Towards a balanced and broadly-based curriculum was the theme of the National Association for Primary Education conference in March 2021. The keynote lecture was given by Dr. Tony Eaude.
This is a follow up Q&A that I hosted and taken from a subsequent Facebook live event. NAPE has been a long term supporter of the Education on Fire podcast and I have been involved with the association for over 5 years, the last 18 months as vice chair. I thought this discussion was very insightful and wanted to give you the opportunity to hear it.
The original full lecture can be found on the NAPE YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/YI_tiHvKxOk
Tony suggested four main arguments for a balanced and broadly-based primary curriculum:
- that the law states that schools must offer this (as it does) and that Ofsted expect this (at least from 7 years old);
- one based on how children create coherent, robust and flexible identities, enhancing their well-being and founded on a sense of agency;
- one based on a conception of democratic citizenship in which children are increasingly enabled to deal with complex ideas right from the start; and
- a social justice one that such a curriculum will open up opportunities from which many children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, will otherwise be excluded.
Questions & comments from conference delegates
- Dr Eaude’s argument for a balanced and broadly based curriculum is compelling. Moving forwards, is it possible for schools to work with the current National Curriculum Framework to achieve this?
- Do Academies, rather than Local Authority schools, have the most potential and freedom to develop such curriculum experiences?
- Where (in England) is curriculum innovation to be found at present?
- What is the National Association of Primary Education’s role in this argument?
As a student in my final year of an undergraduate course, I am currently working on an assignment about my own educational philosophy which very much aligns with Dr. Eaude’s Schiller speech. Embarking into my NQT year in September I know the best way to change this is starting in my own classroom. However big questions arise with that:
- What can I do beyond that? If there is not enough support or like-minded colleagues,
- How can I reach out to ensure this way of teaching the curriculum is opened up on to all the children in the community?
- Where can I find more support?
For more information about Dr. Tony Eaude please visit his website https://edperspectives.org.uk/
More information about NAPE is available at https://nape.org.uk/
To find out more about Christian Schiller HMI please click on the link below
The Schiller Book, published by NAPE, ‘In His Own Words’, can be purchased for only £5.
The full lecture can be found on the NAPE YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/YI_tiHvKxOk