The prep school curriculum, and primary school curriculum for that matter, is evolving. For the better. Curriculum time is shifting from rote learning to applied practical work to develop so-called 21st Century skills. And schools are keen for you to know it. If you’re wondering what happened to the 13 or 14 subjects of the […]
Breadth of education
Where once schooling was limited to the 3Rs, now its about breadth of education. Which means more subjects and topics in the academic curriculum, more sports in the sports curriculum, and more art, music, drama and dance in the creative arts curriculum.
But why stop there? There's also extra-curricular clubs and activities, outdoor education, educational day and residential trips, school visitors, charitable and community engagement, careers planning...
Most prep and primary schools offer outdoor learning to their youngest children, but more schools are adopting continuous outdoor learning programmes for older pupils too. Outside the regular class or sports lessons, most prep and primary schools offer outdoor learning. Usually a discrete session, it comes in many guises. From day trips to the countryside, […]
The creative arts curriculum is the first to be squeezed in a timetable or budget constraint. Consequently, school provision for art, music, drama and dance varies considerably. The creative arts curriculum is a poor cousin to the academic and sports curricula. Curriculum time for art, dance, drama and music is usually low. The four subjects […]
To most schools a broad sports curriculum means 6 seasonal sports, swimming, PE and a couple of clubs. A remarkably narrow choice. A broad curriculum requires a broad sports curriculum and a broad arts curriculum as well as a broad academic curriculum. This article focuses on the broad sports curriculum. It is perhaps the easiest […]
School accreditations aren’t a reliable guarantee of standards but they do tell you what the school thinks is important. Go to any school’s website and more often than not you’ll see some school accreditations. You may see quite a few. Accreditations are those badges at the bottom of the home page, a gleaming roster of […]
Character Education used to be the “invisible curriculum”, the personal traits that developed as a result of the school’s culture. Not any more. Character Education is coming to a curriculum near you. Character Education is the education that makes pupils moral, civic-minded, healthy, compassionate, ambitious, resilient… The list of adjectives is long. Often couched in […]
It’s hard to broaden an academic curriculum of 14 mandated subjects. Some schools are. At face value, it’s quite difficult to differentiate between schools on academic curriculum alone. Why? Because most schools offer pretty much the same academic subjects. The same ones you and I were taught many years ago. And there’s a reason for […]
Education prepares pupils for the world of work. A broad education prepares pupils for life. That a broad education is a good thing isn’t a new idea. The Romans knew that “Mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body). The Ancient Greeks devised a curriculum of grammar, logic and rhetoric underpinning […]
Just what is a broad curriculum? Or rather, when is a curriculum broad? When we hear a headteacher refer to the school’s broad curriculum we switch off and relax. I did. A box is ticked. Everything’s OK. The curriculum is broad. Phew! But it’s a lazy claim. Every school has a broad curriculum. Not narrow, […]
Participation in school activities can be limited to a select few. So you’ve checked out all the school’s facilities, run your finger down the list of extra-curricular activities and got a nice warm feeling about the place from the staff you’ve met. You picture your child throwing open the double doors of opportunity for you […]
School trips and guest speakers add context and external validation to teaching. Bringing a subject out of a classroom and into the real world makes it come alive. It could be a school trip; art gallery (art), battlefield (history), river bank (geography or science) or a synagogue (RS). Equally it could be a guest speaker; […]
Community education promotes awareness and understanding of society’s many cultural and interest groups. Beyond the filtered and insulated cocoon of family, school and friends is the wider community. It’s a strange word; community. Regularly used in the press but usually in a pejorative sense of isolated interest groups. Society is fragmented and many would argue […]
The aim of this article is to highlight some of the school curricula and curriculum styles operating in the UK. It also supports the articles on “How broad is a broad curriculum?” and “What’s the point of a broad education?” I list eleven school curricula currently available. Some, strictly speaking, are more style than curriculum. […]