Saturday, 9 February 2013

Gove loses the historical plot

Amidst the euphoria over Grove's humiliating climb down over the Ebacc, the proposed new framework for the national curriculum has gone relatively unnoticed. 

I can't speak for other subjects but for History the changes can only be described as daft and dangerous.

Daft - because you only have to look at the curriculum for Key Stage 2 to see the crazy body of knowledge that Grove now seriously expects kids to have before they turn up at secondary school.

Dangerous because, whilst no primary  school is ever really going to cover all this, undoubtedly some will try. And they won't be primaries in the inner cities because like my lovely local primary school that I had to spend a week in as part of my secondary training - they are  quite rightly too busy teaching seriously disadvantaged kids the basics of literacy and numeracy.

The changes, by further increasing and institutionalising the gaps between childrens' experience before they start secondary school, will have the same regressive and divisive effect that Grove originally intended with the Ebacc.

And the history is pretty dubious too:

Here's the KS2 History framework in all its glory:

"Pupils should be taught the following chronology of British history sequentially:
Early Britons and settlers, including: 
the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages
Celtic culture and patterns of settlement
Roman conquest and rule, including:
Caesar, Augustus, and Claudius
Britain as part of the Roman Empire
the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire
Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlement, including:
the Heptarchy
the spread of Christianity
key developments in the reigns of Alfred, Athelstan, Cnut and Edward the Confessor 
The Norman Conquest and Norman rule, including: 
the Domesday Book
Norman culture
the Crusades
Plantagenet rule in the 12th and 13th centuries, including:
key developments in the reign of Henry II
the murder of Thomas Becket 
Magna Carta
de Montfort's Parliament
Relations between England, Wales, Scotland and France, including: 
William Wallace
Robert the Bruce
Llywelyn and Dafydd ap Gruffydd
the Hundred Years War 
Life in 14th-century England, including: 
the Black Death
the Peasants’ Revolt 
The later Middle Ages and the early modern period, including: 
Chaucer and the revival of learning
Wycliffe’s Bible
Caxton and the introduction of the printing press
the Wars of the Roses
Warwick the Kingmaker
The Tudor period, including 
religious strife and Reformation in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary 
Elizabeth I's reign and English expansion, including: 
colonisation of the New World
plantation of Ireland
conflict with Spain
the Renaissance in England, including the lives and works of individuals such as Shakespeare and Marlowe 
The Stuart period, including: 
the Union of the Crowns
King versus Parliament
Cromwell's commonwealth, the Levellers and the Diggers
the restoration of the monarchy
the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London
Samuel Pepys and the establishment of the Royal Navy
the Glorious Revolution, constitutional monarchy and the Union of the Parliaments."


christine_a said...

Strange - I can't see anything about the Acts of Enclosure....

journeyman said...

Hmmm - I suspect we will be expected to pick that up in secondary school with the agricultural and industrial revolutions.

Dr Llareggub said...

Hi, Apologies if this is not left wing or anarchist, as it is copied from one the the evil Sarah Palin supporters. So please delete if inappropriate. Not much coming from the left other than attempts to block opinions. Anyhow, I would use this to teach kids some working class history. Know the origin of 'piss poor'? Find out more. I have taught history myself.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families
used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken &
Sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive
you were "Piss Poor"

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't
even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to
piss in" & were the lowest of the low

The next time you are washing your hands and complain
because the water temperature isn't just how you like it,
think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their
yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by
June.. However, since they were starting to smell . ...... .
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man
of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then
all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the
children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so
dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the
saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no
wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get
warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs)
lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and
sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof...
Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the
house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other
than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had
slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet,
so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their
footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping
outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big
kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit
the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly
vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the
stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold
overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew
had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence
the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas
porridge in the pot nine days old. Sometimes they could
obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When
visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show
off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home
the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests
and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring

Dr Llareggub said...

Apologies: here is the rest of the history lesson. I do think it would resonate with working class kids much better that the crap Gove and his left wing opponents have in mind.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt
bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests
got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination
would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running
out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins
and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the
grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins
were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they
realized they had been burying people alive... So they would
tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the
coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night
(the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone
could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring