Session 114: How can we create a curriculum where all subjects are valued equally?

Session Title: How can we create a curriculum where all subjects are valued equally?

Date: Thursday 6th September 2012

Hosted by: @SirBlimeyWindy

Summary of the Session:
[pullquote]A very wise head once told me ‘you can do what you like if it works'[/pullquote]

Well, there’s nothing like a good, constructive debate, is there? One thing that made me chuckle from the outset was a cheeky tweet from @SparkyTeaching to the Secretary of State asking him if he was going to join in with the discussion – but that is not to say that I was expecting this to be a wholly political debate.

The problem as I saw it was that the ‘market’ and League Tables seem to pit one subject against another, whereas we should possibly try to encourage a full, all-round education. There was soon a tweet wondering whether the notion of ‘subjects’ should be scrapped and pupils be taught in a way that makes all subjects cross their artificially-set boundaries. @MrBDEvans pointed out that, only when the curriculum is viewed as a whole,and not seen as a series of subjects, will education succeed.

@MrPeel pointed out that the existence of League Tables with their emphasis on 5 A*- C inc Eng and Maths and the EBacc will compound and continue what he termed ‘educational apartheid’.

@Ilac3 also pointed out that we have to bear in mind that different students have different skills and abilities and this should be borne in mind.

Towards the halfway stage there was some agreement that the existence of judgements based on 16+ exam performance actually drove the perceived ‘inequality’ between subjects, and there were also some suggestions that a broad-based ‘Leaver’s Certificate’ and not GCSE might be the way to go to restore the balance to some degree.

Sir Ken Robinson was mentioned as well, by myself and others, and my attention was drawn to a speech he made on subjects  <a href=”</p>

There was also a suggestion that, perhaps, education should be removed from the clutches of politicians, and that may lead to a system that can be trusted and valued.

I am sorry that I cannot include every single aspect from the chat, as that would lead to a 10000 word essay, please read the transcript and see what suggestions came up.

One thing shone through, though, that we as teachers are passionate about enabling pupils to achieve their best, and there are so many ways that we are, on the whole, successful, in spite of the way in which the profession is portrayed.

Notable Tweets:


@mrpeel #ukedchat ebacc already stigmatises many subjects -get rid or make it a genuine qualification

@nightzookeeper I think by planning topics that you are passionateabout as a teacher helps. Very infectious for students #ukedchat

@Pekabelo #ukedchat you have to ignore the ‘raising standards’ agenda anddesign a curriculum that will allow students to become successful learners

Tweet of the Week:

@SarahLearns A very wise head once told me ‘you can do what you like if it works’ #ukedchat

About Your Host:


I’ve been teaching for longer than he cares to remember, about 19 years now. I am an MFL specialist who has also taught Drama, Sport and Music over the years. I don’t see my subject as insular, and am fully aware that the inter-relationships of subjects are vital in providing a wider education for pupils.

I teach in an Academy in the West Midlands





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114 – Ukedchat Archive 06 Sept 2012

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1 Comment

  1. What is the premise of the question. When you say “valued equally” do you mean, valued by governments, parents, schools, academics or students and pupils?

    I think we would do better to recognise that differing people have differing values. In my own education I didn’t value science at all but was passionate about literature. I ending up doing very well out my education as I was able to focus on my strengths in a way that would not have happened had I not been able to value one part of my curriculum more than another.

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