11 important points NATE make about the English NC

NATE published an important response to the 2015 National Curriculum for English. The full report is here, but I have pasted in the summing up points at the end of the document as they provide both an excellent summary of the English NC, but also point out its weaknesses. The following is copied from the NATE report:

  1. The new National Curriculum for English is a thing of mixed quality.
  2. It undervalues the spoken language at Key Stages 1 and 2, and is over-concerned with formal, performance-based uses of the spoken language in the secondary years.
  3. Its approach to the initial teaching of reading and to the teaching of spelling and grammar at Key Stages 1 and 2 is based on a flawed understanding of learning in these years: one that imagines that analytical instruction is a prerequisite for competence.
  4. Its requirements for comprehension in reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 are perfectly acceptable. Those for composition in writing at Key Stages 1 and 2 usefully refer to some of the essential processes involved in writing, but say far too little about what children should write.
  5. Its requirements for reading and for writing at Key Stages 3 and 4 are broadly acceptable.
  6. The requirements on the teaching of grammar in the primary years should be more modest; those in the secondary years should more detailed and more demanding.
  7. The paucity of requirements to do with knowledge about language other than grammar is regrettable.
  8. The new orders ignore the electronic and digital means of expression and communication with which most of our children and young people are intimately familiar.
  9. They have abolished any reference to media education. These are major omissions.
  10. The requirements for drama, whether as a part of English, as a learning medium across the curriculum, or as a freestanding subject, are inadequate.
  11. At some point, there will have to be further revision of the orders, to deal with those parts of it which will be seen to be unworkable.
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About @wonderfrancis

Francis Gilbert is a Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London, teaching on the PGCE Secondary English programme. He also teaches the Creative Writing module on the MA in Children’s Literature, which is run by Maggie Pitfield and Professor Michael Rosen. Previously, he worked for a quarter of a century in various English state schools teaching English and Media Studies to 11-18 year olds. He has, at times, moonlighted as a journalist, novelist and social commentator. He is the author of ‘Teacher On The Run’, ‘Yob Nation’, ‘Parent Power’, ‘Working The System -- How To Get The Very Best State Education for Your Child’, and a novel about school, ‘The Last Day Of Term’. His first book, ‘I'm A Teacher, Get Me Out Of Here’ was a big hit, becoming a bestseller and being serialised on Radio 4. In his role as an English teacher, he has taught many classic texts over the years and has developed a great many resources to assist readers with understanding, appreciating and responding to them both analytically and creatively. This led him to set up his own small publishing company FGI Publishing (fgipublishing.com) which has published his study guides as well as a number of books by other authors, including Roger Titcombe’s ‘Learning Matters’ and anthology of creative writing 'The Gold Room'. He is the co-founder, with Melissa Benn and Fiona Millar, of The Local Schools Network, www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk, a blog that celebrates non-selective state schools, and has his own website, www.francisgilbert.co.uk. He has appeared numerous times on radio and TV, including Newsnight, the Today Programme, Woman’s Hour and the Russell Brand Show. In June 2015, he was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing and Education by Goldsmiths.
This entry was posted in 3 Good subject knowledge, National Curriculum, Reading, Spoken English, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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