Overloading must mean omissions;Letter

16th January 1998 at 00:00
My deputy head and I have been discussing the overloaded curriculum for primary schools. We have been looking at the teaching time available each day, and are trying to find a way of fitting in all the subjects to include the literacy and numeracy hours. We have come to the conclusion that we find it impossible to fit the whole primary national curriculum into the timetable.

Many other schools feel as we do, and we need our advisers and the Office for Standards in Education to understand the struggle we are having, in order to deliver the complete national curriculum effectively. I feel it would be more sensible to teach less, and to concentrate on the more important areas, which would contribute to raising standards in maths and literacy. The Government needs to understand the difficulties, and cut down the amount of work to be covered in subjects such as history, geography, science.

I am discussing my concerns with my governing body, as I need their support in making our school decisions on the areas to omit. Primary schools cannot cover everything. I want the children here to receive a high quality education. I am in full support of the literacy and numeracy hours, and feel it is a worthwhile and important initiative to spend more time on these important subjects in primary schools. We must help all children to achieve high standards, especially in these subjects, in preparation for secondary education and adult life.

To omit some areas of the national curriculum is not a decision I take easily, but I cannot see any other way round the problem. We have lengthened our school day, streamlined assembly time, we plan registration time to incorporate some skills reinforcement work, and we stick rigidly to the exact playtimes and so on. We have written our own schemes of work, in termly blocks. These are then incorporated into weekly plans. But we cannot fit everything in. And I know there are many other schools in the same situation.


Sedlescombe C of E primary school

Brede Lane



East Sussex

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