We seem to be sliding back into a bygone age with Mr Gove’s latest maths education proposals. Firstly we have ‘new’ terms for subject areas. Shape has become Geometry, even for year 1 and Handling Data has become Statistics. Tables have to be learned up to 12 x 12, although I thought we had got rid of 12 pennies in a shilling some little time ago. Of course Roman numerals now play an important part, both in Number and Time and the term ‘Roman numeral’ is stated in the Statutory requirements approximately the same number of times as the term ‘decimal’. Generally targets have become harder.
The whole premise seems to be that by making the subject harder for young children it will raise standards. Naturally, some more formal testing will also be brought in to make sure everyone knows who the failures are at the age of 5. All this to make sure that we can compete with children from our more successful European rivals, many of whom don’t start school until they are 7.
Oh well. Let’s all enjoy this lovely summer! I will be looking at these new requirements in more detail in the autumn, but as a document it is a very poor relation indeed to the original Primary Framework of 1999. Dull, lifeless and uninspiring and just three terms which come to mind.
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