Growing  3rd world attitudes to education in a 1st world country.


"What we teach - the curriculum - is at the heart of learning. Skills, competencies, attitudes, knowledge, are all determined by the content we select for our children. We must choose wisely and ensure that the curriculum we choose is dynamic and relevant to all is not constrained by political will or impediments of funding, resources and staffing. Nor should it replace anything that works with the speculative, or surrender rigour and high expectations for the sake of expediency"

This web page carries the argument for the need for change and outlines what a new curriculum could look like. The  first four boxes carry the argument, starting with The Discussion that looks at current thinking. The section headed Impediments to Change  looks at the various philospohical, financial, educational and political barriers that stand in the way of change. The third box The Narrative builds the case for change through articles on aspects of curriculum change; and the fourth box The Case for Change outlines what the change will look like including action points

The boxes alongside the year groups contain an outline of what change would look like at each level of the curriculum and other material / articles pertinent to a new curriculum.

Nursery - YearTwo


Key Points

  • Learning how to follow instructions, and acquire appropriate behaviors to allow learning to happen
  • Developing listening skills and oracy
  • Developing an appetite for learning
  • Developing self-discipline, empathy, creativity / art / music, exercise,
  • Learning about ethics as pertaining to the environment, empathy, developing an appetite for learning
  • Being introduced to reading and simple mathematics as readiness allows
  • No formal tests
  • Developing a growth mindset

"It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of enquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this, it goes to rack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the engagement of seeing and searching can be prompted by means of coercion and a sense of duty"   


Albert Einstein 

Year Three - Year Six 


Key Points

  • Attitudes to learning
  • Ethics and the importance of community
  • Literacy / numeracy / exploration and questioning
  • Development of the skills of memory, (tables) mnemonics, flow diagrams, coding and creative thinking
  • Myth and history / the world, memory,
  • Communication, ethics, environmental science
  • Preparing children for life-long learning and explaining what that means

"The top three skills needed in 2020 are  complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity"  Carl Robert  TES IBCP in an article from the Education Policy Institute (EPI)  "Educating the Economic Future"   

The World Economic Forum

Year Seven - Year Ten


Key Points

  • Years 7 - 10 are the years of opportunity when students should be exposed to a wide range of subjects, from history of art to engineering 
  • The curriculum is overloaded and this is an opportunity to strip it down and to rebuild, rather than continuing to add and subtract according to fashion
  • Literacy (including oracy)  and numeracy need to be ssecure while the arts and music should be at the heart of learning along with the environment, a combined humanities programme, languages and ethics and values.
  • Technology will continue to underpin learning
  • This is time to ensure target bespoke subject domains with some acknowledgement of economics, sustainability, philosophy and psychology.
  • The division of the day would identify key learning times

" . . . any curriculum that you design is going to be ten times better than what someone will design for you. You don't have to do that rote, prescriptive thing.'   

-Tara Westover, who never attended school until 17 years old now with a PhD from Cambridge     

Personalised learning is going to be a significant part of the future of education

Year Eleven


Key Points


GCSE is one of the seminal points in education and the first fully national examination and likely to remain so. 

•Issues abound however, including:

•Discrepancies amongst examination boards

•The effect of EBacc in limiting choice

•The out-dated or inadequate syllabus in certain subjects, ie history

•The amount of time given over to teaching to the test

•The number of mock exams The difficulty level and number (20-30) spread over a month or more.



The "model" of individual teachers doing a million different things all sub-optimally & with systemic inefficiency is a 19th century "cottage industry" approach to a mass product (school education). How many hours are wasted on unnecessary duplication of lessons, worksheets, etc.'   

Crispin Weston

Year Twelve - Year Thirteen

A Levels IB IBCP BTec T Levels

Key Points

•Discussion needed on the various options schools offer, especially in the number of A levels or T levels and the use of BTec, IB and IBCP and the ways such decisions are reached for students

•More consistency amongst examination boards (should they be in the private sector?)

•Return of examination papers

•More courses available in ALL schools through e-learning, on-line courses and school-based tutors

"Imagine, if you will, a room full of kids, headphones on, staring at a computer screen for several hours a day. The computers are running expensive proprietary software that the students interact with individually, while the teacher circulates, occasionally helping one of them. Is this the future of education?"


University Vocational Apprenticeships Non-University

Key Points


•The discrepancy between sectors, that can sometimes be attributed to the background of teaching staff (schools with several Oxbridge educated teachers are more likely to encourage students following that route).

•Ethical career advice and outing the student's interests first

•Schools should look at broadening their offer

•Courses should be subject to regular review for currency as well as content

Greater push for two academic pathways - university and non-university (IBCP) as well as vocational courses (BTec,

T Levels), apprenticeships and internships.


"The University students I teach are, almost without exception, charming young people, quiet and well-behaved, with nice middle-class names like Hannah and Rebecca. Their faces are clean and glowing with health. They attend my lectures, obediently taking notes. They hand in their essays on time. There is only one problem  -  they lack even the slightest spark of initiative or intellectual curiosity"   

Andrew Conway Teaching Children Not to Think  The Spectator  7 December, 2002

© 2020 Peter Tait. All Rights Reserved.