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The Framework for the National Curriculum


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#1 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:57 AM

It's been released just in time for no teachers to be at work or for most to consider reading it. I've skimmed through their recommendations
They make interesting reading.



Firstly they recommend that History is to remain a NC Foundation subject but with refined and condensed Programmes of Study and minimal or no Attainment Targets

They move on to discuss ATs

Imprecise Attainment Targets and the current abstracted, descriptive 'levels' are of concern since they reduce the clarity of this relationship. We are therefore of the view that Attainment Targets in the presently established level descriptor form should not be retained.
Instead, and consistent with separating 'what is to be taught and learned' from 'statements of standards', we suggest a new approach. Programmes of Study should be stated as discursive statements of purposes, anticipated progression and interconnections within the
knowledge to be acquired, with Attainment Targets being stated as statements of specific learning outcomes related to essential knowledge



Regarding assessment
We have concerns about the ways in which level descriptors are currently used to judge pupil progress. Indeed, we believe that this may actually inhibit the overall performance of our system and undermine learning. For this reason, we suggest a new approach to judging progression that we believe to be, in principle, more educationally sound. We are aware that this has significant implications for assessment and accountability.
Findings from studies of high-performing jurisdictions lead us to make a suggestion to contribute to the debate. These high-performing jurisdictions focus on fewer things in greater depth in primary education. We believe that the focus should be on ensuring that all pupils
have an appropriate understanding of key elements prior to moving to the next body of content i.e. when they are 'ready to progress'. We recommend that resources should be prioritised for pupils who have either fallen behind or are identified as at risk of falling behind the rest of the class. We term this approach 'high expectations for all'

On the Ebacc

66 The EBacc alone is unlikely to achieve the breadth, balance and depth of learning sought as an entitlement for all pupils. For example, in the case of the history curriculum, the statutory Programme of Study would have to end in Year 9 if pupils were to be offered a choice of geography or history in KS4, or a choice of different GCSE history syllabuses. Therefore the problem of 'doing Hitler' repeatedly in secondary education, and excluding much else, could continue.

The full report can be downloaded here

https://www.educatio.../DFE-00135-2011
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#2 Jim Belben

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:16 AM

What did you think of their recommendations or discussion of restructuring key stages and particularly the balance between KS3 and KS4. So much else in secondary education seems to depend on getting this right.


We also believe that there are problems with the structure of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4,
and their interaction with patterns of adolescent development and motivation. The dip in
achievement towards the end of Key Stage 3 is a well-documented phenomenon that is
often attributed to a lack of student engagement and sense of purpose. We have therefore
been considering the benefits of reducing Key Stage 3 to just two years to enable Key Stage
4, and GCSE preparation, to expand to three years in duration and thus provide a higher
quality curriculum. However, whilst we believe a strong case for change can be made, we
have identified significant challenges that would need to be faced. Consultation with others is
necessary before a decision on this can be made. We explore this debate in more detail in
Chapter 5

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#3 JohnDClare

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:57 AM

Haven't tread the report, so gut reactions based solely on what you have said, Dave:

Instead, and consistent with separating 'what is to be taught and learned' from 'statements of standards', we suggest a new approach. Programmes of Study should be stated as discursive statements of purposes, anticipated progression and interconnections within the knowledge to be acquired, with Attainment Targets being stated as statements of specific learning outcomes related to essential knowledge

All a bit opaque.
Is this saying, in effect, that they intend to move from a skills taxonomy to a content-based assessment?

Findings from studies of high-performing jurisdictions lead us to make a suggestion to contribute to the debate. These high-performing jurisdictions focus on fewer things in greater depth in primary education. We believe that the focus should be on ensuring that all pupils have an appropriate understanding of key elements prior to moving to the next body of content i.e. when they are 'ready to progress'. We recommend that resources should be prioritised for pupils who have either fallen behind or are identified as at risk of falling behind the rest of the class. We term this approach 'high expectations for all'

I don't understand this at all; they seem to be suggesting that we go back to the pre-WWII system where you could stay with the infants until you were 14 if you couldn't read. Or is it moving towards an American-style 'summer school' system fpr those who have not done enough to 'progress'? And how might this apply to History - note, again, that it speaks of the 'body of content'.


[i]The EBacc alone is unlikely to achieve the breadth, balance and depth of learning sought as an entitlement for all pupils. For example, in the case of the history curriculum, the statutory Programme of Study would have to end in Year 9 if pupils were to be offered a choice of geography or history in KS4, or a choice of different GCSE history syllabuses. Therefore the problem of 'doing Hitler' repeatedly in secondary education, and excluding much else, could continue.

So? This is remarkably open-ended.


We have therefore been considering the benefits of reducing Key Stage 3 to just two years to enable Key Stage 4, and GCSE preparation, to expand to three years in duration and thus provide a higher quality curriculum

A bit depressing, seeing as many schools which tried the two-year KS3 have found it wanting and are beginning to move back to a 3Yr system involving greater preparation for GCSEs.


PS you are correct - they ALWAYS release these things during the holidays.

#4 Mark H.

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:34 PM

Perhaps part of the new curriculum could be teaching people to write in clear, understandable English. What in heaven's name is a 'high performing jurisdiction' when it's at home? I presume that they mean 'countries that are doing better than us'. If so, why not say that instead of using gobbledegook?
If I have interpreted the surrounding waffle correctly it does look like another blow for knowledge has been struck in the endless skills versus knowledge boxing match. Saints preserve us from the three year GCSE.

Edited by Mark H., 21 December 2011 - 05:18 PM.

In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#5 Gorbash

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 02:42 PM

"4.17 Specifically we recommend that, in addition to existing arrangements, curricular provision in the following subjects should be made statutory at Key Stage 4: geography, history, modern foreign languages (all foundation subjects within the National Curriculum), design and technology and ‘the arts’ (both parts of the Basic Curriculum)."

"4.20 For clarity, we are not proposing that all students follow full GCSE courses in the full range of subjects and topics that we envisage being statutory at Key Stage 4. We recommend that evidence should be collected on whether non-certificated provision (with fewer hours’ timetable allocation per week, for example as provided within the independent sector) would be motivating or de-motivating for pupils. We are aware of contradictory signs on this. We know that some schools and local authorities have established highly motivating out of hours provision in subjects (indicating that well-designed non-certificated programmes can be effective). On the other hand, achieving such engagement can also be extremely challenging for schools in some circumstances. Provision of non-certificated courses could run the risk of undermining attendance policy and stimulating low levels of motivation – weakening the authority of schools and the curriculum."

Now these two bits (above) look interesting....What they're stating is that we'll become a compulsary subject to 16 BUT there'll be no requirement to take a GCSE in the subject. I really do look forward to them figuring out (1) what we'll be expected to teach them and (2) how we'll motivate them if they see History as not being important due to the lack of a GCSE at the end of it!
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#6 Giles Falconer

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 03:26 PM

"4.17 Specifically we recommend that, in addition to existing arrangements, curricular provision in the following subjects should be made statutory at Key Stage 4: geography, history, modern foreign languages (all foundation subjects within the National Curriculum), design and technology and ‘the arts’ (both parts of the Basic Curriculum)."

"4.20 For clarity, we are not proposing that all students follow full GCSE courses in the full range of subjects and topics that we envisage being statutory at Key Stage 4. We recommend that evidence should be collected on whether non-certificated provision (with fewer hours’ timetable allocation per week, for example as provided within the independent sector) would be motivating or de-motivating for pupils. We are aware of contradictory signs on this. We know that some schools and local authorities have established highly motivating out of hours provision in subjects (indicating that well-designed non-certificated programmes can be effective). On the other hand, achieving such engagement can also be extremely challenging for schools in some circumstances. Provision of non-certificated courses could run the risk of undermining attendance policy and stimulating low levels of motivation – weakening the authority of schools and the curriculum."

Now these two bits (above) look interesting....What they're stating is that we'll become a compulsary subject to 16 BUT there'll be no requirement to take a GCSE in the subject. I really do look forward to them figuring out (1) what we'll be expected to teach them and (2) how we'll motivate them if they see History as not being important due to the lack of a GCSE at the end of it!


Yes - I spotted this too; surely the logic is a number of 'half' (or other fractions) of GCSE 'short' courses that will add up to a full GCSE or two - as few will want to teach or learn subjects that have little status because they don't 'count'. This may lead to some sort of modular Humanities by the back door...Not a pleasant prospect for the new year, I feel...

#7 neil mcdonald

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 03:51 PM

RE has been in that format for years. Could be a humanities gcse for all for the sake of doing it and history for the ebacc subjects
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#8 Giles Falconer

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:03 PM

RE has been in that format for years. Could be a humanities gcse for all for the sake of doing it and history for the ebacc subjects


I hope you are right...But I fear it will be Humanities for all and History (plus Geography for that matter) will be relegated to a small, specialist and difficult subject studied only by a select few (like some MFLs and Latin, for example...)

As Historians we are well placed to appreciate the irony if a Conservative dominated government killed off a subject they vociferously support! After all, didn't Mrs Thatcher close the most grammar schools...?

Edited by Giles Falconer, 24 December 2011 - 04:03 PM.


#9 Jenjane

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 12:45 PM

Am I being a bit thick or is most of this stuff contradictory? eg History shouldn't be compulsory, but everyone must learn it up to 16 etc, and some of the bits state that they don't know what the outcomes would be in different schools, therefore,does this mean that there will be another 'discussion' and nothing will change in the inbetween time?
Jane
PS Why can I get a year 7 to write a coherant, analytical piece of work and a government body seems unable to do so? Step away from the thesaurus and use plain English please!

#10 Ed Podesta

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 08:55 AM

I think that there is loads of stuff to welcome in the report, but some really big threats to history as a subject, unless we're on our guard.

I've become, just a little bit obsessed with it over the last few days - as you can see from my more considered blog post here: http://www.onedamnthing.org.uk/?p=836

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

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#11 Giles Falconer

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 11:02 AM

I think that there is loads of stuff to welcome in the report, but some really big threats to history as a subject, unless we're on our guard.

I've become, just a little bit obsessed with it over the last few days - as you can see from my more considered blog post here: http://www.onedamnthing.org.uk/?p=836


A very thoughtful and interesting piece - it deserves a wide readership amongst all those interested in History teaching.

Just one thought - I certainly agree that subjects that aren't 'certificated' lose status - I still shudder at the thought of some 'citizenship' lessons I had to deliver in the 1990s to Years 10 & 11 as part of a PHSE course, and even the 'freedom' to devise one's own content was not enough to make them worthwhile, in my opinion. Given that everyone (students, parents, 'society') is so much more 'results orientated' I can't see 'non-certificated' History as something I'd want to teach, or indeed to see taught... And - if that is what History becomes - where will A Level students and future graduates come from? Almost certainly from independent and selective schools who will, I suspect, be much less likely to take on board this prescription...

#12 Ed Podesta

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:15 PM


I think that there is loads of stuff to welcome in the report, but some really big threats to history as a subject, unless we're on our guard.

I've become, just a little bit obsessed with it over the last few days - as you can see from my more considered blog post here: http://www.onedamnthing.org.uk/?p=836


A very thoughtful and interesting piece - it deserves a wide readership amongst all those interested in History teaching.

Just one thought - I certainly agree that subjects that aren't 'certificated' lose status - I still shudder at the thought of some 'citizenship' lessons I had to deliver in the 1990s to Years 10 & 11 as part of a PHSE course, and even the 'freedom' to devise one's own content was not enough to make them worthwhile, in my opinion. Given that everyone (students, parents, 'society') is so much more 'results orientated' I can't see 'non-certificated' History as something I'd want to teach, or indeed to see taught... And - if that is what History becomes - where will A Level students and future graduates come from? Almost certainly from independent and selective schools who will, I suspect, be much less likely to take on board this prescription...


Thanks Giles, glad you enjoyed reading it.

I certainly share your fears. As head of history I don't think that I'd run non-certified courses. My knee jerk reaction would be to run the short course for most non-option students, and a certificate of some kind (there's a few out there) for those who's inclination or attainment levels suggested that they might not reach the required standard. That said, I bet we could get most non-option kids through a short course at the end of year 11. I'm aware though that history doesn't have the same profile as it does in many other schools, and I think there's a real risk for the subject.

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

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Podestaorguk.1.gif

 


#13 Ms Ali

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 02:11 PM

My knee jerk reaction would be to run the short course for most non-option students, and a certificate of some kind (there's a few out there) for those who's inclination or attainment levels suggested that they might not reach the required standard. That said, I bet we could get most non-option kids through a short course at the end of year 11.


Have I missed something? Has a short course been created/ planned? There hasn't been a short course since the last GCSE review.

#14 Ed Podesta

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 05:26 PM


My knee jerk reaction would be to run the short course for most non-option students, and a certificate of some kind (there's a few out there) for those who's inclination or attainment levels suggested that they might not reach the required standard. That said, I bet we could get most non-option kids through a short course at the end of year 11.


Have I missed something? Has a short course been created/ planned? There hasn't been a short course since the last GCSE review.


I think this one is still going: http://www.ocr.org.u...cse_sc_spec.pdf

Ed.

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

ModernWorldGcseHistory.1.gif

 

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Podestaorguk.1.gif

 


#15 JenniferJames

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:00 AM

I've been looking at short course options and I think the main three exam boards all do them- I'm interested in looking at AQA's 'Media through time' maybe?
Jen





My knee jerk reaction would be to run the short course for most non-option students, and a certificate of some kind (there's a few out there) for those who's inclination or attainment levels suggested that they might not reach the required standard. That said, I bet we could get most non-option kids through a short course at the end of year 11.


Have I missed something? Has a short course been created/ planned? There hasn't been a short course since the last GCSE review.


I think this one is still going: http://www.ocr.org.u...cse_sc_spec.pdf

Ed.






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