From Daily Mail: Pupils to learn about 200 key British figures from Anglo-Saxons to Winston Churchill as 'politically correct' national curriculum in history is scrapped
History lessons will be rewritten to
include 200 key figures, such as Winston Churchill, and events which
shaped Britain under a new national curriculum drawn up by education
secretary Michael Gove.
current syllabus, previously attacked for being too politically
correct, will be scrapped with the intention of giving children a deeper
understanding of history.
new plans school children will learn a narrative about British history
and key international developments, including the fall of the Roman
Empire, the union that created Britain and the decline of its power.
Winston Churchill and Anglo-Saxon
monarchs Alfred and Athelstan will also be put on the list of leaders
that children will study.
blueprint rejects learning by rote, but emphasises that acquiring a
detailed knowledge of history will enable children to understand the
reasons behind human failures and achievements, The Sunday Times
school children aged between 11 and 14 will move on to 50 wider topics
about the modern world, including Soviet-U.S. relations and how they
shaped the world, as well as the influence of immigration on British
The national curriculum review was
launched in January 2011 but only drafts in primary school maths,
English and science have been released.
The new primary and secondary
curriculum documents currently being considered cover art and design,
citizenship, English, geography, history and physical education.
of North London Collegiate school Bernice McCabe, co-director of the
Prince’s Teaching Institute and member of the committee advising on the
curriculum review, told The Sunday Times: ‘It is not a backward-looking
curriculum but very forward-looking.
‘Teachers from the Prince’s Institute
have said over the years that there has been a move too much towards
skills without sufficient emphasis on the knowledge that you need to use
‘In history, for
example, we do not see how you can have a good foundation of knowledge
without understanding the chronology of events.’
current version of citizenship, which includes topics such as
identities and diversity and how to negotiate, plan and take action has
been cut back from 29 pages to one for 11 to 14-year-olds.
The new syllabus will focus on the British monarchy and parliamentary democracy as well as theories on liberty and rights.
In geography, primary children will
study physical features, the nature of rocks, rivers and mountains, the
names of countries and the characteristics of countries as well as how
glaciers shape landscapes.
Later on in secondary school the
topics will become more specific, including aspects of human geography,
like the industrial expansion of Asia.
Kinder, chief executive of the Geographical Association, advising on
the review, told The Sunday Times: ‘ There is concern that pupils…don’t
seem to be acquiring the world knowledge that we would expect them to
have and most people in the geography subject community feel there needs
to be something of a rebalancing.’
follows criticisms of the current curriculum for failing to ensure
children learn about human and physical processed which shape geography.
PE curriculum is now expected to emphasise the need for physical
exertion, amid concerns the current programme requires too little
The education department refused to comment on the drafts but said they will be made public 'in due course'.