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R6C1 Relevance: Is the curriculum presented in ways which are meaningful to learners and so that it can excite their imagination?

School inspectors got this right some time ago. HMI wrote: ‘The curriculum should be seen by...

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Andrew Pollard
5 May 2010

School inspectors got this right some time ago. HMI wrote: ‘The curriculum should be seen by pupils to meet their present and prospective needs. What is taught and learned should be: worth learning in that it improves pupils' grasp of the subject matter and enhances their enjoyment and mastery of it; increases their understanding of themselves and the world in which they are growing up; raises their confidence and competence in controlling events and coping with widening expectations; and progressively equips them with the knowledge and skills needed in adult working life’ (HMI, 1985, p 45).

Quarter of a century later, we have even more diverse and rapidly changing societies. Inequality and under-performance remain intractable for many, so the challenge for schools to offer relevant curricula is very considerable. This is one reason why national frameworks should provide for local adaption, and why teachers’ knowledge of the learners and communities they serve is irreplaceable.

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