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“Working and learning together to improve children’s lives”

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Starting points for the new rich curriculum

Posted 25/1/2019

Although the national curriculum was introduced in 2014 it has not been fully implemented in many primary schools. The curriculum was introduced to create a curriculum that had less content, but should ensure pupils’ know more essential knowledge in each subject. This new curriculum was closely aligned to the knowledge rich educational system that is the model found in many high performing countries in the international Pisa League.

The implementation of the curriculum for foundation subjects is particularly variable because approaches to teaching and learning are often still following predominantly skills-based lessons with a large range of activities to create stimulating pupil engagement. As a consequence, the wide range of activities inevitably distract pupils from their learning and knowledge acquisition is a low priority. For many teachers this is their default teaching approach that was embedded in their initial teaching training.

Developing a knowledge rich pedagogy has to overcome many long-held views about the characteristics of good teaching. To change long-standing views on the characteristics of effective teaching strategies requires open discussions on what recent research tells us supports knowledge acquisition and helps pupils to remember more.

 A good starting point for colleagues is to read Peps book Memorable Teaching. The book is very readable with links to supporting research and it particularly focuses on avoiding distractions in lessons. The use of the text provides an invaluable stimulus for discussions with colleagues and the YouTube link shows a video of a talk by Pep on distractions in lessons which is a good resource for staff meetings. 

Please click here for the link.

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