The other day I was struggling to discover why the new KS3 history course is coming in with a whimper. Was it the fact that Gove caved in and that his apocalyptic vision of Feb 2013 failed to materialise? Did we all then heave a sigh of relief and then just carry on regardless? I looked at take up for course on the new history curriculum-tiny compared with earlier decades. I looked for new textbooks. Could I really spot a sea change in approach? Not really; not at all,in fact. Then the penny dropped. Of course, for the majority of schools which are now academies- yes 60% now- it is an irrelevance. They will take the good bits from it-enhanced resources and networking with state schools, principally, and then ignore it. Safe in the knowledge they can. No SATS to keep them at their task. Now no Gove (doesn’t that sound good?), so no prospect of tests. We can all relax into the summer, with just the matter of new GCSEs and AS and A level on the horizon! Perhaps that’s the real reason why kS3 changes have generated such apathy.
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