The National Curriculum is in action within the school in terms of the three core subjects ( maths, english, and science) and the remaining seven foundation subjects ( geography, history, art, physical education, music, ICT, design and technology). The latter of the foundations ICT and DT are not taught as strongly in comparison to the others. This maybe due to lack of resources and subject knowledge on part of the staff. However, there is talk that the year 1999 will see the school with a computer room containing approximately 16 computers – whether this will mean that IT will be taught as a subject on its own is uncertain.
My first question with regards to the National Curriculum was why do schools need to follow this particular document. The obvious answer to this was answered within week one of this course. It was also made clearer as soon as I started school experience. The curriculum has its benefits with regards to children coming from differing backgrounds. Not all the children of the same ability to manage the tasks given by the teacher. The curriculum aims to ensure that each child regardless of their background is entitled to the same education as their peers.
There are many issues concerning the National Curriculum. Advocates of the document agree with the idea that it maintains continuity and progression from year to another. On the other hand the arguments against the curriculum concern the point about professional autonomy being threatened. The teachers within key stage 2 , feel as though they are being dictated to, they are not free to teach whatever they so wish. The government has vowed that the National Curriculum would reduce the workload of teachers, this I feel is not the case.
Teachers are not only required to teach the prescribed subjects, but are expected to undertake vast amounts of paperwork which involves assessments of the children. The document as already acknowledged has become prescriptive ordering and instructing teacher of what they have to teach. The only positive factor is that the curriculum does not go so far as much as lying ” down requirements about the methods teachers should use. ” ( Moon, 1996, p9) The year 2000 is to witness a revised version of the National Curriculum.
The content of the document is unsure, but I have no doubt from what I have observed in school that maths, english, science and IT will become the core subjects within schools. My only concern is that schools are drifting away from an ‘ arts’ curriculum to one that places maths, english, science and IT at the centre of learning. I would like to see implemented in the National Curriculum more emphasis not just on numercay, literacy and ICT but subjects that cater for the social and personal development of the child.