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Petition to include arts and music in new curriculum

(36 Posts)
Luckygirl Wed 09-Mar-16 12:21:47

Here is the link - I have signed and it may be of interest to some other on here.

Anya Wed 09-Mar-16 13:16:52

Yes, I've been made aware of this by my daughter, a secondary teacher. I've signed and shared in FB.

Subjects such as Music, Art, Drama, etc will be marginalised. Even though my own subjects were Maths & Science, and I know there is a need for more pupils to take these subjects to a higher level, I cannot accept this narrowing of the curriculum.

annodomini Wed 09-Mar-16 13:27:04


jinglbellsfrocks Wed 09-Mar-16 14:06:25

Are there that many people actually doing the E-Bac? My DD's school doesn't offer it, and my GS has decided to choose his own subjects.

Anya Wed 09-Mar-16 14:12:03

It's going to be made compulsory

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 09-Mar-16 14:23:58

That article is behind the times.

From some Gov paper:

"Is the English Baccalaureate compulsory?
No. We have been clear that schools remain free to offer the curriculum that is right for their pupils. The English Baccalaureate is not compulsory but it does represent a core of subjects we want
12 HL Deb, 21 June 2011 ccWA277
13 House of Commons Education Committee, Fifth report of Session 2010-12, HC Paper 851, Ev18
9 English Baccalaureate
pupils to have the opportunity to study. Other qualifications remain valuable in their own right and we will encourage all pupils to study rigorous non-English Baccalaureate subjects and qualifications alongside it so they benefit from a well-rounded education

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 09-Mar-16 14:26:03

My GS is lucky in that his school is an Arts college, so he has drama and music coming out of his ears. And they run a Saturday morning drama and music group. DD and s-i-l chose his school for that reason.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 09-Mar-16 14:27:33

I think the English bacc sounds alright actually. They can still choose an arts subject to take with it. (maybe more than one, I'm not sure)

trisher Wed 09-Mar-16 15:20:00

Yes jings but the thing about the bacc is it is highly intensive and requires a great deal of study time, so the extra subject will be something tacked on for the cleverest and most able. Most average kids will only manage the Bacc. If creative subjects are part of it they will remain a main part of education. If they become just add-ons they will attract less students and become less financially viable eventually they will become second-rate subjects only available in some schools. It should also be remembered that the creative industries bring huge amounts of money to the economy and are amongst our most successful endeavours.

gettingonabit Wed 09-Mar-16 15:25:19

We've got the WelshBac here. It's supposed to be aimed at "rounding" studentshmm. Students can only choose 3(I think) non-compulsory subjects. Sciences are compulsory, as is RE. No place for Music and, in any event,(according to dd at least) you have to have achieved Grade 3 or equivalent to study it.


The state of Music education here is shocking.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 09-Mar-16 15:48:31

Which of these would you leave out, at fifteen?

English Baccalaureate subjects:

history or geography
the sciences
a language

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 09-Mar-16 15:51:22

Extra subjects wouldn't be "just add-ones". They would have the same status as the listed ones. Agree it's not an easy syllabus, but they want to bring UK education into line with much of the rest of the world.

gettingonabit Wed 09-Mar-16 17:09:57

I think it's a tough one-perhaps too tough to call in these competitive times. In my day it was sufficient to specialise in Arts OR Sciences; perhaps not so much now. I'm surprised IT is not on that list, though.

Anya Wed 09-Mar-16 22:42:20

March 2016 English Baccalaureate

Is this up-to-date enough for you jingl - 7 days ago?

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 09-Mar-16 23:09:06


That's the paper I got my information from - where I quoted the 'not compulsory' bit.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 09-Mar-16 23:09:58

My post 14:23:58

Jalima Wed 09-Mar-16 23:30:00

Students can only choose 3(I think) non-compulsory subjects
Is Welsh a compulsory subject in the WelshBac?
Would that be the compulsory language?

Anya Thu 10-Mar-16 09:35:57

Ah ha! Now recognise that 'some Gov paper'

Isn't it the case that schools will now be ranked on the results their pupils achieve in these 'core' subjects? Which mean that, unless schools are really committed to Music, the Arts or Drama, hundreds of children are going to miss out on these subjects - or only have token lessons.

I've watched the demise of music education services over the last 10-20 years across various LAs. I once worked for a LEA with a Music Service second to none. They had the capacity to offer tuition in almost any instrument to children, had junior orchestras and choirs, ran out-of-hours sessions and Summer Schools. All these services were offered to schools free of charge. But then schools were given control of their own budgets and these services had to be paid for 'bought in'.

Many schools initially chose to do so, but gradually, with league tables, emphasis on attainment in SATs, less emphasis on non-core subjects, fewer and fewer bought in and the cost inevitably rose. Less schools had their own music specialist. Indeed when I left my teaching post to work for the LEA the HT was unable to recruit another pianist, so the school choir folded, hymn practices and other musical events had to be led by a non specialist using CD backing.

Where we live now we have to pay privately for lessons for GS1 and it was almost impossible to find anyone qualified to teach his instrument.


What would our world be without music and drama and art?

Jalima Thu 10-Mar-16 09:43:39

Absolutely, Anya

Sad to hear that the state of music education is shocking in the 'Land of Song' and one which produced so many fine actors, gettingon
And why is RE compulsory?

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 10-Mar-16 09:49:23

I suppose it depends on the choices the child makes. Perhaps no point in forcing music or drama into a child with has no interest in it, or who actively dislikes it. I think by fourteen they know what they want. Just so long as they have a good grounding in the core subjects.

They will be able to choose whether to take the Bacc or not.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 10-Mar-16 09:51:14

RE isn't in there Jalima.

Anya Thu 10-Mar-16 09:59:36

Best not to force RE into a child who has no interest in it either I agree.

Luckygirl Thu 10-Mar-16 10:00:40

Exactly Anya - you have summed it up so well.

One of the reasons that so many children do not get involved in music and the arts is because they are sidelined - music in particular - so they get the idea that it is only for the very talented. If music were a valued part of the curriculum then children would see it as the norm, rather than a dwindling add-on.

It is a vicious circle - the dwindling of music has been happening for many years and many young teachers are the product of that depleted system. They themselves cannot read music and have no confidence in teaching it to their pupils. Even the use of song is a challenge to them. I used to go into schools to do singing with the children and some of the teachers would not even join in themselves as they felt insufficiently confident. What message does that send to the children?

There are almost no pupils who do not like music (it is the language of the teenager) - their interest is quashed by the poor teaching and sidelining of the subject.

There is strong concrete evidence that involvement in music in school has large and measurable beneficial effects on results in language and maths; and also on co-operation and confidence. It is a pity that the narrow-minded politicians do not take this on board.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 10-Mar-16 10:04:57

In the earlier years learning a musical instrument has a beneficial effect on a child's brain. Thank the Lord for the descant recorder.

Anya Thu 10-Mar-16 10:10:05

I think Lucky that some people don't realise just how diverse the 'music' is that is on offer at the best schools. I have found funding for several schools to have their own Music Studios where youngsters were shown how to mix using complicated decks and technologies.

So it's not all 'Nymphs & Shepherds' or working through your grades.

Our family love music, most of us play an instrument or three. For example I have GS3 here today, off school with a virus, he's picking out 'Over the Rainbow' on our handbell set as I type.