A view from the KS1 classroom


By Cathie McIlroy, published 25th March 2010


"So what did you do at school, today?"

As a child, I remember being asked this question often by my good humoured, paternal grandfather, when he met me at the end of the day. On returning from the trenches in 1919, he had trained to become a teacher and was subsequently a Head. I felt concerned to give an adequate answer.

The question has been asked in different guises from 1904, through the Plowden Report and Bullock reports, through Every Child Matters to more recently the Cambridge Review of Primary Education and the Rose Review, see pages 5-9.

The curriculum

It is not simply a ‘prescribed course of study'. Where I teach, staff in each year group have tried to make learning links between and across areas of the curriculum, under suitably headed themes. In learning about Remembrance pupils visit the locality, find out about local people named on memorials and listen to a visitor who has researched into the lives of specific individuals. Talking, raising questions and writing tasks are interrelated. In Year 1 a theme related to homes and materials involves pupils in looking at homes in the area around school and maybe visiting the Black Country Museum, or Back to Backs, to see at first hand how different home life was in the past

The home and the Early Years Foundation Stage

they begin with each child's understanding of their identity and personal past and place in the world. Experiences in school and...

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