What will Progress 8 do for the creative subjects?
26.03.2015 by Dave Thomson
There is no doubt that recent changes to the accountability regime have led to increases in entry rates in GCSEs in the EBACC subjects. Particularly since 2012, the first cohort to begin Key Stage 4 (year 10) under the coalition government, the percentage of pupils entering at least one full GCSE  (2 in science) in the EBACC subjects of geography, history, science and languages has risen. Nonetheless, entry rates in languages and science remain below 2005 levels.
Design & technology (D&T) is a relative newcomer to the curriculum. Its roots which go back to the late 1800s can be found in the teaching of a variety of crafts very much on a gender biased basis – cooking and needlework for girls, metalwork and woodwork for boys. These roots are still having a deleterious effect on the subject in that they skew the way the subject is conceptualized to give a pre-eminence to the materials that students might use and the making skills required to manipulate these materials. It is not that materials and making are unimportant (quite the reverse) but rather that they need to be seen as part of the essential concepts (so called BIG ideas) that underpin and define the subject. It was this inappropriate focus on materials/skills and the lack of BIG ideas amongst other factors that led the National Curriculum Expert Panel…
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Interesting views on life without levels and new assessment models.
In common with all schools we have been going through the process of devising an assessment system following the decision to discontinue levels at Key Stage 3. In the beginning we lamented the loss of levels mostly, it turned out, because we were in a sort of collective haze of disbelief and worry about how we could deal with this enormous task but we soon got over ourselves. When something big and new is required, I have a tried and tested process: outwardly ignore; meanwhile think about the issue at hand – turn it over as I go about my daily routine, chew it over when I swim causing me to lose count of the lengths I have done; talk to colleagues; research (of course, my go-to place for research is now the generous cyber space that is Twitter) – find out as much as I can about the issue…
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So what do you make of the Consultation on reform of the National Curriculum?
How will the proposed reform impact the DT curriculum?
Please comment below if you have any strong feelings or suggestions as to how our subject could be improved within this consultation process.
You can find the full National Curriculum consultation framework document here.
The Programme of Study for Design and Technology is included on p156.
The deadline for responses to the consultation is 16 April 2013. The final version will be introduced in September 2014.