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THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW AND ITS FINAL REPORT © Cambridge Primary Review 2010. THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW AND ITS FINAL REPORT 1. THE REVIEW. THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW: REMIT.

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THE

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

© Cambridge Primary Review 2010


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THE

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

1. THE REVIEW


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THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW:

REMIT

With respect to public provision in England, the Cambridge Primary Review will seek to identify the purposes which primary education should serve, the values which it should espouse, the curriculum and learning environment which it should provide, and the conditions which are necessary in order both that these are of the highest and most consistent quality possible, and that they address the needs of children and society over the coming decades.

The Review will pay close regard to evidence from research, inspection and other sources on the character and adequacy of current provision in respect of the above, on the prospects for recent initiatives, and on other available options. It will seek the advice of expert advisers and witnesses, and it will invite submissions from a wide range of interested agencies and individuals, both statutory and non-statutory.

The Review will publish both interim findings and a final report. The latter will combine evidence, analysis and conclusions together with recommendations for both national policy and the work of schools and other relevant agencies.


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The Review:

focuses on the statutory primary phase, 4/5-11

Is financially, politically and intellectually independent

is grounded in national and international evidence

seeks views across a wide range of professional, political and public constituencies

is undertaken by a Cambridge-based central team, supported by 66 research consultants

and a 20-strong advisory committee

combines assessment of current provision with the development of a vision for the future

Has produced interim reports and briefings, and a final report containing findings, conclusions and recommendations for future policy and practice.


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INFRASTRUCTURE

Current total number involved directly in the Review: over 100

Advisory Committee

Chair: Gillian Pugh

Management Group

Chair: Hilary Hodgson

CAMBRIDGE TEAM

Director of the Cambridge Primary Review:

Robin Alexander

Research consultants (66)

Communications

Communications Director:

Richard Margrave


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THE SCOPE OF THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW:

THEMES AND EVIDENCE:

EVIDENTIAL STRANDS Submissions Soundings Surveys Searches

  • PERSPECTIVES:

  • Children

  • Society

  • Education

  • THEMES:

  • Purposes & values

  • Learning & teaching

  • Curriculum & assessment

  • Quality & standards

  • Diversity & inclusion

  • Settings & professionals

  • Parenting, caring & educating

  • Beyond the school

  • Structures & phases

  • Funding & governance


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THE BALANCE OF EVIDENCE

Invited opinion open / non-interactive (SUBMISSIONS)

targeted / interactive (SOUNDINGS)

Published empirical data independent research (SURVEYS)

official data (SEARCHES)


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THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW: FACTS AND FIGURES

TIMETABLE

Planning Jan 2004 - Oct 2006

Implementation and interim report dissemination Oct 2006 - Sept 2009

Final report dissemination Oct 2009 -

PERSONNEL

Cambridge team + advisory committee + research consultants

+ other authors/editors100

EVIDENCE

Published sources consulted: 4000+

Research surveys commissioned: 28

Formal written submissions received (length 1-300 pages): 1052

Emails received: thousands

Evidence-related meetings held up to spring 2009

(soundings, seminars, conferences and other formal meetings) 250+

PUBLICATIONS

Interim reports 31

Briefings 39

Press releases 14

Final report 1

Booklet 1

Companion research volume 1


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THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW: REPORTS

October 2007: FROM THE GRASS ROOTS

The regional community soundings (1)

November 2007 – May 2008: THE 28 RESEARCH SURVEYS

How well are we doing? Standards, quality and assessment (3)

Children’s lives and voices: home and school (4)

Children’s development, learning and needs (4)

Aims and values (4)

Structures and curriculum (3)

Governance, funding, reform & quality assurance (4)

Teachers: training, development, leadership, workforce reform (3)

Learning and teaching (3)

February 2009: AIMS, PRINCIPLES AND CURRICULUM

Towards a new primary curriculum (2)

October 2009: THE FINAL REPORT

The final report

The booklet

The companion research volume

The national and regional conferences


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THE

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

2. THE FINAL REPORT


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www.primaryreview.org.uk

www.routledge.com/education

www.teachersfirst.org.uk/cpr


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THE FINAL REPORT: A COLLECTIVE ENDEAVOUR

 Editor

Robin Alexander

Authors

Robin Alexander

Michael Armstrong

Julia Flutter

Linda Hargreaves

Wynne Harlen

David Harrison

Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer

Ruth Kershner

John MacBeath

Berry Mayall

Stephanie Northen

Gillian Pugh

Colin Richards

David Utting

‘The formal conclusions and recommendations of the Cambridge Primary Review have been agreed by the 14 authors of this report. They are fully supported by members of the Review’s Advisory Committee other than those whose observer status requires them to remain neutral.’

Report, p xvi


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THE SCOPE OF THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW:

THE 75 RECOMMENDATIONS

Children and childhood (4-21) 

Children, poverty, disadvantage and attainment (6-8) 

Children with special needs (18, 21) 

Parenting and educating, home and school (7-8, 14)

Foundations: early years and primary education (22-31) 

What is primary education for? Aims, values and principles (32-37) 

What should children learn? An alternative approach to the curriculum (38-53) 

How should children be taught? A pedagogy of repertoire, principle and evidence (54-61) 

How well are they doing? Assessment reform (62-74) 

Quality, standards and accountability (40, 47, 53, 75–85, 150) 

Teachers: expertise, roles, training and the staffing review (118–9, 124–8, 132-3) 

Teachers: leadership for learning (134-42) 

Teachers: from novice to expert – reforming teacher education (119–23, 128–31) 

Schools for the community, schools and other agencies (110-117) 

Schools for the future (86-109) 

The funding of primary education (149-51) 

Government, local authorities, schools and the policy process (50-3, 143-53)

‘A new way of thinking and talking about primary education?’ (147-8, 153)


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THE FINAL REPORT: THE BOTTOM LINE

How well are we doing?

What is primary education for?

Three recurrent concerns

Childhood: poverty, inequality and underachievement

Society and the wider world: anxiety and empowerment

Policy: solution or problem?

It doesn’t have to be like this


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There’s a simple test of the changes announced in the June 2009 white paper, and of the wider democratic reforms promised in the wake of the May 2009 parliamentary expenses scandal: will this final report from the Cambridge Review be dismissed in the same summary fashion as its 31 interim predecessors?

Postscript, Children, their World, their Education, p 514


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The Cambridge Primary Review is for the longer term, not the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

Postscript, Children, their World, their Education, p 514


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

3. CHILDREN AND CHILDHOOD


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RETHINKING CHILDHOOD the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • The Review is convinced by the evidence that a sense of agency is vital for both learning and wellbeing, and this features prominently both in our proposed aims for primary education and in our account of pedagogy …

  • There is much more to children’s lives than school … The worth and impact of children’s lives outside school should be respected, as should the rights of parents and carers to bring up children in their own ways, and home-school relations should be seen as respectful and reciprocal rather than unilateral …

  • Childhood should be understood in terms of children’s present as well as future needs and capabilities, and their right to a rich array of experiences which will lay the foundations for lifelong learning … Children should be actively engaged in decisions which affect their education … Children are now viewed as competent and capable learners, given the right linguistic and social environment and teaching which engages, stimulates, challenges and scaffolds their understanding.

  • Respect and support childhood (recommendations 4-21)

  • Respect children’s experience, voices and rights

  • Build on new research on children’s development, learning, needs and capabilities

  • Ensure that teacher education is fully informed by these perspectives.


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NARROWING THE GAPS the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • There are legitimate concerns about children’s lives today, but the ‘crisis’ of modern childhood has been grossly overstated. The real childhood crisis concerns the fate of the substantial minority of children whose lives are blighted by poverty, disadvantage, risk and discrimination. This gap maps with depressing precision onto the historically wide gap between high and low attaining pupils. Both gaps are wider in England than in many other rich nations.

  • Narrow the gaps (recommendations 6-8, 18 and 21)

  • Maintain the focus of policy on reducing underachievement.

  • Intervene quickly and effectively to help disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

  • Give the highest priority to eliminating child poverty.


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DIFFERENCE AND DIVERSITY the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • Britain is not only very unequal; culturally and linguistically it is also very diverse… Primary schools are called on to serve not just the traditional centre of society but also its boundaries and margins … What now drives this diversity, to an extent which at the time of Plowden would have been unimaginable, is migration ...

  • Sometimes those at the margins are further marginalised by education itself … There remain too many families who for different reasons are regarded as ‘hard-to-reach.’ There is sometimes a tendency to cast all such families in a negative light …

  • The Review encountered serious concerns about how well the system identifies and caters for children with special educational needs … Too often, needs classifications appear arbitrary … There is excessive local variation in funding and provision … There is also a long-standing tension between the desire to respond to particular needs and a reluctance to label or pigeon-hole such children.

  • Difference, diversity and special needs (recommendations 19-21)

  • Ensure that local information about migrant children and families is accurate and up to date, and that resources and needs are properly aligned.

  • Devote greater attention in ITT and CPD to the facts, dilemmas, opportunities and challenges of diversity and difference.

  • Institute a full SEN review which reassesses its definitions, structures, procedures and provision.


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

4. AGES AND STAGES


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FOUNDATIONS AND STRUCTURES the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • Although the Review’s remit did not include the pre-school years, a report on primary education which did not acknowledge the critical importance of early childhood and of laying secure foundations for later learning would make little sense…

  • The central issue is the character and quality of what our youngest children encounter, whether in pre-school or school settings, What matters is that the provision is right. At the moment … in reception classes it often is not …If the provision is right, then starting age ceases to be an issue.

  • New structures for early years and primary education (recommendations 22-31)

  • Strengthen and extend early learning provision: secure proper learning entitlement for children aged 3-6 and extend to age 2 in areas of social disadvantage and for children with special educational needs.

  • Extend the EYFS to age 6.

  • Replace KS1/2 by a single primary phase from 6-11.

  • Initiate full and open debate about the starting age for compulsory schooling.

  • Raise the qualifications of those working in the EY sector within the framework of a unified EY workforce strategy.


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

5. AIMS AND PRINCIPLES


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AIMS FOR PRIMARY EDUCATION the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • Policies on the curriculum, assessment, standards, inspection, teacher training and much else relating to primary education are in a real sense pointless unless or until we ask what primary education is for…

  • Although it is desirable to have a single set of aims for the whole of schooling, the needs of children and the imperatives of their education at different stages are also quite distinct … We reject the claim in the final Rose report that there is a ‘considerable match’ between our aims for primary education and the QCA secondary aims which Rose proposes should now apply to primary education as well …

  • The contrast between official and public views of the purposes of primary education is striking. Where official specifications remain fixated on the narrowly instrumental, parents and the wider public are more ready to entertain a broader vision. This does not mean that they deny the importance of literacy and numeracy – far from it – but that they seem more closely attuned than government to wider aspects of children’s development and education, and to the social and global conditions which need to be addressed if children are to have a future worth looking forward to …

  • Start with aims (recommendations 32-37)

  • Establish a new and coherent set of aims, values and principles for 21st century primary education, in addition to any wider aims for the schooling system as a whole.

  • Make the aims drive rather than follow curriculum, teaching, assessment, schools and educational policy.


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AIMS FOR PRIMARY EDUCATION the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers. For details of each aim, see report, pp 197-199

  • THE INDIVIDUAL

  • Well-being

  • Engagement

  • Empowerment

  • Autonomy

LEARNING, KNOWING AND DOING

  • Exploring, knowing, understanding, making sense

  • Fostering skill

  • Exciting the imagination

  • Enacting dialogue

  • SELF, OTHERS AND THE WIDER WORLD

  • Encouraging respect & reciprocity

  • Promoting interdependence & sustainability

  • Empowering local, national & global citizenship

  • Celebrating culture & community


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PRINCIPLES OF PROCEDURE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

For details of each principle, see report, pp 195-197

  • Principles of procedure … focus attention not on some vague point in the distant future but on the ethical basis on which schools, teachers and pupils (and for that matter governments) act now … We need to spell out the values and principles by which our everyday conduct will be guided and against which it may be judged. If we succeed in acting in accordance with these principles, the aims are more likely to be achieved than if we merely state them and hope for the best…

  • Entitlement

  • Equity

  • Quality, standards and accountability

  • Balancing national, local and individual needs

  • Balancing children’s present and future needs

  • Guidance, not prescription

  • Human rights

  • Sustainability

  • Democratic engagement

  • Evidence

  • Resources and support


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Aims into practice: the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers. contexts for implementation


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

6. THE CURRICULUM


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THE CURRICULUM ‘PROBLEM’ the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

As seen by the Rose Review

‘How can we best help primary class teachers solve the “quarts into pint pots problem” of teaching 13 subjects, plus religious education, to sufficient depth, in the time available? The QCA, with the help of subject experts, is on the case and we will do our best to solve it by the time we get to the final report.’

As seen by the Cambridge Primary Review

As children move through the primary phase, their statutory entitlement to a broad and balanced education is increasingly but needlessly compromised by a ‘standards’ agenda which combines high stakes testing and the national strategies’ exclusive focus on literacy and numeracy. The most conspicuous casualties are the arts, the humanities and those kinds of learning which require time for talking, problem-solving and the extended exploration of ideas. Memorisation and recall have come to be valued more than understanding and enquiry, and transmission of information more than the pursuit of knowledge in its fuller sense.

Plus -

The detachment of curriculum from aims … Prescription and micro-management … A divided curriculum: the ‘basics’ and the rest … The pernicious dichotomy: standards vs breadth … A muddled discourse: subjects, knowledge and skills …A nettle ungrasped: expertise, staffing and training.

Rose is a tidying-up operation rather than the promised root and branch reform … The debate about the purposes, content and quality of the primary curriculum remains wide open.


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CLARIFYING THE LANGUAGE OF CURRICULUM the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • Curriculum: (i) as planned (ii) as taught (iii) as experienced

  • Knowledge: knowing that / knowing how

    knowledge as content / knowledge as process

    public knowledge / personal knowledge

  • Skill: the ability to make or do, requiring practice to perfect

  • Disciplines: culturally-evolved and constantly changing ways of knowing, exploring, enquiring, creating and making sense

  • Subjects: curriculum as divided conceptually in order to facilitate meaningful planning and teaching - may be disciplinary,

    interdisciplinary or thematic

  • Timetable curriculum as divided temporally into lessons or sessions, and in response to perceptions of balance and priorities across the curriculum as a whole


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BEYOND THE BASICS the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • The Victorian legacy

    Curriculum 1: ‘read, write and add up’

    Curriculum 2: the rest

  • National Curriculum 1987-2009

    Curriculum 1: core subjects - English, maths, science

    Curriculum 2: other foundation subjects

  • Rose 2009

    Curriculum 1: ‘essentials for learning and life’ - literacy, numeracy, ICT, PSE Curriculum 2: the rest

  • Cambridge Primary Review 2009

    Curriculum 1/2 separation abolished

    All domains essential, regardless of time allocated

    Language, oracy and literacy across the curriculum as the foundation for all learning

  • 2009?


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CURRICULUM ALTERNATIVES the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • A new curriculum (recommendations 38-53)

  • Introduce a new primary curriculum which:

    • is firmly aligned with the proposed aims, values and principles

    • Is grounded in the Review’s evidence about childhood, society, the wider world, and the strengths and weaknesses of the current curriculum

    • guarantees children’s entitlement to breadth, depth and balance, and to high standards in all the proposed domains, not just some of them

    • ensures that language, literacy and oracy are paramount

    • combines a national framework with protected local elements

    • encourages greater professional flexibility and creativity

  • Wind up the primary national strategy and re-integrate literacy and numeracy with the rest of the curriculum.


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AIMS AND DOMAINS the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • It is proposed that the primary curriculum be re-conceivedas a matrix of the 12 proposed aims together with eight domains of knowledge, skill, disposition and enquiry.

  • A DOMAIN HAS -

  • thematic and/or epistemological coherence and integrity;

  • an identifiable and essential core of knowledge and skill;

  • capacity to contribute to the pursuit and achievement of one or more of the 12 proposed educational aims;

  • strong prima facie justification for inclusion at the primary stage, the justifications ranging from the child’s present developmental need, through acculturation to future instrumental relevance;

  • potential to build on the EYFS and bridge to the secondary curriculum without being subservient to either.


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DOMAINS the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers. For details of each domain, see report, pp 265-272

  • Arts and creativity

  • Citizenship and ethics

  • Faith and belief

  • Language, oracy and literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Physical and emotional health

  • Place and time

  • Science and technology


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NATIONAL AND LOCAL the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

The National Curriculum (70%)

(QCDA or similar)

National framework – STATUTORY

National programmes of study – NON-STATUTORY

The Community Curriculum (30%)

(Community curriculum partnerships convened by local authorities)

Local framework and programmes of study – NON-STATUTORY


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AN ALTERNATIVE PRIMARY CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • The National

  • Curriculum

  • 70% of teaching time

  • Overall framework

  • Nationally determined

  • STATUTORY

  • Programmes of study

  • Nationally proposed

  • NON-STATUTORY

The Community

Curriculum

30% of teaching time

Overall framework and

Programmes of study

Locally proposed

NON-STATUTORY

  • Aims

  • Wellbeing

  • Engagement

  • Empowerment

  • Autonomy

  • Encouraging respect

  • and reciprocity

  • Promoting interdependence

  • and sustainability

  • Empowering local, national

  • and global citizenship

  • Celebrating culture

  • and community

  • Exploring, knowing,

  • understanding

  • and making sense

  • Fostering skill

  • Exciting the imagination

  • Enacting dialogue

  • Domains

  • Arts and creativity

  • Citizenship and ethics

  • Faith and belief

  • Language, oracy and

  • literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Physical and emotional

  • health

  • Place and time

  • Science and technology

A New Primary

Curriculum


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

7. PEDAGOGY


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DEFINING PEDAGOGY the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

Pedagogy is the act of teaching together with its attendant discourse of educational theories, values, evidence and justifications.

It is what one needs to know, and the skills one needs to command, in order to make and justify the different kinds of decisions of which teaching is constituted.

Alexander (2004), quoted in the CPR final report


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PEDAGOGY: EVIDENCE FROM RESEARCH the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • The final report (pp 287-291 ) summarises research which bears on pedagogy in these areas:

  • Children’s experience before and outside school

  • Children’s thinking

  • Cognitive prerequisites for learning

  • Social prerequisites for learning

  • Language in learning

  • ICT in learning

  • Classroom organisation

  • Class size

  • Principles for effective teaching and learning

  • Frameworks for exploring and understanding pedagogy (pp 299-305)


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RE-THINKING PEDAGOGY the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • It is of course teaching, not testing, which drives up standards … We must now work to strengthen what, according to international research, separates the best teachers from the rest: their depth of knowledge and engagement with what is to be taught, the quality and cognitive power of the classroom interaction they orchestrate, and their skill in assessing and providing feedback on pupils’ learning – all day, every day, not just in Year 6 and not just in literacy and numeracy …

  • Central prescription of teaching methods and lesson content should now cease … Teaching should be taken out of the political arena and given back to teachers. There is a necessary relationship between how teachers think about their practice and how children learn. Pupils will not learn to think for themselves if their teachers are merely expected to do as they are told.

  • A pedagogy of evidence and principle (recommendations 54-61)

  • Work towards a pedagogy of repertoire rather than recipe, and of principle rather than prescription.

  • Ensure that teaching and learning are properly informed by research.

  • Re-instate the principle that it is not for government or government agencies to tell teachers how to teach.

  • Avoid pedagogical fads and fashions and act instead on those aspects of learning and teaching, notably spoken language, where research evidence strongly converges.


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

8. ASSESSMENT, TESTING,

STANDARDS, ACCOUNTABILITY


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REFORMING ASSESSMENT the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • SATs are not the only available form of summative assessment … There is an urgent need for a thorough reform of the assessment system, going well beyond the May 2009 report of the DCSF ‘expert group’… Children’s learning across all aspects of the curriculum, including their developing capacity to learn, should be assessed formatively throughout the primary phase and summatively before transfer to secondary school … No single assessment procedure should be expected to perform both formative and summative functions … Moving to valid, reliable and properly moderated procedures for a broader approach to assessment will require careful research and deliberation.

  • Reform assessment (recommendations 62-74)

  • Retain summative pupil assessment at the end of the primary phase, but uncouple assessment for accountability from assessment for learning.

  • Replace current KS2 literacy/numeracy SATs by a system which assesses and reports on children’s achievement in all areas of their learning, with minimum of disruption and without distorting what it seeks to assess.

  • Monitor school and system performance through sample testing.

  • Make greater use of teacher assessment.


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ACCOUNTABILITY AND STANDARDS the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • The official evidence on whether standards in primary education have improved is unsafe. At its heart are two areas of difficulty: the validity and reliability of the chosen procedures, especially before 2000; and the historical tendency to treat test scores in limited aspects of literacy and numeracy as proxies for educational standards as a whole …

  • We take it as axiomatic that in a public system of education teachers and schools should be fully accountable to parents, children, government and the electorate for what they do. We reject any suggestion that our proposals for the reform of assessment and inspection imply otherwise. For us, the issue is not whether schools should be accountable, but for what and by what means.

  • Strengthen accountability, redefine standards (recommendations 40, 47, 53, 75-85, 150)

  • Move forward from debating whether schools and teachers should be accountable (they should) and concentrate instead on how.

  • Redefine primary education standards as the quality of learning in all curriculum domains, knowledge and skills to which children are entitled, not just some of them.

  • Develop a model of school inspection which is in line with the proposed aims and principles.


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

9. PRIMARY TEACHERS:

EXPERTISE, ROLES, TRAINING,

DEVELOPMENT


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ENTITLEMENT, QUALITY, EXPERTISE AND STAFFING the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

Entitlement as quantity: ‘quarts into pint pots’ (Rose).

Entitlement as quality: ‘children have a right to a curriculum which is consistently well-taught, regardless of the perceived significance of its various elements or the amount of time devoted to them’ (CPR final report)

1861 and all that: the class teacher system - cheap, efficient and inviolable?

1978 and all that: subject knowledge matters.

The 1980s: subject co-ordinators, consultants, advisers, leaders, managers ….

1992 and all that: ‘generalists, consultants, semi-specialists, specialists

2009: time to grasp the nettle - a full staffing review


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PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE AND SCHOOL STAFFING the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • The long-standing failure to resolve the mismatch between the curriculum to be taught, the focus of teacher training and the staffing of primary schools must be resolved without further delay. The principle to be applied is the one of entitlement adopted throughout this report: children have a right to a curriculum which is consistently well-taught regardless of the perceived significance of its various elements or the amount of time devoted to them … Primary schools should be staffed with sufficient flexibility to allow this principle to be applied … The urgency of this task, and its potential cost, require a full national primary staffing review.

  • Review primary school staffing (recommendations 118-19, 124-28, 132-33)

  • Undertake a full review of current and projected primary school staffing.

  • Ensure that schools have the teacher numbers, expertise and flexibility to deliver high standards across the full curriculum.

  • Develop and deploy alternative primary teaching roles to the generalist class teacher without losing its benefits.

  • Clarify and properly support the role of teaching assistant.


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TEACHER EDUCATION, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • Initial teacher training and continuing professional development should move from models premised on compliance with received official wisdom to critical engagement, on the basis that this not only makes for better teaching, but is a minimal position from which to advance the learning, empowerment, autonomy and citizenship of the pupil as highlighted in our proposed aims …

  • The TDA professional standards should be reviewed. They are empirically unsafe as well as too vague to be useful.

  • Reform teacher education (recommendations 119-23, 128-31)

  • Align teacher education with new aims, curriculum, and approaches to pedagogy.

  • Refocus initial training on childhood, learning, teaching, curriculum and domain knowledge, together with open exploration of fundamental questions of value and purpose.

  • Examine alternative ITT routes for different primary teaching roles and re-open debate about a 2-year primary PGCE.

  • Replace current TDA professional standards by a framework validated by professional development research and pupil learning outcomes.

  • Balance CPD support for inexperienced and less able teachers with freedom and respect for the experienced and talented.


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

10. SCHOOLS


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SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • Initiatives like ECM and the Children’s Plan are changing the remit of primary schools, while this Review has argued for schools’ enhanced role both in and as communities. At the same time there are pressures to extend schools’ specialist space and resources … For all these reasons, and to avoid piecemeal development, there should be a full discussion of the concept of a primary school for the first part of the 21st century.

  • Schools for the community and the future (recommendations 86-117)

  • Build on recent initiatives encouraging multi-agency working, and increase support for schools to help them ensure that the growing range of children’s services professionals work in partnership with each other and with parents.

  • Strengthen mutual professional support through clustering, federation, all-through schools and the pooling of expertise.

  • Protect small schools, especially in rural areas; heed the educational arguments for retaining the remaining middle schools. 

  • Take an innovative approach to school design and timetabling which marries design and function and properly reflects the proposed aims for primary education.


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LEADERSHIP FOR LEARNING the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • We are concerned by evidence to the Review which suggests a split in the primary workforce between those who welcome the prescriptions of the national agencies and those who resent being told what to do and how to think, and deplore both the compliance culture and the dependence on others for ideas which it has fostered. To some extent this split is age-related. Its persistence may limit what schools and their leaders can achieve …

  • For primary headship to be genuinely attractive it requires tangible evidence that policy makers value pedagogy informed by research, and that they allow latitude for leaders to motivate and inspire in their own ways those who want the very best for children and their families …

  • We repeat: heads should not be distracted from the job for which they are most needed – leading learning.

  • Leadership for learning (recommendations 134-42)

  • Share leadership in order to nurture the capacities of teachers and emphasise schools’ core tasks and relationships with their local communities.

  • Provide time and support for heads to do the job for which they are most needed – leading learning.


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THE FUNDING OF PRIMARY EDUCATION the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • The primary/secondary funding differential is based on long-outdated assumptions about curriculum, teaching and learning at the primary stage and the professional expertise these require, and should be eliminated … Funding should be at a level to enable schools to meet the obligations of an entitlement curriculum … There should be a new funding formula preceded … by a full staffing review.

  • Reform school funding (recommendations 149-51)

  • Eliminate the primary/secondary funding differential.

  • Ensure that primary school funding is determined by educational and curricular needs.

  • Devise and cost alternative models of curriculum/needs led primary school staffing.

  • Set increased costs against savings from terminating the primary national strategy (PNS), transferring its budget to schools, and otherwise reducing government control and infrastructure.


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THE the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY REVIEW

AND ITS FINAL REPORT

11. POLICY


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THE POLICY PROCESS the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

  • The experiment in centralised reform has produced important and necessary changes in relation to children and children’s services, but in relation to curriculum and pedagogy there is widespread agreement that it has gone too far … It has also been extremely expensive … The politicisation of primary education has also gone too far. Discussion has been blocked by derision, truth has been supplanted by myth and spin, and alternatives to current arrangements have been reduced to crude dichotomy …

  • The apparent demise of the national strategies, and the government’s promise to replace centrally-directed reform by school self-determination, might seem to make redundant some of this report’s recommendations … But a process which has concentrated so much power at the centre, and over the course of two decades has so decisively re-configured the relationship between government and teachers, cannot be instantly unpicked. Centrally-determined versions of teaching … are all that many younger teachers know.

  • Reform the policy process (recommendations 50-53 and 143-53)

  • Re-balance the responsibilities of the DCSF, local authorities and schools.

  • Replace top-down control and prescription by professional empowerment, mutual accountability and respect for research evidence and professional experience.

  • Make good the wider democratic deficit.

  • Abandon the discourses of derision, false dichotomy and myth, and strive to ensure that the education debate at last exemplifies rather than negates what education should be about.


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www.primaryreview.org.uk the next election; and as an exercise in democratic engagement as well as empirical enquiry and visionary effort its final report is not just for transient architects and agents of policy. It is for all who invest daily, deeply and for life in this vital phase of education, especially children, parents and teachers.

www.routledge.com/education

www.teachersfirst.org.uk/cpr


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