A leading expert in primary education has described the new curriculum as ‘educationally inappropriate’ for the 21st century.
Professor Robin Alexander, who headed the landmark Cambridge Primary Review of the state of primary education in England, has said that children will risk missing out on the arts, humanities and sport because of the new curriculum’s ‘neo-Victorian’ emphasis on the three Rs, The Independent reports.
Professor Alexander claimed that it will narrow pupils’ horizons by failing to give them the ‘knowledge, skills and experience’ needed in all subjects. He also attacked the Coalition’s drive to make young children ‘secondary ready’, insisting that primary education is important in its own right and not just a stepping stone towards secondary school: “Of course children leaving primary school should be ready for what follows but education also resides in the quality of the here and now. Anyway, what follows year six is life, not just year seven,” he said.
He also criticised the new curriculum for favouring core subjects of English and maths at the expense of arts and humanities: “Such stratification is both educationally inappropriate and pedagogically counter-productive,” he said.
The DfE commented: “It is utterly unacceptable that so many children leave primary school without a firm grounding in the basics of English, maths and science. That is why our rigorous new primary curriculum focuses on these vital subjects. Of course we expect primaries to teach beyond just English, maths and science.”
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