This is the Pied Piper curriculum: the children have disappeared! This is not the way to raise standards, and Michael Gove’s curriculum bears no resemblance to Finland, Massechusetts or Singapore. Those education systems achieve high standards by laying sound foundations and engaging properly with the interests and capabilities of young children.
Many 5 year olds will struggle to name 3D shapes or “instantly” subtract 7 from 16. It is unrealistic to expect children to calculate 5/7 + 1/7 = 6/7 by the age of 7. Can we expect most five year olds to spell Tuesday and Wednesday, or 6 year olds to spell “national” or “merriment”. The Great Fire of London might not be a “significant event” to a 6 year old, and it is hard to imagine them being able to compare historical periods by studying Mary Seacole and Edith Cavell. Young children are become very skilled at using technology but how many 5-7 year olds will be able to learn how to “create and debug simple programs”.
This curriculum will set children up for failure, along with their teachers and schools. Perhaps Gove’s real intention is for hundreds of primary schools to fail so that he can privatise them as academies.
Terry Wrigley, coordinator of the letter to the press signed by 100 academics.