The Importance Of A Cross Curricular Approach Essay

The Importance Of A Cross Curricular Approach Essay

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Primary education is ever changing and is always being debated and critiqued. This paper will discuss some prevalent issues within primary education, including the use of a cross curricular approach as opposed to a discrete method of teaching, and also the importance of key concepts. The paper will also evaluate the affect differentiation has on pupils’ attainment of deep knowledge. Underpinning this, the discussion will be linked back to a topic web (appendix 1) and a medium term plan of three lessons (appendix 2).

Prior to the introduction of the National Curriculum to schools in 1989, the Government had an interest in what was happening in schools but merely set out very few specific requirements in regards to the curriculum taught to the pupils. Instead the control was given to local educational authorities, which ran some schemes in schools. The consequence of this lack of guidelines, was the teaching being largely responsible for determining what was taught. This resulted in there being no national cohesion on what was being taught and how pupils were performing from a national perspective (The Children, Schools and Families Committee, 2009).

Adding to this, Ewens (2014) notes how prior to the National Curriculum, teachers commonly deployed a cross curricular strategy; highlighting that the cross curricular strategy is one that bridges the divide between a subject centred and a child centred curriculum. Nevertheless, Ewens adds how the strategy fell favour to a discrete approach partly due to Ofsted’s inspection methodology reinforcing subject teaching and partly due to the approach delivering a narrow coverage of subjects, with invalid links across them. This research influenced the appended medium term plan as original...


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...eeds of the pupils. Adding to this, Siraj and Taggart (2014) report research findings that show that teachers who worked in excellent and good schools were more likely to be sensitive to their pupil’s individual needs and, as a result, personalise their learning experiences through various methods of differentiation.

The research also found that poorer schools were generally less sensitive to the needs of the pupils, and consequentially did not plan to the different abilities; perhaps suggesting that differentiation not only has a positive impact on pupil progress, but also on the overall quality of the school. This is corroborated by Rojas-Drummond & Mercer (2003), Bruner (2006) and West & Muijs (2009) who believe that well planned and informed differentiation, delivered through a cross curricular approach, is vital in increasing all pupils’ engagement and progress.

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