A Guide to the National Curriculum

A Guide to the National Curriculum

A Guide to the National Curriculum

A Guide to the National Curriculum


Fully updated to cover changes affecting the National Curriculum until the year 2000, this clear and balanced guide is essential reading for parents and teachers who want a better understanding of our educational system.


Advocates of a National Curriculum can be found right across the political spectrum, and it is now clear that a National Curriculum will be part of the educational scene for the foreseeable future.

Differences between schools

For many educationists the logic that underpins the provision of free and compulsory schooling also extends to what is taught. in arguing for a National Curriculum, they point to glaring inconsistencies that used to exist between schools. in the same locality, one primary school might have had a fully worked-out science scheme, and another school no science scheme at all. Even if both schools did have plans for teaching science, there would be no guarantee that they would approach the subject in similar ways. One school might have attempted to achieve a balance between the different scientific disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology, and perhaps astronomy and earth sciences). the other, however, could have leaned heavily on the tradition of nature study -- the sort of primary science that most parents remember from their own school-days. in other subjects similar differences existed. a survey by Her Majesty's Inspectorate at the end of the 1980s showed how haphazard the teaching of history and geography could be. It pointed to the lack of any attempt in many schools to ensure that children came into contact with progressively more demanding ideas, skills, and concepts.

Inequality of provision

In secondary schools the existence of different curriculum opportunities could be seen clearly. Girls, for example, often chose to . . .

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