History? It's just so dated

12th December 2003 at 00:00
Martin Roberts of the Historical Association suggests a combined history and geography GCSE could replace citizenship ("Joint exam plan to save subjects", TES, November 28). Is this the death rattle of lost national curriculum subjects?

Martin is living in the past; citizenship is a "vital" subject that is evolving into the curricular core of forward-thinking schools. Far from being the "political literacy" some thought it should be citizenship is proving to be a versatile and vibrant subject that is challenging our pupils.

As for a combined history and geography exam, it's been tried before. Hands up if you remember integrated humanities? As I remember, it had at best a mixed success.

OCR is one of the exam boards that has embraced citizenship and the indications from the pilot are encouraging. Participant schools are pleased with the grades being achieved by their students and the board is excited by the growth of the GCSE (short course) in citizenship studies.

Let yesterday's men rattle their sabres, but keep their hands off the curriculum jewel that citizenship is set to become.

David Marsh

Head of lifeskills faculty

Littlehampton community school, Moderator for GCSE citizenship, Co-author, Citizenship studies for GCSE (Hodder), 31 Frobisher Way, Rustington, East Sussex

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