Eclipse of history is not new to our primaries

3rd September 2004 at 01:00
Your report on Professor David Nicholls ("Dark age for history looms", TES, August 13) actually shows yet again the limitations of the Government's curricular thinking, its obsession with targets and its refusal to recognise any consequent diffraction in school policies.

Secondary-school heads of history will, I fear, be able to join primary headteachers and history co-ordinators who unhappily saw this period of curricular eclipse some while ago.

Note, though, that at the same time politicians claim they wish pupils to become engaged citizens, to access culture and to appreciate rights and responsibilities.

History is likely to be a central element in access to any such rich curriculum.

The Government needs, for a change, to take the long view and realise the importance of children accessing "the big ideas".

This is hardly the richest period of our curriculum history. Admiration for David Nicholls' warnings can only be joined with weary irritation: as the long view is likely to be yet again ignored.

Roy Hughes

Chair

The Historical Association Primary Committee

1 Greenside Avenue

Frodsham

Cheshire

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