Letters extra: curriculum games

5th October 2001 at 01:00

Opt in, opt out, shake the curriculum all about, let's all play the oke koke curriculum game. The latest plan is to allow 12-year-olds to drop history, geography and foreign languages. But only children in "good" schools will be allowed to opt out so that they will not become "disillusioned".

If the school is that good, then why are the children disillusioned? And I hope that by "good" school, we are talking about the teaching.

And why pick on history, geography and modern foreign languages? The plan is to allow children to "concentrate on areas they are interested in". So can they also opt out of science, English and maths if they are more interested in history, geography and foreign languages? Honest, many are, and not only at age 12.

It is argued that the curriculum is overloaded at Key Stage 3. Surely it is the content and assessment of the different subject Orders that causes the overload? So if there is a problem, then why not reduce the content and assessment requirements? That might give subject teachers some flexibility to be a bit more creative instead of just "delivering" the curriculum.

So before we all play party games yet again, can we at least establish some element of clarity and sanity over the rationale for yet more change?

Fred Martin
PGCE geography with ICT tutor,
Bath Spa University College,

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