National Curriculum Review

Back-to-basics

Michael Gove launched his review of the national curriculum this week with a focus firmly on the need for learning ‘facts’. He claims that there is currently too much attention paid to teaching methods rather than subject content. However he is ‘not going to be coming up with any prescriptive lists’ for teachers … he just thinks ‘there should be facts’ to equip students for the ‘knowledge industries of the future.’

Mr Gove also says that the new national curriculum should ’embody for all children in England their cultural and scientific inheritance, enhance their understanding of the world around them and introduce them to the best that has been thought and written.’

Concerns have been expressed by opponents to the review who worry that proposals will subject children to a ‘1950s-style curriculum.’ Mary Boustead, general secretary of ATL, warns that ‘subjects and skills taught in schools should not be based on ministers’ pet interests.’

Gove stresses ‘facts’ in school curriculum revamp (BBC)

National curriculum review puts emphasis on facts (The Guardian)

School curriculum gets back to facts and figures (The Independent)

School history gets the TV treatment

Michael Gove is bringing in celebrities to revamp school history teaching. That’s not what’s needed, says James Vernon.

Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, a sculpture by Yinka Shonibare installed on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, reflects the importance of history to our identity. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Michael Gove’s appointment of Simon Schama to restructure history teaching in  schools offers a little reassurance that it is now acknowledged there is some public value to the teaching of history, despite the removal of funding for it at university level.

Read more