Justification Of Curriculum

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Justification for the inclusion of foundation subjects in the primary curriculum was highlighted by Robin Alexander (2004). He refers to the 2002 Ofsted report (pp18-19) which found “a link between breadth, balance and standards” and it was “the breadth and richness of the curriculum which helped secure the quality of teaching and learning in literacy and numeracy”

Ofsted (2002, p11) found the most successful primary schools, scoring highly in English, mathematics and science, offered a rich curriculum, including “the humanities, physical education and the arts”. This contributed greatly to developing pupils’ imagination, creativity, self-confidence and “a positive attitude towards school”.

Barnes (2011) argues that a rich, broad curriculum will allow each child to find their particular strengths, so they can gain a sense of personal achievement. To make learning enjoyable, Barnes suggests teachers should encourage children to discuss their different viewpoints to boost motivation. The curriculum needs to be designed so that the child’s experiences at school give rise to positive feelings.

The implication is that the school curriculum can offer richness and the opportunity for each child to excel, only through the inclusion of a wide range of foundation subjects. Their inclusion, however, places considerable time pressure on teachers in covering the curriculum. The dilemma demands inventiveness on the part of teachers in devising ways to make best use of teaching time.

The Principles of effective teaching and learning in foundation subjects:

Ofsted (2002) noted the teachers in the most effective primary schools were skilled in making links between different subjects so that pupils could build upon knowledge o...

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...ings, the teacher-led group discussion helped the children to express positive feelings.


The principles of effective teaching in foundation subjects include careful, detailed lesson planning, where there is also scope for flexibility; clear learning objectives based on the National Curriculum; confident subject knowledge; and efficient use of available time and resources. The inclusion of foundation subjects in the National Curriculum greatly enhances opportunities for creative thinking both on the part of the teacher in selecting, designing, planning and conducting sometimes cross-curricular lessons, as well as the development of creative, imaginative thinking amongst pupils. Effective teaching of foundation subjects can include teaching strategies that tap into a child’s previously unrecognised talents and provide opportunities for them to shine.
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