« Goodbye Mr Gibb | Main | #ililc »

February 11, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Can't wait for more of this at #ililc! See you soon f2f!


Just been listening to your presentation in Soton Chris and finding myself nodding at all you say. One of the issues for staff working in the system is how to effectively step back from what they have been doing for years to re-model their approach.

I left secondary teaching 3 years ago to work in primary langs and it is only because I don't have the ridiculous working to spurious levels hanging over my head to justify my existence that I have the space to develop a more creative curriculum.

Primary teachers make these links far more than secondary colleagues because of the continuity of their presence with their classes.

I still find however that I default to the topic based/lexical curriculum model unless I am careful. It takes a long time to be weened off this! How do secondary teachers manage to do this whilst in post and with all of the demands to perform and match up to spurious assessment models that, as you say, often define poor content?

The notion that really hit home to me from your talk was the idea of starting with the big picture, authentic text, songs, video clips, short stories and working backwards to unpick the content to understand how it is created, then build it back up with understanding. Have I understood correctly?

I remember the highlight of our yr 9 curriculum at my last secondary school was to watch "Cafe des Reves". It was a brilliant way to learn the perfect tense as we discussed what happened on the previous episode. We also picked up loads of language that would never have appeared in a defined syllabus.

Finally, I echo your opinion that our puils are capable of much more intellectiually than we give them credit for. I recently did a song with a yr 4 class on a Sing Up funded 4 week project. I worked on this song for 30 minutes a week. The class was deemed to be 'difficult' with a higher % of less able kids and the lyrics of the song more suitable for yr 8. By the end of 4 weeks they knew the song, could tell you what it meant, recited chunks of it from memory with perfect accents and were attentive and engaged throughout the process. Some were teaching it to siblings and parents.

Chris Harte

Hi Mark,
thank you for your comment. The thing that strikes me is it is nothing but reasonably common sense! We are crushing creativity and enjoyment out of language learning especially in KS4. The potential for primary language learning is enormous and I am really interested in your use of song which obviously not only develops confidence with structure, vocabulary cadence and phonics. Have you got any thing I could look at from your project?


Hi Chris

Only just found your response! I posted a sample of the track I used with the yr 4 pupils here


The comments to this entry are closed.