoped for, but it still represents a real step forward. It aims to clarify the purpose of the whole curriculum and -- particularly with the advent of citizenship -- focus more effectively on how young people should be prepared for adult life.

In a subject-centred system, this holistic approach is never going to be easy, especially at secondary level. The structure of many secondaries, based on strong subject departments headed by competing or even warring leaders, can make focusing on the overall curriculum exceptionally difficult.

The emphasis, increasingly, is on the needs of pupils. The shift towards more flexibility at key stage 4, where the full curriculum can be "disapplied" for individual students, is very welcome. But we still need a well-thought-out basic entitlement for the years between 14 and 18, combined with a wide range of options (including training and work experience) catering for the interests and ambitions of individuals. Human beings are in many ways the same, but also infinitely various. Cliche this may be, but our school curriculum has not yet fully got to grips with it.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now