Yet more huffing and puffing from the Daily Mail et al yesterday as news of the imminent publication of the final Rose review was leaked to the press. Most fear that too much time will be spent on ICT at the expense of history. I don’t actually share that concern. When you look at the text closely there are references to pupils building a chronological framework and studying some periods of Brtish and world history in depth.
Complaints about pupils no longer having to leearn about the Vitorians is, of course, rubbish. This has always been an alternative to Life in Britain since the 30s for the last 15 years or more. What it will mean is that schools will not HAVE to study periods they see not purpose in, and will continue to study history topics that they and the pupils have always loved. So my feeling is that the Romans will continue to be taught along with the Tudors and Ancient Egypt, just in a more cross-curricular way.
The new emphasis on process over content is to be welcomed with caution. If it means that primary teachers stop feeling that they have to ‘cover the period’ at the expense of teachign worthwhile skills then that is probably a good thing. What we must make sure is that the unique skills and conceptual understanding that history brings is strengthened in the way that Rose intends. If less content coverage leads to is more emphasis on understanding ideas such as cause, change and interpretations, I will be a happy man. If you’d like ideas on how to achieve this , why not visit the website www.keystagehistory.co.uk where you will find free samples of outstanding lessons and expert advice.
One issue not covered in the press is the fact that the KS3 history curriculum was rewritten last year and from 2008 pupils have been learning new topics. It makes very little sense to rewrite a KS2 curriculum that takes no account of this. Keeping the content less prescriptive , but insisting that worthwhile historical understanding is developed, would seem a logical move! For full details of the press coverage, why not go to the In the News section of my site.