Wednesday, 31 July 2013

National Curriculum howler

Oh dear! There are two embarrassing statutory requirements about 'time' in the proposed Key Stage 1 Mathematics curriculum, which have led me to send the following message to the Department for Education:

There are two requirements in the Key Stage 1 Mathematics programmes of study for Measurement for pupils to be taught to 'draw hands on clock faces'. This is totally out of place as a statutory requirement. It might be a teaching device adopted by some teachers, but the objective is surely that children should learn to read the time from the hands on a clock face. My experience is that for many children the drawing of the hands on a clock face is much more difficult than the interpretation of it, so it is not even a good teaching method – because it is harder than the skill being taught! It would be embarrassing for these statutory requirements to remain in our national curriculum. 

While I was about it, I took the opportunity to request one other piece of editing (see my previous posting):

The notes on the Year 2 requirements for Addition and Subtraction state: 'Recording addition and subtraction in columns supports place value ...'. I am not aware of any evidence to support this assertion, although there is evidence to the contrary. Again, it would be an embarrassment for an unsupported assertion such as this to appear in our national curriculum. Please consider removing the words 'supports place value and' from this sentence. It would be acceptable to say that 'Recording addition and subtraction in columns prepares for formal written methods with larger numbers.'

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