Small-school curriculum fear dismissed

24th March 1995 at 00:00
Policy-makers' worries that small primary schools will not be able to offer junior pupils the full curriculum do not seem warranted, say researchers from York University.

Graham Vulliamy and Rosemary Webb found that, compared with medium and large schools, "there were relatively more innovative examples of experimentation with specialist teaching within the small schools". This was made easier by their more generous and flexible staffing - for instance, more part-timers could be employed.

Writing in Educational Review about a study funded by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, they say the advantages of small schools include greater opportunities for innovative curriculum work and classroom organisation arising from more flexible staffing strategies; the likelihood of strong and realistic curriculum planning and leadership of teaching heads; and the greater ease of assessing pupils' in situations where all the staff know all the pupils.

They add that those concerned about the curriculum in small schools make unwarranted assumptions about the nature of larger primaries.

"Our research demonstrates that the class-teacher system is still overwhelmingly dominant throughout key stage 2. Thus, whether or not a pupil receives an appropriately broad and in-depth curriculum depends more on the characteristics of individual teachers than on the size of the school."

The national curriculum in small primary schools, Educational Review, Volume 47, number 1.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now