Michael Rosen sums up where the UK education system is at… Grainy video, but worth your time.
I’d like to have been in the audience to hear this…
Speaking at the Telegraph Hay Festival, Prof Schama — who acknowledged his own contribution to the plans — said that the syllabus was like “1066 and All That, but without the jokes”.
“This is a document written by people who have never sat and taught 12-year-olds in a classroom,” he told an audience of teachers. “None of you should sign up to it until we trap Michael Gove in a classroom and tell him to get on with it.
“You want to say to him, ‘Let’s go into a class of nine-year-olds and do the kingdom of Mercia with them. I would love to see how you would do that’.”
Happening in my own backyard, so to speak.
An academy running four schools is paying its US parent company £100,000 a year to use its patented global curriculum, which has been criticised by Ofsted for lacking a “local” focus.
Aurora Academies Trust insists that the Paragon curriculum is transforming the fortunes of the primary schools in East Sussex. But unions and local Labour activists question whether the licensing deal represents the first step in plans to allow private companies to run schools for profit….
Aurora pays Mosaica £100 per pupil per year in royalties to use its curriculum. There are about 1,000 children at the four schools, meaning Mosaica receives about £100,000 a year from the arrangement.
Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, writing in the Telegraph about the need for an increased awareness of the riches available in contemporary young adult literature:
The way forward is to remove the barriers between teenage fiction and the classics, to acknowledge that both have their role in encouraging reading for pleasure, and that those roles may overlap. The national curriculum today gives great leeway in choosing the books that are to be studied, but what that tends to mean is that the selection now falls not to examiners or ministers, nor to pupils, but to their teachers.
To make the most of these freedoms, teachers need to know about teenage writing. They must seize on the work of a new generation of writers for teenagers as a priceless teaching resource. Sadly, the Times Education Supplement’s recent survey of teachers’ top 100 books suggests that their knowledge of new writing is patchy. To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men remain the unimaginative staple diet for many.
This is where school librarians need to come to the curriculum’s rescue. As schools’ resident book experts, school librarians have never been so important as they will be in the next 18 months, as teachers look for support in finding the books that will teach the new curriculum.
The resources we have to inspire young people’s reading are greater and more profound than ever before. If we make the most of them, the results will be extraordinary for individuals and for society. And for the disadvantaged young people the NLT works with, reading is no less than a lifeline.