Curriculum that constricts

10th May 1996 at 01:00
Being confident or familiar with the national curriculum does not make one a good teacher ("Arresting exercises for the weaker sex", TES Curriculum Update, April 26). Effective and inspiring teachers create stimulating classroom environments and plan age-appropriate, exciting learning experiences for their pupils, all of which include listening, thinking, speaking, reading and writing.

Prior to the national curriculum, good and less good teachers had more time. They did not have to spend it ensuring that the activities they planned fitted into an imposed framework and even more time on unnecessary testing. Post-national curriculum, the effectiveness of good teachers is being challenged by these extra tasks and less good teachers remain, I suspect, "less good" by spending all their time "delivering" a statutorily-imposed curriculum in an unimaginative way.

A system which saps teacher confidence and challenges their professionalism will not promote learning in either teachers or pupils.

My mother taught me to make bread. I have made beautiful bread for years. I use no written recipe. If someone were to insist that I follow a written recipe, the bread would not be the same.

DIANA BAUR Queen's Park school Queens Road Oswestry Shropshire

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