All 31 entries tagged 14-19 Curriculum

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March 13, 2011

OFSTED publishes review of History teaching in schools

Writing about web page http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Publications-and-research/Browse-all-by/Documents-by-type/Thematic-reports/History-for-all

Ofsted has published its review of History teaching in schools based on inspections from 2007-10. The picture is generally a positive one, particularly in secondary schools, with good teaching and rising attainment.

However there are some concerns for Higher Education. The number of Academies teaching History beyond Key Stage 3 is declining whilst 48 per cent of pupils in Independent Schools study the subject beyond the age of 14. Reliance on text books (often published by the examination boards) is also noted as an issue. The key recommendations for secondary school history teaching were to: 

  • ensure that pupils have a greater understanding of the history of the interrelationships of the different countries which comprise the British Isles
  • ensure that technology is exploited to best effect in the teaching and learning of history
  • ensure that sixth form history students read widely in preparation for the demands of higher education.

February 09, 2011

History and the National Curriculum

In order to allay concerns about the forthcoming review of the National Curriculum and its relationship to teaching in schools, the Historical Association have issued the following statement:

The National Curriculum Review and History

In January the Secretary of State for Education announced a review of the National Curriculum in England, which includes a review of history. There have been many reports and rumours about the content and format for the revised history curriculum. The Historical Association (HA) would like to take this opportunity to clear up any confusion, explain what will be happening over the coming months, and explain what it is doing at this time.

Clearing up confusion

In the first instance, the HA would like to reassure teachers in both primary and secondary schools that no decision has been made about the content or structure of history in the curriculum. Press reports which suggest otherwise are mistaken. Many individuals and organisations have expressed views on the nature of history in the curriculum as it stands and as they wish it to be. Some of these ideas and submissions to the government have been reported as though they represent the shape of the new History National Curriculum. This is not the case.

What is happening at this time?

The Secretary of State has published a Call for Evidence as ‘Phase 1’ of a public consultation on the curriculum as a whole and on individual subjects. With specific regard to history, the Call asks all interested parties (including teachers) to comment on:

·  Should history continue to be a National Curriculum subject at Key Stages 1-3, and should it be compulsory at Key Stage 4?

·  Should schools be able to determine what is taught – if so, in which Key Stages?

·  Should the National Curriculum specify levels of achievement / attainment targets – or are there more suitable alternative approaches?

·  How should the curriculum and targets be defined to ensure appropriate education for learners of all abilities and needs?

·  How should particular knowledge best be sequenced within the National Curriculum?

·  What are the most important factors to consider in developing a National Curriculum to ensure smooth transition between the key stages?

What about specified content?

The Call for Evidence has not asked for anyone to comment on what exactly should be taught in the history National Curriculum. Work on programmes of study will not begin until ‘Phase 1’ has been concluded, and they will be subject to further, wide consultation. This consultation is due to start in Spring 2012 until Spring 2013. Therefore, new programmes of study for history will not be ready for teaching until September 2014. Professor Simon Schama has been appointed by the Secretary of State to lead this element of the consultation. He has been tasked with consulting widely with teachers and academic historians to establish the ‘core’ content for the curriculum - around this core teachers will have great flexibility about what else to teach. Simon Schama will be joined on this history review by Professor David Cannadine and Professor Niall Ferguson.

What is the Historical Association doing?

We see it as our duty to contribute to the Call for Evidence to give a voice to the 6000+ teachers, academics and lay people who are our members, so at the moment the primary and secondary committees are working together to complete a draft submission. Our submission starts with our core mission: to make sure that young people are able to enjoy a rounded and rigorous historical education throughout primary and secondary school.

What do you need to do?

We cannot complete the submission without your help because we want to make sure that your voice is heard. The HA document will be published to you before being submitted to the Secretary of State. Please send us your comments to make sure that we accurately reflect the position of history teaching today and how it should develop in the future. Whilst this may be a time of uncertainty, it also represents a tremendous opportunity to secure the place of History in the curriculum.

If you would like to get in touch in the meantime with your views or comments (particularly on the areas for comment bulleted above), please email: rebecca.sullivan@history.org.uk


October 06, 2010

A return to narrative history in schools?

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/05/simon-schama-ministers-history-curriculum

At the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, the Education Secretary, Michael Gove announced that Simon Schama would be advising the government on a new history curriculum for schools. This would have a narrative approach and emphasise "our island story". He also implied that there may be more time in the curriculum for History although he did not suggest it should become compulsory at GCSE level.

The History Subject Associations (including the Subject Centre) are in touch with the government and hope to have a full input to any changes in the curriculum.


September 07, 2010

HA's Survey of History in Schools in England 2010 published

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/heahistory/elibrary/internal/br_ha_surveyhistoryinschools_20100731

The Historical Association has released its 'Survey of History in Schools in England 2010'.  598 teachers responded to the survey, which details findings on areas such as the level of subject specialist teaching, lesson time allocation and the teaching of history as a discrete subject.

The full report and summary of findings can be found in the history Subject Centre eLibrary: http://www.historysubjectcentre.ac.uk/elibrary/internal/br_ha_surveyhistoryinschools_20100731 


August 24, 2010

History GCSE results continue to improve

Writing about web page http://www.jcq.org.uk/attachments/published/1317/JCQ%20Results%2024-08-10.pdf

The GCSE results are published today. The results in History continue to improve with 31.5% of students achieving an A or A* grade (the 2009 figure is 30.4%). Girls outperform boys by some margin (35.7 of girls receive an A/A* grade compared to 27.4% of boys)

History remains one of the most popular subjects at GCSE behind English, Maths and Science (which are compulsory) and Design and Technology.


August 19, 2010

History A and AS level results

Writing about web page http://www.jcq.org.uk/attachments/published/1297/JCQ-A%20LEVEL%20RESULTS.pdf

History continues to be a popular subject at A level with numbers taking the subject up very slightly on the 2009 figures to 49,222 (from 49,071). 7.0% of students achieved the new A* grade which is under the norm for those obtaining the grade in all subjects (8.1%) Over a quarter of students achieved either A* or A.

History was the fifth most popular subject taken at A level behind English, Maths, Biology and Psychology.

Numbers taking AS level History increased by 2 per cent to 59,257. There was a slight drop in the number of A grades awarded but a fifth of all students taking AS level History achieve an A.


August 07, 2010

History Highers and Advanced Highers Results

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/education/10/exam_results/higher/html/history.stm

The results for History Highers and Advanced Highers released this week show that History continues to be one of the most popular subjects, with 5.24% of Highers and 5.8% of Advanced Highers candidates taking history.

22.18% of candidates taking Highers History achieved an A grade, compared to 24.33% in 2009.

38.47% of pupils taking Advanced Highers History received an A grade, compared to 30.91% in 2009.


July 11, 2010

The teaching of History is discussed in the House of Lords

Writing about web page http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/100708-0001.htm#10070874000334

The role of University academics was raised in questions in the Lords on 8th July. The question initially focused on the proposed appointments of Niall Ferguson and Andrew Roberts to advise on the school History curriculum but the debate opened up wider questions of the teaching of History; the type of History that should be taught; and the role of academic historians in advising government.

Education: History

Question

11.25 am

Asked By Lord Clinton-Davis

    To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the roles of Niall Ferguson and Andrew Roberts with regard to the history curriculum for schools in England.

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Government intend to restore the national curriculum to its original purpose: a core national entitlement organised around subject disciplines. We will announce details of our plans in due course. No individual has been asked to play a specific role in the review. However, we plan to consult a wide range of interested parties to ensure that our curriculum is in line with those of the highest performing jurisdictions in the world.

    Lord Clinton-Davis: Is the Minister aware that both the individuals have been mentioned in the press as having been consulted by the Government? Are not

    8 July 2010 : Column 339

    these appointments a blatant attempt to revive imperialist concepts? Why is it thought by the Government that right-wingers such as Niall Ferguson and Andrew Roberts-however articulate they may be-with their outdated views of empire, can make a useful contribution to the modern history syllabus?

    Lord Hill of Oareford: My Lords, as I said, I am not at all certain that they have been asked to take part in the review. It may well be that they have not. I cannot say any more than that at this stage.

    Baroness Walmsley: My Lords, given the global nature of our economy and the multicultural nature of our society, would it not be appropriate to allow schools the freedom to use their discretion, if they so wish, to teach children not just about the history of the UK but some of the history of our major trading partners and of the mother countries of many of their pupils, as understanding our customers and our roots is very important for children?

    Lord Hill of Oareford: I agree with my noble friend. It seems to me that, in teaching history, one certainly wants to give our children a sense of Britain's history and the broad sweep and chronological development of our history over time. However, I agree with her very much that we also want our children to have a sense of the wider world, particularly as Britain changes and develops. It is important that that balance is struck.

    Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I very much applaud the Minister's caution in response to this Question, but does he recognise the importance of history in the curriculum? Does he particularly recognise the real dangers of appearing to be ideologically driven with regard to the teaching of history? We have had appalling examples of that in the past. I am sure he will take care to ensure that we do not repeat any such examples.

    Lord Hill of Oareford: My Lords, as I have admitted before in the House, I am a sort of historian myself, so I accept the point the noble Lord makes about ideology. It is, of course, always difficult to draw the line between history and politics. Things that I still think of as being current affairs my children are now learning as history. Therefore, I recognise that point. However, in trying to get that balance right, it is important that we try to move away from a sort of gobbet-sized approach to history. For instance, 17th century English history, which is very rarely taught, has many parallels with what is going on in Britain today in terms of the extent of change. If one could get that development, one would do a better job.

    Lord Bew: My Lords, is the Minister aware that when Niall Ferguson was asked on the "Analysis" programme about two weeks ago whether he would accept the role of history tsar and whether he was being brought into the Government to write a national history curriculum, he replied, "Certainly not, because

    8 July 2010 : Column 340

    I think a national history curriculum is an abomination"? Furthermore, all Governments have their favourite historians. In the lifetime of the previous Government, Professor Linda Colley's work was often on the Downing Street website. The great Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm became a Companion of Honour. This Government may have historians that they admire as well. This is all to the good as long as, in the case of all these distinguished historians, their work is of sufficient quality to inspire our young people in sixth forms and universities, whatever the ideological background that might be perceived to exist.

    Lord Hill of Oareford: I was not aware of those remarks by Professor Ferguson, but I agree with the noble Lord that if the Government were to be lucky enough that academics of his distinction, or of the distinction of other historians with a different perspective, were able to help to shape thinking, that is something that one ought to welcome.

    Lord Hughes of Woodside: My Lords, how can it be that the Minister does not know whether these two gentlemen have been consulted or not? Who is running his department? How long has this Question been on the Order Paper? Has he made no inquiries? It is ridiculous for a Minister to say that he does not know whether people have been consulted.

    Lord Hill of Oareford: My Lords, the Secretary of State for Education runs the department. I did not say that I did not know: I said that so far as I was aware they have not been invited to take part in a review. That was what I said in my first Answer-and in my second, too.

    The Earl of Listowel: My Lords, does the Minister agree that we should continue to seek out with vigour the best historians from our universities, with their deep knowledge of their specialist subject, encourage them to go and teach in secondary schools and give them plenty of leeway to teach in a way that they see will best engage their pupils?

    Lord Hill of Oareford: I agree with that point. Getting the best people to teach history at all levels in schools is an extremely important task.

    Lord Addington: My Lords, will the Minister accept that fashion in academic pursuits is very prevalent, and that we should not panic too much when a new fashion comes in and we do not like the hemline?

    Lord Hill of Oareford: I agree with my noble friend. I would not describe myself as remotely fashionable in any respect. So far as concerns history, there are core elements, for example to do with chronology and the sequence of events, that one can divorce from fashion, but I agree that we should resist the blandishments of changing hemlines.



    June 07, 2010

    Humanities diploma cancelled – IGCSEs offered to state schools – Rose review cancelled

    Writing about web page http://www.education.gov.uk/news/news/nationalcurriculum

    The new government has announced a number of changes to History in schools:

    • the proposed Humanities Diploma has been cancelled
    • IGCSEs will now be offered in a number of state schools
    • the Rose review of the primary curriculum which suggested new lines of learning has been cancelled

    In addition it is expected that the way that History is taught in schools will be reviewed.


    June 03, 2010

    The new school History curriculum needs wide academic input

    Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jun/03/history-curriculum-needs-wider-input

    Professor Jackie Eales, Co-Convenor of History UK has called on the government to seek wider input from University historians following the report that Michael Gove is planning to ask Niall Ferguson to revise the school History curriculum. Professor Eales particularly draws attention to the expertise in the History subject associations: History UK, the Historical Association and the History Subject Centre.


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