Lancashire TelegraphLancashire teachers’ despair at new curriculum (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Lancashire teachers’ despair at new curriculum

TEACHERS are in ‘despair’ over the Government’s proposed new curriculum for primary schools, according to a Lancashire union chief.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) held its annual conference in Liverpool last week, with members saying the changes will mean pupils are expected to learn a raft of ‘meaningless’ facts and figures.

However, Helen Sullivan, headteacher at St Peter's RC Primary School in Rossendale, said it was too early to judge the new curriculum and said some aspects of it sounded positive.

She said: “I think the fact there’s more of a focus on basic skills such as grammar is right because standards in general are slipping in terms of daily spoken English.

“Schools also need to be trusted to make their own decisions about what suits their children best, so we’ll wait and see what comes out of it and see how we can adapt for the needs of our children.”

Simon Jones, NUT secretary for Blackburn with Darwen, said: “Teachers really do feel passionately about Michael Gove’s changes to the primary curriculum.

“Many are in despair at the total lack of understanding demonstrated by the Secretary of State about how young children learn.

“Rote learning – a succession of facts and figures – is not only inappropriate but will also be quite meaningless to children.

“What they will be trained to do is remember lists of name, places and numbers.

“What they will not learn is how to think critically or to use any creativity.”

The new curriculum will bring in a series of phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation tests, which could leave many children feeling a failure, Mr Jones added.

The Department for Education said in a statement: “The new curriculum is based on careful analysis of the world’s most successful school systems.

“We are giving schools more freedom over the curriculum and teaching – not less.

“We are reforming the exam system to test deeper cognitive skills such as mathematical problem-solving and extended writing, which are neglected now, but these skills do not exist in a vacuum and depend on solid foundations.”

Comments (15)

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2:56pm Tue 9 Apr 13

Anthony A Cooper says...

Thinking critically and using creativity is fine - but without a basic background of knowledge, difficult to achieve. Pupils may not immediately understand that facts that they learn by rote, especially things like tables, but once learned they stick for life and the understanding comes later. Lack of such basics leads to so many people relying on calculators and nor even realising when their answer is out by a factor of 10, 100 or even a 1000. I belong to a generation when tables, grammar and spelling were drilled into us. Unfortunately, with the emphasis on so-called child-centred education, there are now several generations who lack mathematical and grammatical competence. Thank goodness for headteachers such as Helen Sullivan who can see the positive aspects, unlike local NUT Secretary Simon Jones who appears to have rejected the reforms out of hand. More power to Michael Gove's elbow I say.
Thinking critically and using creativity is fine - but without a basic background of knowledge, difficult to achieve. Pupils may not immediately understand that facts that they learn by rote, especially things like tables, but once learned they stick for life and the understanding comes later. Lack of such basics leads to so many people relying on calculators and nor even realising when their answer is out by a factor of 10, 100 or even a 1000. I belong to a generation when tables, grammar and spelling were drilled into us. Unfortunately, with the emphasis on so-called child-centred education, there are now several generations who lack mathematical and grammatical competence. Thank goodness for headteachers such as Helen Sullivan who can see the positive aspects, unlike local NUT Secretary Simon Jones who appears to have rejected the reforms out of hand. More power to Michael Gove's elbow I say. Anthony A Cooper
  • Score: 2

3:20pm Tue 9 Apr 13

35yearSurrenderMonkeys says...

I prefer the socratic method which promotes creativity and innovation instead of the droning of the times tables whilst looking through the windows. We have gone back to training a room full of accountant monkeys for the money shuffling and banking future. We don't want innovation, we want spellcheckers and number zombies.
I agree with the teacher unions this is a poor decision.
I prefer the socratic method which promotes creativity and innovation instead of the droning of the times tables whilst looking through the windows. We have gone back to training a room full of accountant monkeys for the money shuffling and banking future. We don't want innovation, we want spellcheckers and number zombies. I agree with the teacher unions this is a poor decision. 35yearSurrenderMonkeys
  • Score: -2

3:42pm Tue 9 Apr 13

richard says...

Calculators and computers are tools. Tools are the product of innovation to save us from millennia of laborious, repetitive manual tasks and free up time for creative pursuits, such as creating better tools or little things like writing, music and the arts. If I asked two people to multiply 12 by 12 and one started reciting a table like a parrot while the other typed it into a calculator and gave me the answer in five seconds, I know who I'd rather go with.
Calculators and computers are tools. Tools are the product of innovation to save us from millennia of laborious, repetitive manual tasks and free up time for creative pursuits, such as creating better tools or little things like writing, music and the arts. If I asked two people to multiply 12 by 12 and one started reciting a table like a parrot while the other typed it into a calculator and gave me the answer in five seconds, I know who I'd rather go with. richard
  • Score: 1

5:01pm Tue 9 Apr 13

TONY WALES says...

The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state.

Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people.
You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago
Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.
The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state. Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people. You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you. TONY WALES
  • Score: 1

6:33pm Tue 9 Apr 13

burner says...

. . . " The new curriculum will bring in a series of phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation tests, which could leave many children feeling a failure, " . . . . . . that will be because their role models are their inadequate parents. Who else is to blame for poor speech patterns in the early Primary years ?
. . . " The new curriculum will bring in a series of phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation tests, which could leave many children feeling a failure, " . . . . . . that will be because their role models are their inadequate parents. Who else is to blame for poor speech patterns in the early Primary years ? burner
  • Score: 4

6:41pm Tue 9 Apr 13

35yearSurrenderMonkeys says...

TONY WALES wrote:
The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state.

Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people.
You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago
Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.
High unemployment in 16-25 year olds has nothing to do with education. When they leave school there are no jobs period. Its a good job there are PS3's and xboxes, otherwise you would have civil unrest.
[quote][p][bold]TONY WALES[/bold] wrote: The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state. Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people. You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.[/p][/quote]High unemployment in 16-25 year olds has nothing to do with education. When they leave school there are no jobs period. Its a good job there are PS3's and xboxes, otherwise you would have civil unrest. 35yearSurrenderMonkeys
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Tue 9 Apr 13

TONY WALES says...

35yearSurrenderMonke
ys
wrote:
TONY WALES wrote:
The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state.

Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people.
You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago
Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.
High unemployment in 16-25 year olds has nothing to do with education. When they leave school there are no jobs period. Its a good job there are PS3's and xboxes, otherwise you would have civil unrest.
If the people leaving university were better they would be able to work overseas e.g the USA.

The fact that they don't get jobs abroad is because there are better qualified people to chose from.
While not everybody wants to travel overseas it must be better than watching TV all day.
Also the fact that British firms are getting people to work in IT jobs in London for example proves the point about your education system
These are not the £6 per hour jobs either
[quote][p][bold]35yearSurrenderMonke ys[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TONY WALES[/bold] wrote: The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state. Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people. You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.[/p][/quote]High unemployment in 16-25 year olds has nothing to do with education. When they leave school there are no jobs period. Its a good job there are PS3's and xboxes, otherwise you would have civil unrest.[/p][/quote]If the people leaving university were better they would be able to work overseas e.g the USA. The fact that they don't get jobs abroad is because there are better qualified people to chose from. While not everybody wants to travel overseas it must be better than watching TV all day. Also the fact that British firms are getting people to work in IT jobs in London for example proves the point about your education system These are not the £6 per hour jobs either TONY WALES
  • Score: -1

8:43pm Tue 9 Apr 13

2 for 5p says...

Hey te#chers frightened your going to have to do any work ere we.
Hey te#chers frightened your going to have to do any work ere we. 2 for 5p
  • Score: -1

10:12pm Tue 9 Apr 13

rudis_dad says...

35yearSurrenderMonke
ys
wrote:
TONY WALES wrote:
The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state.

Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people.
You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago
Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.
High unemployment in 16-25 year olds has nothing to do with education. When they leave school there are no jobs period. Its a good job there are PS3's and xboxes, otherwise you would have civil unrest.
Utter rubbish. There are jobs, the fact that young people can't get them is because a) their basic skills such as English and maths aren't up to scratch, and b) because they expect to be handed a decent job with a decent wage straight off the bat without having to work for it. This is what a socialist education system, where no emphasis is placed on competition or being the best, teaches them. Being creative is all well and good yet every youngster that I come across these days has no basic command of English, either written or spoken (and many cannot read properly, either) and cannot perform simple mathematics. I am in my forties and when I was at school, the basics of maths and English we learnt parrot-fashion yet it hasn't stopped me from getting on in the world. I suspect that many of my generation would agree. If you want to be succesful you have to compete and you have to strive to be the very best. Only then will success follow. Our current education system does not teach this to children. There will always be winners and losers, it is a fact of life, but the limp-wristed system that we have now tries to manipulate children into believing that we are all equal, and that the bare minimum is enough. Sadly, neither is true. We are not equal, and only the very best is good enough.
[quote][p][bold]35yearSurrenderMonke ys[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TONY WALES[/bold] wrote: The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state. Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people. You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.[/p][/quote]High unemployment in 16-25 year olds has nothing to do with education. When they leave school there are no jobs period. Its a good job there are PS3's and xboxes, otherwise you would have civil unrest.[/p][/quote]Utter rubbish. There are jobs, the fact that young people can't get them is because a) their basic skills such as English and maths aren't up to scratch, and b) because they expect to be handed a decent job with a decent wage straight off the bat without having to work for it. This is what a socialist education system, where no emphasis is placed on competition or being the best, teaches them. Being creative is all well and good yet every youngster that I come across these days has no basic command of English, either written or spoken (and many cannot read properly, either) and cannot perform simple mathematics. I am in my forties and when I was at school, the basics of maths and English we learnt parrot-fashion yet it hasn't stopped me from getting on in the world. I suspect that many of my generation would agree. If you want to be succesful you have to compete and you have to strive to be the very best. Only then will success follow. Our current education system does not teach this to children. There will always be winners and losers, it is a fact of life, but the limp-wristed system that we have now tries to manipulate children into believing that we are all equal, and that the bare minimum is enough. Sadly, neither is true. We are not equal, and only the very best is good enough. rudis_dad
  • Score: 4

10:28pm Tue 9 Apr 13

Over It says...

The two styles of curriculum are not completely oppositional. The reality is, a skills-based curriculum still requires content, i.e. facts, whilst a purely fact-based curriculum, as Gove is forcing through DESPITE evidence to the contrary from academics in the education field, requires no skill. Without skills such as creativity, there can be no innovation. Gove - who has NO background or training in education - simply intends to create a generation of mindless children, incapable of independent and critical thought, who will not seek to question the ideology of the capitalist Tory party and their agenda.

Apparently this former journalist knows more about education and teaching than anybody who actually understands pedagogy. This is the same man who is giving away schools to his mates and to other unqualified people - such as the 27 year old woman, with no teaching qualifications or experience, who has been given a headship in Pimlico. Do not make the mistake of thinking that these curriculum proposals are based on good practice.
The two styles of curriculum are not completely oppositional. The reality is, a skills-based curriculum still requires content, i.e. facts, whilst a purely fact-based curriculum, as Gove is forcing through DESPITE evidence to the contrary from academics in the education field, requires no skill. Without skills such as creativity, there can be no innovation. Gove - who has NO background or training in education - simply intends to create a generation of mindless children, incapable of independent and critical thought, who will not seek to question the ideology of the capitalist Tory party and their agenda. Apparently this former journalist knows more about education and teaching than anybody who actually understands pedagogy. This is the same man who is giving away schools to his mates and to other unqualified people - such as the 27 year old woman, with no teaching qualifications or experience, who has been given a headship in Pimlico. Do not make the mistake of thinking that these curriculum proposals are based on good practice. Over It
  • Score: 3

10:30pm Tue 9 Apr 13

TONY WALES says...

Thank you for agreeing that the education system of the country is poor compared with other countries.

However the newspapers which I read must have had all the job adverts removed to save paper
Thank you for agreeing that the education system of the country is poor compared with other countries. However the newspapers which I read must have had all the job adverts removed to save paper TONY WALES
  • Score: 2

4:26am Wed 10 Apr 13

Over It says...

With 22684 jobs currently advertised within 20 miles of the town I live in, which is in East Lancs, there is clearly not a shortage of jobs. These are advertised on directgov jobs. The problem is a lack of skill in some cases, and a lack of desire to accept any job - it's far too easy to be choosy and sponge off the state.
With 22684 jobs currently advertised within 20 miles of the town I live in, which is in East Lancs, there is clearly not a shortage of jobs. These are advertised on directgov jobs. The problem is a lack of skill in some cases, and a lack of desire to accept any job - it's far too easy to be choosy and sponge off the state. Over It
  • Score: -1

12:06pm Wed 10 Apr 13

Noiticer says...

Politicians just can't stop tinkering with the curriculum. How many National Curriculums have been introduced in the past twenty-five years - six or seven ? Each time teachers have to spend reinventing the way they teach and gathering resources and purchasing the relevant books and schemes at great expense both in cash and manhours. Each time their enthusiasm is sapped and another generation of children suffer as they become guinea pigs in this politically driven nonsense. In the end the experienced teachers decide to leave the profession as soon as they can which also has a negative effect on the makeup of schools.The same goes for the NHS.
Politicians just can't stop tinkering with the curriculum. How many National Curriculums have been introduced in the past twenty-five years - six or seven ? Each time teachers have to spend reinventing the way they teach and gathering resources and purchasing the relevant books and schemes at great expense both in cash and manhours. Each time their enthusiasm is sapped and another generation of children suffer as they become guinea pigs in this politically driven nonsense. In the end the experienced teachers decide to leave the profession as soon as they can which also has a negative effect on the makeup of schools.The same goes for the NHS. Noiticer
  • Score: 1

2:41pm Wed 10 Apr 13

35yearSurrenderMonkeys says...

TONY WALES wrote:
35yearSurrenderMonke

ys
wrote:
TONY WALES wrote:
The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state.

Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people.
You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago
Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.
High unemployment in 16-25 year olds has nothing to do with education. When they leave school there are no jobs period. Its a good job there are PS3's and xboxes, otherwise you would have civil unrest.
If the people leaving university were better they would be able to work overseas e.g the USA.

The fact that they don't get jobs abroad is because there are better qualified people to chose from.
While not everybody wants to travel overseas it must be better than watching TV all day.
Also the fact that British firms are getting people to work in IT jobs in London for example proves the point about your education system
These are not the £6 per hour jobs either
Rubbish man. Yale and Harvard Universities in the USA teach using the socratic method, google it and you will see, so you are in effect cementing my argument. You are right in saying that teaching is not good enough because we do not use the socratic method enough, and this system is taking us further away from it. So to highlight our failings against other countries is a good point, but the other countries don't teach using parrot drones either, they use the socratic method
The socratic method of learning produces more people considered geniuses than any other teaching method. So why don't we use it like they do in the USA and Australia?
Because they need bean counters instead who will work for £6 an hour.
I have a friend who has a degree in applied mathematics, he serves burgers at the reebok. There are no jobs. Take a look in the jobs section of the telegraph, as you can see its absolutely busting with vacancies isn't it?.
[quote][p][bold]TONY WALES[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]35yearSurrenderMonke ys[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TONY WALES[/bold] wrote: The fact that many employers have a poor opinion of the people leaving school today, and also the very high unemployment rate with 16 to 25 year old people tells me at the education system of this country is in a poor state. Have a look at the education system in Hong Kong, and China and compare the standard of education, and the qualifications of their young people. You can all start blaming each other, but at the end of the day the education system of this country is of a lower quality than 20 or 30 years ago Its the other countries of the world who are turning out good students, and taking your jobs away from you.[/p][/quote]High unemployment in 16-25 year olds has nothing to do with education. When they leave school there are no jobs period. Its a good job there are PS3's and xboxes, otherwise you would have civil unrest.[/p][/quote]If the people leaving university were better they would be able to work overseas e.g the USA. The fact that they don't get jobs abroad is because there are better qualified people to chose from. While not everybody wants to travel overseas it must be better than watching TV all day. Also the fact that British firms are getting people to work in IT jobs in London for example proves the point about your education system These are not the £6 per hour jobs either[/p][/quote]Rubbish man. Yale and Harvard Universities in the USA teach using the socratic method, google it and you will see, so you are in effect cementing my argument. You are right in saying that teaching is not good enough because we do not use the socratic method enough, and this system is taking us further away from it. So to highlight our failings against other countries is a good point, but the other countries don't teach using parrot drones either, they use the socratic method The socratic method of learning produces more people considered geniuses than any other teaching method. So why don't we use it like they do in the USA and Australia? Because they need bean counters instead who will work for £6 an hour. I have a friend who has a degree in applied mathematics, he serves burgers at the reebok. There are no jobs. Take a look in the jobs section of the telegraph, as you can see its absolutely busting with vacancies isn't it?. 35yearSurrenderMonkeys
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Wed 10 Apr 13

itsjaynehere says...

Over It wrote:
With 22684 jobs currently advertised within 20 miles of the town I live in, which is in East Lancs, there is clearly not a shortage of jobs. These are advertised on directgov jobs. The problem is a lack of skill in some cases, and a lack of desire to accept any job - it's far too easy to be choosy and sponge off the state.
Have you read those ads? Obviously not or you wouldn't be so blasé about throwing out those numbers. The filters they use are rubbish to start with - just check locations of posts and you'll soon find less than half are anywhere near Lancashire to start with. After your vacancy number has halved then check contractual hours - even more you will find have "0" hours etc. I could go on but I'm sure my breath is already wasted. By the way, I'm in my 40's with good educational background fully employed with a teenage son on an apprenticeship working over 40hours weekly for pittance and an older son who stacks shelves at Asda as his firm went bust. Thought I'd better state these facts before I was judged to be a lefty dole dosser!
[quote][p][bold]Over It[/bold] wrote: With 22684 jobs currently advertised within 20 miles of the town I live in, which is in East Lancs, there is clearly not a shortage of jobs. These are advertised on directgov jobs. The problem is a lack of skill in some cases, and a lack of desire to accept any job - it's far too easy to be choosy and sponge off the state.[/p][/quote]Have you read those ads? Obviously not or you wouldn't be so blasé about throwing out those numbers. The filters they use are rubbish to start with - just check locations of posts and you'll soon find less than half are anywhere near Lancashire to start with. After your vacancy number has halved then check contractual hours - even more you will find have "0" hours etc. I could go on but I'm sure my breath is already wasted. By the way, I'm in my 40's with good educational background fully employed with a teenage son on an apprenticeship working over 40hours weekly for pittance and an older son who stacks shelves at Asda as his firm went bust. Thought I'd better state these facts before I was judged to be a lefty dole dosser! itsjaynehere
  • Score: 0

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