This morning on Twitter I read a snippet about a school in which the History curriculum from Year Seven through to Year Eleven was exclusively focussed on the content of the GCSE examination. Those topics, and only those topics, were taught.
I’ve come across such tales before. I hope that this is a History teacher’s urban myth and that no school could be quite so barbarous as to inflict this on its pupils. I fear it might not be: the widespread adoption of the three-year Key Stage Four has already tipped the balance towards more learning of GCSE content and less learning of everything else.
I tweeted that this is exactly what we should expect as a consequence of the accountability agenda. There is now a rather unfortunate trend for teachers to defend ‘teaching to the test’ on the grounds that it is our responsibility to give our pupils the…
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