Review of the Primary Curriculum in England

Date: 30.04.09
Review of the primary curriculum by Sir Jim Rose for DCSF and Voice’s response.
 

Voice press release: 30 April 2009

Voice welcomes Rose Primary Review

Voice: the union for education professionals has welcomed the main findings of the Review of the Primary Curriculum published today (30 April 2009)

General Secretary Philip Parkin said: "Voice will study the report in detail but, as with the interim report in December, we would welcome a broader curriculum with a more flexible approach to learning. 

"A move away from the current, sometimes prescriptive, subject-based teaching could offer much more flexible and engaging ways of teaching and learning. However, today’s teachers – trained to deliver discrete curriculum subjects – would need considerable retraining to move to this method. 

"In many cases, given the current school starting age, allowing a September start to school for younger pupils could be helpful – provided that they have an appropriate play-based, experiential curriculum. We are very concerned about children beginning a formal academic education too early in order to satisfy the demands of an inappropriate testing regime. Children are individuals and vary greatly in their academic development and readiness for formal learning.  A later start to formal education remains our preferred option.    

"The emphasis on technology in the report is welcome. Computers and Internet access are essential tools that define how we learn, communicate and work.  

"However, I remain concerned about the possible effects of wi-fi networks in schools. Voice is advocating a precautionary approach – that new wi-fi systems should not be installed and that existing systems should be turned off when not required. 

"Primary/infant/nursery schools in particular should consider whether they need and should retain such systems if they already have them, and should consider hard-wired alternatives wherever possible. 

"Wi-fi should really be for adults to access the Internet on the move rather than as a convenient alternative to cables in dedicated IT facilities. Serious and sustained scientific research is needed to establish conclusive facts about the potential long-term effects on children." 


Further information:

Details of Voice’s wi-fi campaign can be found at www.voicetheunion.org.uk/wifi

Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum in England: www.dcsf.gov.uk/primarycurriculumreview

DCSF press notice (30 April 2009)


Contact:

Voice Press Office

Email: pressoffice@voicetheunion.org.uk

Voice General Secretary Philip Parkin

Email: philipparkin@voicetheunion.org.uk

Tel:  01332 372 337.



 

Voice press release: 08 December 2008

Statement on primary curriculum interim report

Voice the union for education professionals has welcomed the publication of Sir Jim Rose’s interim report on the primary curriculum published today (8 December 2008).

General Secretary Philip Parkin said: "Voice will study the report in detail, but we welcome the proposals for a broader curriculum with a more flexible approach to learning and the emphasis on the importance of play in children’s development.

"I am also pleased that the review looks at how more space could be made within the timetable – something new initiatives and bolt-on subject additions to the curriculum often fail to do.

"However, there is an element of ’what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun’ about the ’broad areas of learning’ idea.  When I was a primary school teacher, I received training in implementing a thematic approach in primary schools in the 1970s! 

"A move away from the current, sometimes prescriptive, subject-based teaching could offer much more flexible and engaging ways of teaching and learning, but today’s teachers will need considerable retraining to move to this method. 

"For recent generations of teachers who have been trained to deliver discrete curriculum subjects, this would be significant departure from their usual practice and the Government would need to invest considerably in training, time and resources to ensure the success of such a major overhaul of the system. 

"Teachers would also need to implement rigorous planning regimes to ensure that all areas of the curriculum were covered. 

"In reality, a move away from a prescriptive curriculum could be a challenge while schools have to remain focused on Key Stage 2 SATs and the accompanying league tables.   

"Schools are having to take on more and more responsibility for children’s well-being and this is emphasised in the review, but we must recognise that good practice in this area is already undertaken in many schools. 

"Allowing a part-time start to school for younger pupils could be a useful innovation provided that an appropriate play-based, experiential curriculum is in place to meet their needs. We do have considerable concerns about children beginning a formal academic education at too early an age in order to satisfy the demands of an inappropriate testing regime. Children are individuals and vary greatly in their academic development and readiness for formal learning." 

"Learning to love education" (ePolitix comment, 10 February 2009)


Further information

DCSF press notice. 8 December 2008

Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum in England: www.dcsf.gov.uk/primarycurriculumreview

Download a copy of the report from TeacherNet.

Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum in England

Further details of the review of the primary curriculum by Sir Jim Rose for DCSF:

www.dcsf.gov.uk/primarycurriculumreview

Timeline

The Review began in the spring term 2008. An interim report was published December 2008 and the final report is due by the end of March 2009.

This will allow time for ministers to consider and consult on the recommendations of the Review, so that a revised primary curriculum can be introduced from September 2011.

Evidence

The Review’s first call for evidence closed on 30 April 2008; an analysis of the responses is available. A second call for evidence will be made after the interim report has been published. 

www.dcsf.gov.uk/primarycurriculumreview


Contact:

Voice Press Office

Email: pressoffice@voicetheunion.org.uk

Voice General Secretary Philip Parkin

Email: philipparkin@voicetheunion.org.uk

Tel:  01332 372 337.