Storm at changes in study of weather;Letter

2nd April 1999 at 01:00
LAST-minute changes to the draft proposals on the key stage 2 geography curriculum propose that the theme of "weather" is removed from the programme of study while the themes of "water and the landscapes", "settlement" and "environmental change" are all retained.

The proposals are astonishing. The study of weather in the primary school offers genuine opportunities for active learning at a time when such opportunities are at a premium. No thought appears to have been given to the overall place of such learning experiences in the primary curriculum.

Just compare the hands-on potential of weather study with the far more abstract study of settlements. In inner-city schools in particular, where field work activities can be limited, the opportunity to study the weather at first hand is often regarded as a high priority.

It seems incredible that when information communications technology is being promoted as a key element within the broad curriculum, that one of the richest areas of study for the use and application of ICT should be removed from the curriculum.

The weather provides major opportunities for data logging, data handling, spreadsheets, graphing and remote measurement for example using computers to monitor and record temperatures in the local environment.

The Internet is rich with sites related to the weather and in particular the opportunity to observe immediately extremes of weather by use of images transmitted from affected sites is exciting, stimulating and a learning opportunity that should not be missed with primary-aged children.

When the consultation documents arrive it is essential that the QCA is left in no doubt as to the misguided nature of the current proposal.

Steve Harrison Guild House Milton Road Whatley Lancs

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