Sunday, 13 March 2011

Ofsted: Primary school history 'lacks narrative'

History teaching in primary schools lacks an overarching narrative because teachers do not know enough, the schools watchdog Ofsted has said.

At secondary level, the subject was generally taught well, but some teachers tended to "spoon-feed" students, a study by the body found.

But it was a "myth" that not enough UK history was taught, Ofsted said.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said children are growing up ignorant of UK history and "our island story".

Professional development
Mr Gove has stressed that he wants narrative British history to be "at the heart" of his curriculum review, and lamented the "trashing of our past".

Although Ofsted found that history teaching was good or better in most primary schools, it said some pupils learned about events, characters and periods but "found it difficult" to place them "within any coherent, long-term narrative".

This was partly because "many primary teachers did not themselves have adequate subject knowledge beyond the specific elements of history that they taught".

The curriculum "was itself episodic and militated against pupils grasping such an overview", the report said. Read more

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