HMI Red Books 1977-1983

Background notes

Red Book 1 (first edition, 1977)
Curriculum 11-16 Working papers by HM Inspectorate: a contribution to current debate

Red Book 1 (second edition, 1979)
Curriculum 11-16 Working papers by HM Inspectorate: a contribution to current debate

Red Book 2 (1981)
Curriculum 11-16 A review of progress

Red Book 3 (1983)
Curriculum 11-16 Towards a statement of entitlement

Red Book 3:
Curriculum 11-16 Towards a statement of entitlement (1983)

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various chapters:

1 How the enquiry developed (page 1)
2 The enquiry in action (5)
3 The entitlement curriculum (25)
4 Work in the Authorities (53)
5 Appendices (71)

The text of Curriculum 11-16 Towards a statement of entitlement was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 24 September 2017.

Curriculum 11-16
Towards a statement of entitlement (1983)

London: Department of Education and Science 1983
© Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


[title page]

Curriculum 11-16

Towards a statement of entitlement
Curricular reappraisal in action

London Her Majesty's Stationery Office

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© Crown copyright 1983
First published 1983

ISBN 0 11 270537 5

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1 How the enquiry developed
1 First phase
2 Second phase
3 LEA patterns of work
Tables of events


2 The enquiry in action
1 Partnership
Schools, LEA advisers and HMI
Organising the work
Visiting schools
Cooperation of LEA advisers and HMI
Involving others
The benefit of partnership

2 Observations on the process and requirements of curriculum reappraisal
Reappraising as a whole school activity
The role of the head
Staff participation
Getting the ideas
Initial tasks
Looking at the whole curriculum
Looking at pupils' learning
Essential school activities
Teacher self-evaluation
Necessity of LEA administrative support
Importance of advisers/inspectors
Involving parents

3 Difficulties encountered
Tensions between daily practice and curriculum enquiry
Demands of society
The constraints of the 16-plus examination proposal
The effects on schools of subject organisation
Subjects and the eight areas of experience
Skills and subjects
Timetable organisation and its effect
Finding teacher time
The effect of recent changes on the school system


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4 Results of the enquiry
Changes in the curriculum
Benefit for headteachers
Benefit for teachers
Benefit for pupils
Impact on LEA policies

3 The entitlement curriculum
The social context
An outline specification Aims
Knowledge and its relationship to skills, attitudes and concepts
Assessment and evaluation
Achieving the curriculum: some teacher tasks
Achieving the curriculum: subject and timetable implications


4 Work in the Authorities


1 Second phase, PAPER C questionnaires
2 Wigan's approach to the clarification of aims
3 Planning the entitlement curriculum
4 List of schools involved
5 List of case studies from schools in the 5 LEAs


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1. This document is the final report of a partnership between five LEAs with some of their secondary schools and a group of HMI. The partnership was maintained over a period of some six years, and the value of working together in this way is enthusiastically attested by all its members. The report does not attempt to give all the details of the many and varied contributions to the shared enterprise or of the stages through which the exercise had to pass. As might be expected in an exercise of this length and complexity and involving so many participants, the partners would not necessarily subscribe to every aspect of the work carried out nor to every detailed conclusion recorded here, but the document they have written is agreed by them all and commended to all with an interest in curricular reappraisal.

2. The aim was to establish a working relationship which would help the schools involved to examine, rethink and improve their curricula and classroom practice. The focus of everyone's effort, which might be shared by every secondary school in the country, was to find better ways of meeting the needs of all their pupils in the rapidly changing circumstances of today.

3. As those needs became clearer the thinking of the partners developed. The starting point was the original HMI 11-16 working papers (which became known as The Red Book). This suggested the need for a broad general education from 11-16 and based its argument upon eight 'areas of experience' as necessary elements which, together, would offer pupils a preparation for their personal as well as for their working and leisure life. It was not long before it was recognised that for practical purposes, more explicit attention had to be given to the place of skills in the curriculum.

4. This report describes a series of individual approaches and different stages of progress within them. Other schools and LEAs in the country will recognise the process of self-evaluation and curricular development and have other contributions to make to our understanding of both the process and its desirable products. Since the curriculum can never be static, every illustration of the process at work is valuable. Those whose curiosity is roused by this general account will also want to read the reports of each LEA as listed in Chapter 4 and Appendix 5.

5. With the Department's circular on curricular policy currently under consideration across the country and with initiatives such as the DES programme of development projects for low attaining pupils or the Manpower Services Commission's technical and vocational education, the sort of work described in this report needs to be a continuing and general

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activity. Inevitably, the existing shape and character of the public examination system affected the thinking of the schools about the curriculum since their proposals for change had to be compatible with them. Some scepticism was bound to be felt in the schools about whether the 11-16 curriculum could be treated as a whole with skills and knowledge variously located across the common curriculum, while the examination system remained so firmly subject based. The present 16-plus criteria exercise does, however, incorporate many of the same concerns and the enquiry remained committed to the development of a broad curriculum for all the years of secondary education.

6. Work of this kind and extent demands necessary and time-consuming consultation, with pupils, parents and other users, including employers. This report is written in the conviction that such an extended partnership, able to give more time to this sort of consultation than was possible in this particular enquiry, is desirable.

7. The value of this account is its description in general terms of some processes of curricular change and some of the likely outcomes. It indicates what needs to go on in schools if a common curriculum, appropriately interpreted according to individual need, is to be introduced for much of the week for all pupils to 16. Chapter 3 makes the case for what the partners in the exercise came to call the 'entitlement curriculum' and sets out what that entails. Appendix 3 described the processes which seem to be required in moving from theory to practice, in planning the entitlement curriculum; it illustrates the effect of the subjective, and to some extent, arbitrary judgements which underlie all curricular and timetable construction. Clearly there are no final answers, but if schools are as convinced of the need for the entitlement curriculum as the authors of the document, they will not want to delay until the ideal moment or level of resources is reached. The document presents a demanding challenge, one which will require continuing attention and one which many other LEAs and schools will wish to take the initiative in facing for themselves.

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1 How the enquiry developed

1. First phase

In April 1975, a group of HMI was convened to develop ideas within the Inspectorate about the nature and purposes of the curriculum for pupils aged 11-16. By September 1976, this group had produced a series of draft papers which were offered as an HMI contribution to a DES conference on 'The secondary curriculum', held at the University of Oxford. Following this conference, the decision was taken to establish an exercise on curricular enquiry in which schools would join LEA advisers and HMI in reviewing their own curricula in the light of the ideas discussed. 5 local authorities, Cheshire, Hampshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and Wigan, agreed to join HMI in this exercise, involving teachers from 41 schools. Work began in 1977, with participants using the draft HMI papers, then unpublished, as an initial stimulus to their thinking and work.

The draft papers formed the nucleus of an HMI publication Curriculum 11-16: working papers by HM Inspectorate - a contribution to current debate, which was published early in 1978. This free publication became known as The Red Book.

Section 1 of The Red Book argued the case for a common curriculum in secondary education to 16, and presented the idea of measuring curricular provision against a check list of eight areas of experience.

Section 2, 'Schools and society', considered the relationship between pupils' educational needs and programmes and the diverse expectations of society.

Section 3 considered schools' obligations to equip pupils for adult life, especially with reference to the world of employment.

There were also supplementary papers:

statements by HMI Committees on how particular subjects might contribute towards the attainment of these curricular objectives;

a paper considering the curricular implications of widespread geographical mobility;

a paper on how timetables could affect and reflect thinking about the curriculum;

some model staffing structures related to the ideas in the main sections.

In the early stages of the enquiry, all schools were invited to consider the central theses of The Red Book, and in particular the use of the check list of eight areas of experience as one possible starting point for reviewing the adequacy of the curriculum in their schools. In January 1978, a Central

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Coordinating Committee (CCC) was established with representatives from schools, LEAs and HMI, in order to provide the necessary planning of joint enterprises. The CCC subsequently met throughout the period of the exercise at least once a term. It quickly gave rise to two further working groups, a monitoring group and a writing group, whose functions were first to observe and evaluate the work in schools and then to provide a written record. An interim report Curriculum 11-16: a review of progress, HMSO (known as Red Book 2) was published in May 1981. This priced publication described the first phase of the exercise, which culminated in a conference held at Stoke Rochford Hall in June 1980. It concentrated especially on the processes of curricular enquiry as these were perceived by participants from the schools, LEAs and HMI concerned.

2. Second phase

The principal objective of the Stoke Rochford conference was to identify the thinking of participants about the need for further work. It was recognised by all LEAs that this needed to be done, and consequently they agreed to undertake a second stage, which would last until the end of 1982. This agreement was expressed in terms of two resolutions:

schools, within LEAs, would evaluate aspects of their provision, from overall curricular policy to departmental aims and objectives, with an emphasis on improving the quality of learning;

this evaluation would lead to the construction, analysis and testing of curricular patterns.

The thinking underlying these resolutions was that the exercise of curricular reappraisal was essentially aimed at giving pupils in secondary schools a better balance in their education. It was, therefore, a practical exercise, which would evaluate what was happening to pupils in classrooms in relation to the intentions of schools. Thus the two strands of common work agreed for the second phase were to be regarded as linked.

The enquiry continued to emphasise the basic questions posed at the outset. What was it that pupils had a reasonable right to expect from secondary education? Could these expectations be fulfilled by a curriculum identified only in terms of subjects, or must account also be taken of the areas of experience, skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge to which pupils were exposed in their secondary schooling? It became clear that the responsibility for answering these questions falls not only on individual schools and teachers but also on LEAs. During the course of the exercise, governmental initiatives culminating in Circular 6/81, underlined for LEAs the need to coordinate thinking and policy about the curriculum.

The composition of the group of schools for the second phase was not identical to that of the first. In one LEA the decision had been taken to introduce all secondary schools by stages into the work of curriculum reappraisal so that the schools in the first stage of the exercise were replaced by a second group which began work in 1980. In the other authorities, all

[page 3]

first phase schools were asked whether or not they wished to continue, and while the large majority did, some schools withdrew for various reasons such as changes of staff. In two' authorities, an additional school came into the work. As a result of these changes, 34 schools took part in the second phase, of which 22 had been in the first phase.

Early in the second phase it was decided to draw up a timetable of activities which consisted chiefly of requests to all schools for written statements about the curriculum.

Schools were asked to complete an analysis of their curriculum as it stood in January 1981. This was intended to update the information which all schools had provided at the start of the first phase.

Schools were also asked to produce a statement, necessarily provisional and exploratory in character, of their views about what kind of curriculum should be provided.

Schools were invited to state their current aims and objectives, first as a school and secondly by departments. Each department was asked to set out its aims and objectives for each of the five years of compulsory secondary schooling, using the agreed framework of areas of experience, skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge. Departments were also asked to consider the relationship between these aims and objectives and those for the school as a whole. These become known as Paper C submissions. (See Appendix I).

Towards the end of the exercise, schools were asked to resubmit statements of their views about the curriculum, modifying them as they felt necessary in the light of work undertaken in the second phase.

The place given within the second phase work to these tasks varied from authority to authority, but in general schools responded to the requests and adhered to the timetables. To ensure that communication was seen to be a two-way process, all schools in the exercise received documents which synthesised the findings from the written submissions. LEAs were also able to use these in their own work, for example, in developing language across the curriculum, pupil assessment and course evaluation.

3. LEA patterns of work

It was always recognised that LEAs would and should bring to the national enquiry their own differing philosophies and styles. Apart from the common activities requested by the Central Coordinating Committee, LEAs developed their own patterns of work (see Chapter 5). This was seen as helpful to other LEAs who might wish to initiate this form of curriculum development.

The recording of activity in the second phase required each LEA to establish its own writing group, from which one representative served on a central group to coordinate work towards a final publication. The local groups undertook the writing of various LEA accounts and statements about curricular entitlement for secondary school pupils.

A conference involving the partnerships from all five LEAs at Bournemouth

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in December 1982, instructed the central writing group to prepare a final text. It was also agreed that LEAs would publish more detailed accounts of the work undertaken by the partnership in their localities.

Table of events

1975 April HMI Curriculum Publications Group convened; work on papers began.

1976 September The Oxford conference on the secondary curriculum.

1976 December HMI began formal consultations with 6 LEAs; HMI discussion papers 1, 2 and 3 circulated to LEAs.

1977 January/February LEA representatives met HMI and discussed proposals for enquiry.
One LEA withdrew; selection of the 5 LEAs' schools.
LEA steering committees formed. Schools began work.

1977 Spring and Summer HMI and advisers began visiting schools.
Aide memoire returns made and staff deployment analyses completed.

1977 November Chorley Conference.

1978 January Central Coordinating Committee formed.
Monitoring group began work.

1978 March Publication of Curriculum 11-16: working papers by HM Inspectorate - a contribution to current debate (The Red Book 1)

1979 March Blackpool conference.

1979 September Monitoring the exercise began in schools.

1979 October Writing group began work.

1980 January/March Analysis of monitoring documents, including monitoring of HMI and LEAs.

1980 June Stoke Rochford conference; new phase of work initiated to end in December 1982.

1980 October HMI and Advisers' visits continued throughout this phase.

1980 November Schools asked to provide an analysis of their existing curriculum and aims and objectives and their views of the entitlement curriculum.

1981 January/December Schools evaluated their departmental provision in the light of the aims of the school.

1981 May Curriculum 11-16: a review of progress (The Red Book 2) published.

1982 January/July Schools restated their views of the entitlement curriculum and LEAs produced overall statements.

1982 July/November Partnership in each LEA prepared final publications.

1982 December Bournemouth Conference reviewed work and gave instructions about the final publication.

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2 The enquiry in action

1. Partnership

Schools, LEA advisers and HMI

The enquiry began and continued as a partnership in which teachers, LEA advisers and HMI together reviewed the curriculum of schools. It was a partnership, greatly appreciated at the local level, in which all learned from each other and in which all were, at different times and to different degrees, learners as well as leaders. Action came as a result of the interaction and cooperation of the three groups of partners; no one partner could have achieved as much by acting alone.

Each LEA assigned a senior adviser to coordinate the work and involve other advisers to varying extents. A team of HMI was associated with the enquiry and assigned in groups to work with each LEA. In the early stages, changes in the HMI team hindered attempts to establish continuity and were a frequent cause of disappointment to schools and LEAs. In the second phase there were few changes and this enabled the development of more productive working relationships between teachers, advisers and HMI within the partnership.

Organising the work

Teachers, advisers and HMI shared in the membership of the steering groups established in all LEAs, to plan and identify objectives for the different stages of the work and to assess progress. The Central Coordinating Committee, which also had a shared membership of HMI, teachers and advisers planned certain common tasks, reviewed overall progress and arranged the conference which brought together a much wider representation of the partnership to discuss what was being achieved.

Visiting schools

Teachers' comments on the visits of advisers and HMls

Very helpful, encouraging, frank and friendly.

Direct communication between 'chalk face workers' and those responsible for the direction of study.

First time I have seen an HMI in seven years. Morale booster and useful advice from adviser.

I have benefited by being observed and told I am teaching 'along the right lines.'

School visits formed a major part of the work in the enquiry. Usually it was advisers and HMI who had the opportunity to do this, but some teachers were enabled to visit other schools on occasions in their own authority. In the course of these visits, advisers and HMI spent time discussing progress

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with the head, and other teachers responsible for the curriculum as a whole, as well as talking over specific aspects of the work with individual teachers. Often visits related to priorities which had been established by the teachers themselves, and advisers and HMI visited to give specialist advice or to help with the evaluation of -approaches and development which teachers initiated. In some schools, advisers and HMI made a series of visits to a single department, and this enabled them to observe the development of work over a period of time. When teachers visited other schools, ideas and practices were discussed and exchanged. The advantages gained in this suggest that such visits are an important part of the in-service development of teachers and ought consequently to happen more often. School visits were the means by which working relationships between teachers, advisers and HMI were cemented to everyone's advantage.

Cooperation of LEA advisers and HMI

The enquiry gave LEA advisers and HMI many opportunities for close collaboration. They cooperated in planning LEA conferences and courses and in various activities concerned with monitoring and evaluating the work in hand. For example, in Lancashire and Cheshire they cooperated in a detailed examination of the skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge needed for evaluation standard subjects in the school curriculum and in Wigan on a study of the relationship between work and school.


The exchange of written papers, followed by discussion and comment amongst the partnership, was one of the main vehicles of curricular review and change. Teachers, advisers and HMI produced a variety of papers both to stimulate and to record the enquiries which were pursued. The partners helped each other to write up the work within each LEA and cooperated centrally to write national publications such as Curriculum 11-16: a review of progress (The Red Book 2) and this publication.

Involving others

Some schools and LEAs involved school governors, parents, local employers and pupils in the work of the enquiry. The extent of such involvement varied considerably but the advantages were obvious and more attention needs to be given in future to this aspect of curricular review.

The benefits of partnership

It was not apparent at the outset that such a partnership between teachers, advisers and HMI would be of benefit to all. However, the agreement made at the beginning that the exercise would not involve continuous reporting on schools did much to break down initial suspicion and eventually encouraged participation. Apprehension gradually lessened, and teachers increasingly saw great value in working in partnership with HMI and advisers. Advisers found that the partnership enabled them to know in greater depth the teachers and work of some schools in their areas and brought them more contact with HMI and a greater awareness of national perspectives. HMI found that they were no less able as a result of working in partnership to make critical evaluative comment on the schools visited. Indeed, the trust and closer professional relationships which had been established facilitated the process of evaluating schools' work.

The partnership enabled all to explore more fully the interrelationship of

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curricular objectives, ways of teaching and learning, and forms of assessment and evaluation. The enquiry has been an extended form of inservice training and development not only for teachers but also for advisers and HMI.

2. Observations on the processes and requirements of curricular reappraisal

Reappraising as a whole school activity

In establishing a process of curricular reappraisal, a crucial first step is the communication to all members of staff of the intentions and possible outcomes of the exercise. This is difficult to achieve. It takes time and it requires a structure for dissemination so that everyone knows what is happening. Writing a paper is not enough; a continuing process of writing and discussion in which the whole staff is involved has to be established. In particular, it is important important for all teachers to recognise that the activity is a professional responsibility and that participation in curriculum enquiry is a commitment to continuous in-service development. The enquiry has shown that teachers need to be able to see realistic and identifiable benefits resulting from their work if they are to commit themselves actively. Nevertheless, care is needed not to limit the outcome by too narrow a specification at the outset. At its best, curriculum reappraisal is an exploration by a school of the strengths and weaknesses of its current practice, using criteria and purposes which are clearly stated and understood, so that strengths can be extended and weaknesses overcome. Such an exploration requires a staff to come to some agreement about the criteria by which value judgements are made. The identification and application of these criteria should be an exciting and absorbing process in which all teachers take part. There were examples of schools where at some stage all of this happened but it was not always sustained into the longer and continuous process which curricular reappraisal inevitably requires.

One headteacher wrote: I know of no other way in which a complete school can concentrate its attention and concerns on the fundamental reason for its existence. We have all been made to go back to first principles-to examine critically not only what we are doing in our curriculum but also why we are doing it. The approach used in this exercise has demanded that every member of every department in the school has had to examine in a realistic manner, the aims, objectives, skills, concepts, content, method and assessment, of the department. This information has been available to the whole staff and so it has been possible to produce a synoptic view of the school made by the staff and for the staff in terms that we can all understand. Inevitably this has produced a greater awareness of what we are about as a school. In seeing our curriculum in a new way through the areas of experience approach, we have been forced to question whether we are providing a correct or desired balance, and whether we are duplicating experiences unnecessarily or omitting importance areas.

The role of the head

The enquiry showed that certain conditions are necessary if schools are to make effective curricular reappraisal. Although change can be effected in a sporadic way by the enthusiasm of individual teachers, the development of a whole school policy depends upon the quality of leadership provided by the head. Styles and methods may differ but two characteristics of a head's

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leadership were seen to be particularly important. One is the ability of the head to encourage and stimulate the contributions of teachers and especially to make them feel that these contributions are important. The other is the ability to provide an appraisal, in the context of the school's overall aims, of particular pieces of work undertaken by departments or groups of teachers and children. The experience of the exercise indicated that these two abilities are of greater importance in inspiring and sustaining teacher participation than the contribution of ideas. Though heads often did initiate ideas, there were many instances when, with greater effect, they allowed other teachers to lead curricular development.

Staff participation

Curriculum reappraisal has been most effective in schools where teachers were encouraged by the head to take part in its management and to contribute to the overall thinking. During the enquiry some schools developed participative management patterns and these substantially changed the 'style' of leadership within the school. Where deputy heads or other senior members of staff were involved in thinking and planning, and where they were given responsibility either for the overall coordination of the enquiry, or for a particular aspect of the work, it was noticeably beneficial. Some schools established working groups to study the whole curriculum, parts of it, or cross-curricular concerns. Leadership and membership from all levels of staff, and from different disciplines were helpful in strengthening motivation and in improving communications. Heads of department were central figures in determining the extent of staff participation: the more they expected and encouraged the involvement of all members of their departments, the more effective was the curriculum reappraisal. Where school policies specifically promoted interdepartmental discussion, heads of department occupied a key position in ensuring that ideas, activities and experiences were known throughout the staff. It is through such discussions that the particular contributions of each department to the curriculum can be identified, common purposes disclosed, and an awareness of areas of overlap realised. In some schools, staff with designated pastoral responsibilities drew attention to the range of pupil needs and the extent to which they were met by the various subjects in the curriculum which any individual pupil might study. This was particularly useful in emphasising the connection that there must be between academic and pastoral work if both are to contribute effectively. As the enquiry developed, schools adopted some of these ways of securing the involvement of teachers with varying success. Few succeeded in obtaining the commitment of all their staff but the greater the staff support, the greater the success in achieving curricular reappraisal and change.

Getting the ideas

In order to stimulate discussion, appropriate material must be available. For the work in the five LEAs, The Red Book and, in some instances, papers produced by advisers, provided the starting point. In particular, the three main papers in The Red Book - the case for a common curriculum, the relationships between schools and society, and preparation for work - drew the attention of teachers to the questions and issues affecting the whole curriculum. Materials from. a range of sources, suggesting guidelines for further curricular and classroom investigations, are needed to sustain

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development. For example, some schools used Open University, Schools Councillor Training Board materials for this purpose. Since teachers are fully engaged in normal duties in addition to curricular reappraisal, guidance about reading and a selection of materials should be made available. During the enquiry, LEA advisers often provided this and in one school a senior member of staff was designated to do it. Two authorities made resources available for the provision of relevant books and materials. One LEA, Wigan, established a university schoolmaster/mistress fellowship to carry out personal research but with direct responsibility for making schools aware of the results of recent educational research. Certainly schools need a policy for identifying and making available appropriate materials, not only initially, but as a continuing process.

Initial tasks

In the early stages it is important that teachers are given the time and opportunity to absorb the main ideas through discussion, though the temptation to prolong general discussion beyond the point of usefulness must be avoided. Schools found that one way to avoid this was to structure the discussions around a series of important questions, such as those posed in The Red Book 1, culminating in the question "What does a school expect pupils to be able to do at the age of 16?". One lesson learned was that initial discussions should be so arranged that they identify clearly defined, appropriate and achievable tasks. Though care must subsequently be taken to ensure that these do not prevent future rethinking, the early identification of such tasks is crucial. The setting of short term goals was also seen to be an important tactic, not only in the initial stages but throughout the long term process of curricular reappraisal, since it contributes continually to a sense of purpose and achievement.

Looking at the whole curriculum

In the enquiry, schools and LEAs approached this in two main ways. One way, broadly adopted in four LEAs*, was to use the eight areas of experience suggested in the Curriculum 11-16 papers to examine the contribution of individual subjects to the total curriculum. The other, followed in the remaining LEA†, was to try to perceive what would be required by 16 year olds in the next two decades and this led to the formulation of a similar but more detailed check list with which to reconsider the appropriateness of the existing subject based curriculum. In some authorities the initial stimulus was provided by arranging for heads of department, and sometimes other teachers, to attend inter-school meetings to consider the check lists and their application to specific subjects. Following this, departmental teachers often used the appropriate subject papers from the Curriculum 11-16 papers for discussion. However, because not all the teachers read other subject papers, to give a wider perspective of the curriculum the value of this activity was varied. In some cases, departments made an exhaustive analysis of their syllabuses, teaching materials and classroom practices using the eight areas of experience check list as a framework; in other cases the check list was treated somewhat perfunctorily and some teachers, having decided that their subject had an appropriate offering, settled into complacency. In general, making a departmental profile of this kind was a useful starting point. It engaged the interest of many teachers and helped them to look at their subject from a different viewpoint. Even where this work was not

*Lancashire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Hampshire


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followed up by interdepartmental activity, teachers benefited from the experience.

This led to outcomes of three kinds:

the identification by the departments of their contribution to the check lists enabled teachers to consider ways of relating their teaching more directly to that of their colleagues;

the recognition of deficiencies in the curriculum focussed thinking on how these might be remedied;

consideration of the structure and balance of the curriculum, particularly of the fourth and fifth year pupils, led to modifications to the 'Core and options' arrangements and indeed was a powerful factor in developing the notion of the entitlement curriculum.

Looking at pupils' learning

There were important limitations in the use of these check lists. Though they stimulated many teachers to think about the 'educational contribution of their subjects, they proved difficult to relate to an analysis of classroom practice at the level of individual lessons. Towards the end of the first phase of the enquiry, there was a growing recognition of a need to develop ways of examining the curriculum in terms of what children experienced and received, and of how they were motivated to enjoy learning. This led the second phase of the enquiry to emphasise the clarification of curricular aims and objectives, their translation into classroom practice and the evaluation of pupils' learning. In this work, the development of new check lists of skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge had a particular value. It encouraged schools to look practically at these aspects of pupils' learning across the boundaries of subject departments. It proved possible, for example, to consider certain skills to which many departments claimed to contribute and hence to coordinate approaches and minimise duplication. To evaluate what was happening, teachers, advisers and HMI cooperated to follow individual pupils through their course of daily lessons in 'pupil pursuit'. This process was found to be a valuable way of observing what pupils actually received from the learning experiences planned by teachers.

Essential school activities

In phase 2 schools were asked to carry out the work required by Paper C. These returns and the questionnaires used as a basis for them are shown in Appendix I. They were time consuming and often involved lengthy written responses; nevertheless they were valuable in providing a focus for departmental and interdepartmental discussion, in enabling teachers to see that curriculum reappraisal was directly concerned with what they were doing with children in the classroom, and in providing a structure within which many subject departments reviewed and modified syllabuses and schemes of work.

Teacher self-evaluation

The enquiry gradually involved schools and their teachers in self-evaluation. This proved to be a more complex and difficult process than is often appreciated. Several methods were used, including agreed check lists, observation of lessons (either by HMI, advisers or other teachers) to sharpen perceptions, recording and playing back of lessons, observing lessons in

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other schools and, the most notably innovative of all, lessons evaluation schedules for use not only by teachers but also by pupils. It is clear that whatever the methods used, all required carefully detailed preparation, followed by reappraisal and a willingness to make adjustments both to teaching styles and to self-evaluation procedures. The observation of lessons required the development of agreed criteria as a basis for subsequent discussion, so that comment was not seen as criticism, but as directed at improving the quality of classroom experience. Teachers found it hard to evaluate their own work and were diffident about evaluating that of their colleagues. The experience of the enquiry suggested that discussion with outside agents, in this case advisers and HMI, considerably helped teachers to develop their self-evaluation procedures. Teachers found HMI particularly helpful in this because of their independence, their detachment from issues related to teachers' career prospects and their recognised national experience in classroom observation.

Necessity of LEA administrative support

The enquiry has made it clear that the support of the CEO and LEA administrative officers is essential for effective curricular reappraisal. It is important that they are seen to be involved in the activity and positively supporting it. This did not always happen sufficiently in the enquiry, but where there was such involvement it was of considerable benefit.

The following observations could be used by authorities considering a programme of curricular reappraisal:

It is more valuable for a number of schools to work together in such an exercise than to allow work to proceed in individual isolated schools.

Such a group will provide a focal point for the dissemination policy which every LEA needs to have.

The number of schools must be related to the resources available, both in terms of finance and staff time. It is particularly important that adequate protected time is allowed for the advisory staff involved in the exercise.

Provision must be made for appropriate resources to enable teachers to hold meetings and conferences, either in groups or as a whole staff within a school, or with colleagues in associated schools. The closure of schools to pupils for a day or half-day is one valuable way of providing such meetings.

An increase of clerical assistance and additional finance will be needed to deal with the production and circulation of documents which curricular enquiry will entail.

At an early stage the Education Committee and governing bodies of schools need to be informed of the purposes and nature of the work, so that they may subsequently play their part in the partnership.

Headteachers' comments on phase 2

The exercise had heightened teacher awareness of their professional expertise. Teachers were made more aware of the finer details of their work, planning

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improved, procedures were standardised and made more simple and, perhaps, most important of all, teachers recognised the need for some modification of some teaching procedures. There was a positive gain in teacher self-assessment, and many teachers remarked that this was the real value of being involved in phase 2. They also appreciated the value of the exchange of ideas within and between departments, and began to see the need to highlight the 'best practice' in the school and to make use of common teaching ideas which have been shown to be successful.

For members of staff this has been a long, hard slog and some are reluctant to admit that they have got anything out of the exercise. It is evident that the meetings of subject teachers to prepare for the modules were beneficial. The clearly defined area of study gave the staff the confidence they needed to continue from phase I of the review. The classroom based exercise was an excellent approach and the work done there will certainly help year by year as those topics are covered. The technique of analysis of exactly what is being taught will persist and help in curriculum planning and modification.

Curricular thinking has become much more critical- staff are much more appreciative of what they should be teaching and why: evaluation and assessment procedures have been refined and tested; there has been extensive development and improvement of teaching styles, resources and materials. Great attention has been paid to the needs of pupils in terms of skills, concepts etc and module 2 (although of limited value) served to heighten teacher awareness of the problems of communication - some anxious filleting of worksheets has resulted.

That members of staff were so ready to agree to observation by colleagues is significant in terms of their professional confidence. This was helped by the exercise providing specific frameworks for discussion both within and between schools. We regret that so little visiting of other schools occurred.

In the course of the review and analysis, the individual teacher has opened up his classroom and has been able to relate his performance and effectiveness more directly and intimately to that of his colleagues - objectives, techniques, materials have been questioned critically in departmental meetings within the school and at meetings with other participant schools.

Studies of the curriculum and classroom practice requires that the professionals within the field of education identify the important issues and endeavour to solve the teaching and learning problems which impede the achievement of set aims and good teaching practice.

Previous experience in the curriculum enquiry eliminated several factors which might have impeded the investigation, if not frustrated and finally snuffed out the entire enterprise. Already, the involvement for over three years of the whole staff in curriculum investigation, ensured the willing acceptance of this new task, a technical vocabulary to facilitate mutual understanding, the confidence to debate freely with HMI, advisers and colleagues, and the intellectual and emotional strength to countenance a critical examination of current teaching practice.

Self-evaluation features largely in the exercise, penetrating those pieces of heavy armour: 'We've known that for years', 'Done it all before', 'A waste of time' and other defensive remarks advocating inaction and blind acceptance of the status quo.

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Importance of LEA advisers/inspectors

The involvement of the advisory service has also been seen to be crucial. To be effective there must be nominated advisers with overall responsibility supported by a small team. Some reallocation of duties will be required to ensure that they are able to give adequate time to the curriculum appraisal.

At the same time the whole of the LEA advisory service should be fully aware of the implications of the work so that in-service courses can be related and coordinated. Major functions of the advisers, in liaison with head teachers, will be:

to create the climate of confidence among officers, advisers and teachers necessary for curricular reappraisal;

to provide the initial material for discussion;

to organise and facilitate inter-school activity at a variety of staff levels to examine curricular issues;

to ensure that short term objectives are identified;

to provide programmes of induction for schools or members of staff new to the exercise;

to help schools with their evaluation processes;

to disseminate the ideas raised in the enquiry in other LEA in-service courses;

to inform and advise the Chief Education Officer and the Education Committee of developments, likely requirements and likely results.

Involving parents

It is necessary to make parents aware of what the school is undertaking. This will involve the provision of opportunities for parents to discuss and to question the effects of curricular changes. Such opportunities have been given by some schools in the enquiry.

3. Difficulties encountered

Tensions between daily practice and curriculum enquiry

Radical thinking about the curriculum was difficult to realise because teachers had to maintain the necessary daily routines. Significant questions about the curriculum - which parts are thought to be essential? which parts need to be changed or abandoned? what ought to be the balance and nature of a curriculum suitable for children whose adult life will be lived out in the 21st century? - could not always be tackled fully be teachers whose main concern was to carry out the objectives related to their current curricular provision.

Demands of society

Another reality which has made it difficult for schools to consider change is society's requirement that young people should possess qualifications at the end of their formal education in the subjects of the conventional curriculum. In these circumstances, schools have had to take into account the prospects of their pupils in external examinations and the wishes of parents and employers before making judgements about the effects of introducing changes in subject syllabuses, or in teaching and learning methods or in the structure of the curriculum as a whole. As a result, where the needs of the future and the requirements of the present have been seen to be in conflict,

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considerations about the present have been uppermost. During the time of the enquiry this conflict has been sharpened. The schools see themselves increasingly at the mercy of the market force of parental choice in a time of falling rolls, and they judge their examination results to be among the major factors which determine the exercise of parental choice. This has led them to be understandably cautious in making decisions about the acceptability of change in the current curriculum, even when there has been considerable agreement about the desirability of such modification. Nevertheless, schools have realised that the curriculum must not mirror only the current demands of society. It needs to take account of children as individuals now, as well as citizens of the future. The reshaping of the secondary curriculum may best be achieved by discussions which include people outside as well as within the schools. All those concerned with education have a responsibility to voice their perception of what an appropriate curriculum might be.

The constraints of the 16-plus examination proposals

Some of the proposals for the 16-plus examination were seen as a difficulty. The beginning of phase 2 of the enquiry coincided with the period when teachers throughout the country were asked to consider and comment on draft criteria for the proposed 16-plus examination. The philosophical bases of some of the early statements of criteria (1) from the Joint Council subject working parties were seen by many teachers as significantly different from those which underlay the work of the enquiry. Much disappointment was expressed about this and about the fact that many of the issues which had been central to the enquiry were not reflected in these statements of criteria. Many teachers took the view that if the proposed 16-plus examinations were to be based on criteria such as these, the scope for change in the curriculum of the kind with which the enquiry was concerned could be extremely limited. In the enquiry, teachers were engaged in thinking about the development of a curriculum in which the subjects were seen to be the vehicles through which young people acquired the skills, attitudes and concepts necessary for life in the late 20th century. Yet at the time they were invited by the Joint Council to respond to proposals put forward by subject working parties that sought to test limited areas of knowledge. Some teachers were so concerned about this that they responded vigorously to the boards. The view that examination criteria would be far more influential in shaping the curriculum for the future than the work of curriculum reappraisal cannot be underestimated. It is all the more important that teachers continue to be involved in discussion of criteria which can be such strong determinants of the curriculum.

The effects on schools of subject organisation

The organisation of secondary schools into subject departments has also been seen as a difficulty which inhibits curricular reappraisal. While subject departments provide teachers with a confident base of expertise from which to work, it has been recognised that this subject structure of the teaching profession exerts a particular kind of influence on ways of thinking about the curriculum. Since the major teaching commitments and loyalties of most

(1) These statements were extensively revised by the Joint Council and were submitted to the Secretary of State in late 1982 and early 1983.

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teachers are within subject departments, it has often been more difficult for them to identify and exploit those aspects of their specialisms which contribute to cross-curricular concerns. This has had a marked effect on the ways in which such matters have been approached and there is a clear need for initial and in-service training to help teachers take up the broader perspective. Too often the subject based curriculum can become mainly a content based curriculum. There is a need to consider the skills, attitudes and concepts as well as the knowledge which subjects can contribute to the education of children as a whole. In the later stages of the enquiry, many teachers spoke of the ways in which they had been helped to understand not only their own subjects in terms other than content, but also cross-curricular issues, and the need to work with other departments to achieve a balance of activities across the whole curriculum.

Subjects and the eight areas of experience

Traditional thinking in subject terms has brought further difficulty when teachers have attempted to provide a balance in the curriculum in terms of the eight areas of experience. Most schools and teachers associated with the exercise have accepted the proposition that the curriculum of all pupils up to the age of 16 should include these eight areas, but it has proved extremely difficult to avoid aligning them with subjects when considering issues of 'balance' within the curriculum. It has also been too easy to justify each subject in terms of the eight areas. Many schools attempt to achieve a balanced curriculum for their pupils in the fourth and fifth years by ensuring that among their options there are those which offer, for example, aesthetic/creative and scientific experiences. To do this, they identify, sometimes under faculty headings such as humanities or communications, groups of subjects in which each subject is thought to offer a similar kind of learning experience. The enquiry suggests that this assumption is unwarranted. For example, it cannot be assumed that geography, history and religious education offer similar learning experiences. It is necessary to examine fully the similarity and the differences of the learning experience in practice offered to and received by pupils. Similarly in music and art, two subjects which are commonly linked within the 'creative' studies cluster, teachers should ascertain whether each does in fact provide similar experiences for pupils. The ways in which the scientific experiences involved in a study of physics, chemistry and biology at this level complement and contrast with each other, also need careful consideration. The working assumption that for the purposes of achieving 'balance' in the curriculum, subjects within identified clusters may safely be treated as interchangeable is no longer tenable. This view is supported by the discrepancies which some schools found when they monitored the learning experiences which pupils actually received.

Skills and subjects

Work in the second phase of the enquiry in several schools has focused increasingly on skills development. Teaching methods and materials have been modified in order to develop identified skills, both through the teaching of individual subjects and by attempts to focus on the same skills in the teaching of several subjects. It has, however, proved difficult to design school policies for the development of skills across the curriculum.

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Timetable organisation and its effects

Another difficulty has been that of fitting a balanced curriculum including new elements as, for example, health education and computer education into traditional 40 period per week timetables and into teachers' expectations of a certain number of periods for their particular subjects. There has been widespread acceptance in the course of the enquiry that the curriculum in schools is already overcrowded for many pupils. Although much of the work of phase 1 led to the identification of aspects of learning which have at best a token presence as, for example, the fostering of political and economic awareness, decisions on what might be left out either permanently or intermittently in order to include desirable elements have been elusive. The ideas that some aspects of work might be programmed on other than a weekly basis, although at first sight attractive, has proved difficult to act on, partly because of the organisational difficulties of timetabling, and partly because so much school organisation has been based on the assumption that optimum learning conditions for most subjects require at least weekly provision. Where schools have programmed activities for longer modules of time it has usually been only for non-examination groups.

Finding teacher time

The work of the enquiry has demonstrated the difficulties of undertaking sustained evaluation and planning of the curriculum and at the same time meeting the pressures and demands of teaching and administration in a school. Much of the discussion and group planning had to take place at the end of a full day's teaching, and this was not the best time for the considered discussion of important issues. Although the enquiry showed that teachers have an important role to play in developing the curriculum, they were often prevented from giving a full commitment to the work because of the routine pressures associated with their normal duties. Problems of communication within the schools have been accentuated by the limited time which is available for this work in the normal context of school life. If LEAs wish to sponsor work of this kind there are implications for staffing and for inservice work.

The effects of recent changes in the school system

Schools have felt the effects of the financial stringency of the past five years in several ways which have not aided the work of the enquiry. Periodic industrial action by teachers resulted in breaks in the continuity of the work, absorbing energy and at times threatening relationships. In some authorities the pupil-teacher ratio has worsened over the period of the enquiry (in one LEA from 17.5 to 18.2) and this has limited the scope for schools to redefine staffing requirements in the light of their work on the curriculum. Staff have faced restricted opportunities for promotion. The redeployment and reduction of teachers as a consequence of falling rolls has. created uncertainty and unease among the staff of some schools, and has also been extremely demanding on the time of local authority advisers. In two authorities in the enquiry there were drastic reductions in their total advisory staff during the course of the exercise. Some schools continue to be faced with the prospect of reorganisation or possible closure. While there were several indications that many teachers found their work in the enquiry a source of professional reinforcement and satisfaction, nevertheless political and economic changes, both at local and national levels, have led to declining morale.

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4. Results of the enquiry

Changes in the curriculum

There have been three broad categories of change in the curriculum of schools in the enquiry: changes in curriculum content both by the addition of 'new' courses and by the modification of existing syllabuses; changes in classroom practice; and changes in teacher evaluation both of their own provision and pupils' response.

  • Several schools identified areas which were either not included or underemphasised in the existing curriculum. The most common of these were study skills: political and economic awareness, technological understanding, health education, personal and social development, and preparation for life after school. There were examples of schools dealing with some of these areas through existing courses, but most, though aware that these aspects of education should be realised across the curriculum rather than through specific courses, responded by instituting new, separate programmes. Some schools were dissatisfied with this solution and were particularly aware that it did not in any way absolve teachers from attempting to contribute to these areas of understanding through existing courses. Subject syllabuses were changed in some schools partly to include more relevant materials and partly to facilitate teaching which was more concerned with skills and concepts. The decision in some schools to include science in the curriculum of all pupils led them to redesign their science courses. Because they were perceived to suit their objectives better, other schools replaced some of their former syllabuses by those developed by Schools Council projects such as Geography for the young school Ie aver or History 13-16.
  • An increasing concern with skills, attitudes and the understanding of ideas and concepts led many teachers to recognise that changes in teaching method were at least as important as changes in subject content. Active participation of pupils in carrying out enquiries, in collecting and interpreting information and in exchanging ideas with each other in class and group discussions became a more obvious part of lessons than previously. This called for a careful examination of the materials needed to support this kind of learning and focused the attention of teachers on the need to develop appropriate resources. The same concern encouraged some schools to explore ways in which the work of different departments might be linked to teach certain general skills such as the understanding and carrying out of instructions, problem solving, geographical skills and study skills. This also led to considerations of continuity and progression within the secondary school curriculum and across the years of schooling.
  • One other major outcome of the concentrated thinking about aims and objectives has been the sharpening of the criteria by which teachers evaluate both their own provision and the response of pupils. Many teachers have recognised the importance of regular evaluation of courses. Various methods have been tried to ascertain the experiences pupils received, including the testing of modules of work, discussion with pupils about their reaction to work and teachers' observations of each other's lessons. Cheshire and Lancashire made new approaches to the assessment of pupil performance by including a wider base of criteria for assessment and attempting to form a profile of pupils' responses to the whole curriculum.

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Benefits for headteachers

The enquiry gave headteachers the opportunity:

to develop their curricular thinking;

to motivate teachers and departments to adopt a wider view of the purposes of the school;

to design whole school policies;

to raise issues of course evaluation and pupil assessment.

One headteacher gave this account of the impact of the enquiry

Five years of involvement in national curriculum enquiry 11-16 have therefore left the school stronger and happier in terms of the willingness and the ability of its staff to meet with each other in full and frank discussion of its teaching programme, its methods, its success and its further development. Equally importantly, individual members of staff are well positioned to enable them to identify, understand and develop their own particular contributions to the overall scheme - not necessarily restricting this to curriculum areas. A taste for cooperative investigation has been developed, and there is a marked collective desire for all the school's programme to represent the best compromise obtainable between what the headmaster and staff would like to offer and achieve - the desirable curriculum, and that which the bare and worrying statistics of reducing provision, constraints and falling rolls would seem to suggest. Thus in this academic year, middle band provision is to be re-examined in the same way and in the same spirit as was in evidence on consideration of provision for the less able. Other equally challenging and profound matters for discussion are planned for subsequent curriculum discussion meetings. Due largely to thought processes reawakened or set in motion by the necessity of responding to enquiry questionnaires and commentary documents, awareness of the need to be modern, relevant and forward thinking has been heightened - a head of department writes of the needs to be answered in his syllabus, now under review: 'Skills such as the understanding and interpretation of data, the analysis of statements, and the skills of communication in written, diagrammatic or oral form.'

Changes have been many, but no single one as significant as the establishment of clearer aims and objectives - the school's initial response to an invitation to comment on the establishment of a desirable curriculum contained the following expression of a philosophy, almost an act of faith, which may serve finally as a fitting summary to this survey of five years productive involvement in curriculum enquiry 11-16.

'Essentially we should like to offer to all pupils a curriculum consistent with their particular age and ability, one which would allow for the optimum development of an individual talent, which would answer the expectations of pupils in terms of preparation for adult life and employment, and one which takes into full account the implications of late 20th century social, scientific and technological development.'

Benefits for teachers

Some teachers were engaged in the work of the enquiry for longer periods than others and consequently were influenced by it more than those whose involvement was more superficial or sporadic. Nevertheless it is possible to identify several benefits:

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they gained a clearer view of the place of their own and of other teacher's specialist subjects in the curriculum;

they identified more precisely the range of individual pupil needs in relation to their ages and abilities;

they learned to focus on the skills, attitudes and ideas which pupils are likely to require in adult life and designed courses to teach these more effectively;

they learned to work in teams both within departments and across them and had greater opportunities for participation in school management;

they became more conscious of the importance of assessment and its connection with styles of teaching and learning;

they produced better schemes of work;

they had opportunities to observe the curriculum of other schools and so widened their experience and knowledge;

they were able to make better informed responses to the proposed national criteria for examinations at 16-plus which were published during the enquiry.

Some teachers' observations

Deeper understanding of our role as science teachers, not just purveyors of facts. Deeper concern for the needs of pupils of all ages and abilities.

The main benefit has been the exchange of ideas between teachers. I now have a clearer picture of what I am trying to achieve.

More concerned with accountability in teaching.

I am now trying to help the pupils to think critically and to make their own conclusions. I try to avoid simply dictating notes and giving answers without the pupils having time or opportunity to think things out for themselves.

I have been made aware of the wider consideration involved in teaching, especially social implications, and increased uses of practical work.

This school is a different place from what it was a few years ago. Attitudes have changed and things have happened which would not have seemed possible - and it all seems to have started with our first in-service day.

Benefits for pupils

The enquiry was based on the belief that the first professional task of teachers is to decide what is good for pupils in terms of an appropriate curriculum. Schools were aware that not all pupils accepted the idea of a balanced curriculum; discussion about this occurred with individual pupils when option decisions were being made. There was more discussion with pupils about the nature of classroom experiences. In attempting to assess the benefits to pupils - and these are difficult to measure - it is the perceptions of teachers, advisers and HMI which have been considered, not the view of

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pupils. However, it has emerged clearly from the enquiry that the more teachers take pupils into their confidence and explain to them why the curriculum is structured as it is and why pupils are asked to do certain activities, the more pupils respond positively with enthusiasm and interest.

Pupils were not, of course, aware of the extent of an enquiry involving the work of five LEAs, but they could, and did, notice that the quality of individual lessons was improved. They could not know that this resulted from a complex process undertaken by their teachers to analyse the skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge which pupils needed and the methods and learning experience that would deliver them.

Some pupils' comments:

I enjoyed the lesson because we didn't just copy out of books and were allowed to talk.

This was a good lesson, because the meaning of it was to keep things in order. I enjoyed this lesson because I didn't understand at first why we were doing it, and then I caught on to what was happening.

Setting our own questions made us look very carefully at the story. There are more ideas in groups of four or five rather than pairs.

Today we had to imagine we were teachers marking books. I learnt new ways of when to put capital letters and punctuation.

I liked it better than a normal lesson because instead of the teacher telling you about the Lake District, you can see for yourself.

Curriculum planning is a good idea but don't make it too interesting or we won't look forward to the holidays.

Teachers identified the following benefits which pupils received from the enquiry:

courses were often better structured and better resourced with books and materials;

in particular, courses for pupils in the fourth and fifth years, especially those concerned with education and industry, social education, and science and society, generated more positive pupil attitudes;

courses were related more to needs and abilities of pupils and methods of teaching and learning were designed to promote a range of personal qualities, skills and attitudes;

pupils' learning during the five years of secondary schooling was given more coherence as a result of teachers' analysis of skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge;

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there was less unnecessary repetition, and greater care taken to ensure progression in the work, particularly in the acquisition of skills;

many schools discussed with local employees what they considered school leavers should possess, particularly in terms of skills and ability to work cooperatively in groups, and then developed more participative styles of learning to equip pupils with these;

in general, pupils were able to respond more positively to tasks set, and to enjoy and make more sense of their school experience, though there was some resistance by pupils who expected the teacher to give detailed instructions or by those who found changes in method difficult to accept;

pupils benefited from the increased expectations with which teachers now approached their work.

As a result of the new learning approaches which teachers devised, a considerable number of classes of all abilities were observed to change from attitudes of boredom to those of interest and this might well be accounted the greatest of all benefits.

Some teacher's observations on how children benefited:

How children learn should influence how teachers teach. The traditional, pedagogic role of the teacher as a kind of stiff-backed quartermaster who has worked on the material, solved the problems, written up the necessary notes, and is there to hand them over - sorted, weighed and wrapped - has got to go. Instead the teacher has to be a guide and critic, a provider of resources, one who can persuade, encourage and judge, and one who on occasions, has the good sense to keep quiet and let things happen. We need to state clearly and strongly, and with total conviction, our belief that a school curriculum should foster critical and reflective thinking; that it should involve pupils in making meanings for themselves; that it ought properly to include the opportunities to fail, to redraft and reshape information; that it must legitimise the crafts and arts of making, doing and being; that classrooms should be places where pupils can think personally, feel personally and develop a strong self-identity, and where the formulation and solution of problems is not inhibited.

The total experience was an extremely valuable one. Our perception of the demands of effective skill or concept based teaching has been sharpened in a variety of ways ... many assumptions have been undermined; the exercise has led to more intensive teaching and to a deeper appreciation of methodology and of assessments made.

Certain assumptions made of pupils were subjected to greater scrutiny -in particular the language levels used in classroom communication in both written and spoken form.

Greatest benefit was gained by those teachers new to this type of teaching which is vastly different from the past in its clarity of purpose, its clear concept of relevant skills, its practical methodology and its emphasis on communication.

The exercise sharply revealed the difficulties encountered by pupils. Skills needed in the fourth and fifth years were possibly not being taught well enough in the first and second years.

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Overall, the strengths of this scheme (a developing social education course) have been that the teachers work together as a team to plan the course work; that booklets of specific common teaching materials have been made available; that there has been recognition of the need for changed classroom methodology as a key feature of this course; that there is built in to each unit a review process by the staff; that staff have felt able to draw upon specialist staff; that the staff who form the team, although a volunteer group, represent a wide range of subject expertise. The willingness of teachers to be so frank is perhaps connected with the fact that in the field of social education no staff claim to be experts. The teachers were quick to acknowledge their own insecurity but also recognised that the pupils themselves, especially the more able, were insecure when presented with problems to which there was no single unambiguous right answer. It has been interesting to note a growth in self-confidence within the pupils which comes from a recognition that they have a valid point of view on difficult ethical and moral issues.

Impact on LEA policies

The enquiry made considerable demands upon the resources of the LEAs but despite the financial stringency imposed in recent years and its effects on the level of resources available, all five LEAs have attempted to meet these demands.

  • The most immediate effect has been seen in programmes for in-service training. The early recognition of cross-curricular issues led LEAs to foster school focused in-service training and usually the opportunity was found for teachers to spend a day discussing their teaching in relation to the identified needs of the school. LEA advisers supported this work, carried it over into other schools and introduced it into their wider programmes of in-service training.
  • Some LEAs have recognised the need to provide staffing not only for a balanced curriculum in all of the secondary years of compulsory schooling, but also for a range of optional subjects to meet the needs of individual pupils. Because of financial restraints it has not always been possible to realise the staffing implications of the enquiry but in some authorities policies have emerged which can be implemented as resources allow.
  • One LEA found a need to build additional teaching places in some schools in accordance with a new curriculum led policy for teaching space provision.
  • Most LEAs developed policies for dissemination:

    Two authorities intended from the outset to include all their secondary schools in curricular enquiry and implemented this policy.

    Two authorities held back on a full dissemination programme until the conclusions of the enquiry were more clearly defined. One of these is now planning to involve all secondary schools during the current academic year.

    In the other authority, involvement of other schools has been, and will continue to be, on a voluntary basis.

    In all five authorities there was a policy that in-service work by all advisers should include consideration of the 11-16 enquiry.

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Illustrations of LEA policies

Cheshire committed all its secondary schools, in successive groups, to the work of the enquiry.

The CEO for Hampshire prepared a curriculum document for the schools subcommittee indicating how schools and their governors were to examine their curricula in terms of the purposes of the enquiry.

Lancashire has undertaken to make known to all its secondary schools the results of two major classroom based projects a) on the match of departmental aims to overall school aims, and b) the improvement of classroom learning in all subjects.

Nottinghamshire began to implement a policy of curriculum-led staffing in parallel with the work of the enquiry, and is vigorously pursuing a dissemination and in-service training through its teachers' centres.

Wigan is using the schools of the enquiry to lead the curriculum development of the authority, and established a schoolmaster fellow at the University of Lancaster to coordinate the dissemination. It also opened a new arts centre to emphasise the authority's commitment to this aspect of education.

Further information about the particular strategies and the resource implications of the different policies are available from the LEAs. (See Chapter 4.)

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3 The entitlement curriculum

1. The social context

Curriculum 11-16 (working papers by HM Inspectorate published in December 1977) began by stating the case for a coherent common curriculum in secondary education up to the age of 16. An important feature of the enquiry was to attempt to define what a pupil at the age of 16 might reasonably be expected to have acquired from a secondary school education. The following argument began to take shape:

pupils have common needs to develop, with maximum enjoyment, skills and attitudes necessary for their individual autonomy now and in the future and for work and political and social participation in the democratic society to which they belong;

they face the common experience of living in a world which is increasingly international, multi-ethnic and interdependent both economically and politically;

their curricula should be based on a common framework which provides coherence, and, while taking account of individual needs and abilities, still ensures the provision of a broadly based common experience.

Accordingly it seemed essential that all pupils should be guaranteed a curriculum of a distinctive breadth and depth to which they should be entitled irrespective of the type of school they attended or their level of ability or their social circumstances and that failure to provide such a curriculum is unacceptable. This is the sense in which the term "entitlement curriculum" was used in the partnership and continues to be used in this test.

Concern about the curriculum has grown in recent years as a number of factors has pressed schools to reconsider their provision. Some of these, such as the falling school population, school closures, staff immobility, redeployment and redundancy, and the limitation in the public funds available for education, have inhibited rather than stimulated curricular thinking. In a time when there is youth unemployment and when parents can choose between schools as rolls fall, the expectations in terms of examination results which governors, parents and employers have of schools, have also led schools to resist curricular innovation lest it affect examination performance. At the same time schools have been challenged to reconsider their curricular provision by the 1980 Education Act, in particular its clauses relating to parental choice, by the 1981 Education Act, with its concern to educate many children with special needs in ordinary schools and by Circular 6/81, which requested LEAs to review their curricular policies and schools to develop their curricula in the light of what is said in The school curriculum which the Secretaries of State for Education and for Wales

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published in March 1981. The Curriculum 11-16 papers also highlighted a growing concern that secondary education should relate the needs of individuals to the demands of society and to the worlds of work and unemployment, and this had far-reaching curricular implications. The current consideration of l6-plus and 17-plus examinations and of the value of records of achievement also points to curricular reappraisal.

General social, political and moral considerations have posed curricular questions for schools. How do we help children to understand sexual relationships and their implications? Do we prepare children well enough for more leisure and less work as unemployment becomes more structural and less cyclical? How do we prepare them to understand the social and political impact of unemployment? To what extent do we enable pupils to understand and use computers? Do we try to help them understand the ethical problems raised by new technologies which can, for example, create nuclear weapons and make possible surgical transplants? Do we give pupils an understanding that they are living through a third industrial revolution which may lead to social and personal disturbance, to population shifts and a consequent restructuring of society as its predecessors did? (The first industrial revolution was concerned with coal, steam, iron and steel and early forms of mass production; the second with electricity, oil, the internal combustion engine and extended forms of mass production; the third with nuclear power, micro technology and robot production methods.) When pupils can legally marry at 16, and vote at 18, what should the curriculum do to help pupils with these matters of fundamental importance to adult life?

It is in this context that the conviction has grown that all pupils are entitled to a broad compulsory common curriculum to the age of 16 which introduces them to a range of experiences, makes them aware of the kind of society in which they are going to live and gives them the skills necessary to live in it. Any curriculum which fails to provide this balance and is overweighted in any particular direction, whether vocational, technical or academic, is to be seriously questioned. Any measures which restrict the access of all pupils to a wide-ranging curriculum or which focus too narrowly on specific skills are in direct conflict with the entitlement curriculum envisaged here.

2. An outline specification

The work of the enquiry has led to the conclusion that any adequate specification of the curriculum to which all pupils are entitled up to 16 should include the following:

i a statement of aims relating to the education of the individuals and to the preparation of young people for life after school;

ii a statement of objectives in terms of skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge;

iii a balanced allocation of time for all the eight areas of experience (the aesthetic and creative; the ethical; the linguistic; the mathematical; the physical; the scientific; the social and political; and the spiritual) which

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reflects the importance of each and a judgement of how the various component courses contribute to these areas;

iv provision for the entitlement curriculum in all five years for all pupils of 70-80 per cent of the time available with the remaining time for various other components to be taken by pupils according to their individual talents and interests;

v methods of teaching and learning which ensure the progressive acquisition by pupils of the desired skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge;

vi a policy for staffing and resource allocation which is based on the curriculum;

vii acceptance of the need for assessment which monitors pupils' progress in learning, and for explicit procedures, accessible to the public, which reflect and reinforce i. to v. above.

3. Aims

Clarifying and stating general aims is a necessary first stage and since much time can be taken in debate about what this term means, an aim was defined as a general statement of intent. For example, a school might aim to develop in children the ability to act and think independently. It needs to be noted, however, that clarifying aims involves discussion and the emergence of a degree of consensus about the values and principles of the society for which children are being educated. The example given above rests upon agreement about the worth of children learning to think independently, and the importance of this aim for schools and for a wider society. The way in which Wigan arrived at a consensus about the principles behind its aims is given in Appendix 2 and illustrated below in the statements which it made about two of its aims.

'Education must free the individual to enable the expression of human uniqueness.'

Education is responsible for fostering those conditions which afford all pupils the security to express emotions, feelings and thoughts which are peculiar to them. Education, therefore, must be based upon moral, spiritual and humanitarian values such as love, tolerance, altruism, freedom of speech, freedom from oppression. The fostering of these values, which are of supreme importance whether viewed from a religious of secular perspective, is vital to the nurturing of the human spirit.

'Education should equip people with the desire and skills to participate in a democratic society'

Democracy, by definition, demands the involvement of people. Education has the responsibility of operating within a democratic system; of respecting and nurturing democratic principles; of being open to change by democratic process; and, perhaps most importantly, of encouraging within the young those qualities and skills which will enable them to participate in a democracy and ultimately to develop or change it.

During the enquiry, the aims most frequently identified by schools and LEAs were:

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to give children the experience of school as a caring, supportive community where life is enjoyable and where there is equal provision regardless of sex, race or culture;

to enable all children to develop as fully as possible their abilities, interests and aptitudes and to make additional provision if necessary for those who are in any way disadvantaged;

to allow children to develop lively enquiring minds, to be capable of independent thought and to experience enjoyment in learning so that they may be encouraged to take advantage of educational opportunities in later life;

to develop appropriate skills in, for example, literacy and numeracy;

to develop a curriculum which ensures contact with those major areas of knowledge and experience which will help children to know more about themselves and the society in which they live;

to work in ways which will enhance the self-respect and confidence of young people and encourage them to take responsibility for themselves and their activities;

to establish a partnership between the school and the community it serves and to develop understanding of the wider community and of the ways in which individuals and groups relate;

to give children the skills necessary to respond effectively to social, economic and political changes and to changing patterns of work;

to develop the social skills necessary to work successfully with other people;

to equip children for their adult roles in society and to help them to understand the responsibilities of being parents, citizens and consumers;

to encourage appreciation and concern for the environment;

to develop interests and skills which will continue to give personal satisfaction in the use of leisure time.

The experience of the enquiry has been that aims are easy to write but hard to live up to. Nevertheless it remains true that if people want tolerance or consideration for others in society then these qualities have to be practised by teachers and pupils in schools. This is also part of the entitlement.

4. Objectives

Where an aim is a general statement of intent, an objective was defined as a more specific target which can be realised in practice and assessed with some precision and which is established to help to achieve an aim. For example, if a school were translating into objectives the aim to develop in children the ability to act and think independently, one objective might be to teach children to organise some of their work on their own. To achieve the aim more fully however, such an-objective would not be sufficient on its own and others would need to be identified. Aims usually imply a series of objectives. For example, to achieve the aim "to encourage appreciation and concern for the environment", one series of teaching objectives might be:

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to develop a range of skills for observing, describing, recording and classifying some environmental features in the immediate locality;

to prompt pupils to ask questions about some environmental concepts, such as conservation and resource utilisation;

to consider what attitudes to adopt towards such environmental issues as protection, pollution and restoration;

to identify knowledge which can be used by the pupils in the ways indicated above, and which increases their understanding of the environment.

During the enquiry it has been found useful to identify objectives in terms of the skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge which are to be taught. The working definitions which follow for each of these terms have been used throughout the enquiry.


A skill is a capacity or competence: the ability successfully to perform a task, whether intellectual or manual. The acquisition of a skill may be dependent on the possession of certain knowledge and/or concepts. Skills may be more or less specific; some are applicable in a variety of contexts. Often they hang together in clusters (for example, communication skills). There are degrees of skilfulness, and assessment of pupils' skills should take account of the appropriate level at which the skill needs to be practised. The following list includes skills identified by schools and LEAs during the enquiry. The list is not exhaustive, and schools and LEAs attempting a curriculum enquiry would need to consider where they wished to add further clusters of skills to the ones set out below.

Communication skills:

the ability to use reading, writing, oral, aural, non-verbal, and graphical skills to receive and convey communications without the risk of misunderstanding.

Numerical skills:

the ability to estimate and measure and to understand and use numerical relationships.

Observational and visual skills:

the ability to observe accurately; the ability to record distributions, patterns and relationships, using scale, perspective, shape and colour; and the ability to interpret observations.

Imaginative skills:

the ability to put oneself into other situations, whether of time, place or person; the ability to visualise other experiences; the ability to discipline imagination by evidence and experience; the ability to order and reshape experiences and images.

Organisational and study skills:

the ability to extract information; the ability to arrange in sequence; the ability to classify; the ability to weigh and interpret evidence and to draw conclusions; the ability to see relationships; the ability to make hypotheses; the ability to make the best use of time.

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Physical and practical skills:

the ability to develop manual dexterity and a variety of coordinated body movements; the ability to select appropriate tools and items of equipment and to use them effectively.

Social skills:

the ability to cooperate; the ability to negotiate; the ability to express ideas in a variety of contexts; the ability to consider other points of view; the ability to recognise non-verbal communications.

Problem-solving and creative skills:

the ability to diagnose the features of problems; the ability to frame hypotheses, design experiments to test them and evaluate their results; the ability to draw on relevant ideas and use materials inventively.

A working group in one LEA identified skills and indicated how their acquisition might be coordinated by a school across the first year curriculum. They are shown in the chart opposite.

Necessary action 1

To ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to acquire and practise these and other skills, schools will need:

to agree descriptions of broad categories so that there is a basis for discussion in all departments;

to consider in each department the skills to which a planned structured and developmental contribution is made in each year, the necessary provision and the assessment of pupils' individual progress:

Continued page 32

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to cross-reference departmental contributions in order to identify mutual concerns and any apparent gaps or imbalance;

to appoint a senior member of staff to coordinate the acquisition of skills, and the assessment and recording procedures used.


An attitude is a disposition to think or act in a particular way in relation to oneself and to other individuals or groups in society. Attitudes determine responses to problems, issues and situations. Examples are perseverance and tolerance.

The following list indicates some of the attitudes identified during the enquiry, which schools thought pupils should be encouraged to form:

consideration for others

The list is inevitably simplistic and there needs to be recognition that both the identification of attitudes and their acquisition is a complex process. For example, in considering "commitment" it should be acknowledged that there are degrees of commitment and that the extent of commitment involves value judgements which must necessarily be related to other aims.

Necessary action 2

To ensure that all pupils have opportunities to develop such attitudes schools will need:

to agree the definitions of the words used so that all staff have a basis for discussion;

to consider the classroom and extra curricular provision made for pupils to experience and develop the attitudes listed;

to ensure that year heads and form tutors consider what opportunities are offered for the development of attitudes;

to appoint a senior member of staff to consider the relationship of the responses made by departments and pastoral groupings.


A concept enables one to classify, organise and understand knowledge and experience; often it is the abstraction and generalisation from a number of discrete instances. Concepts may be used for predicting behaviour, for interpreting fresh phenomena and data in a particular field, and for perceiving connections between one area of study and another.

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Some concepts are general such as energy or continuity, while others are more limited in scope, such as heat or shelter. Concepts are often subject specific or relate to the economic, social, political and cultural situation in which schools operate. Teachers will need to identify those which arise from particular subject studies and which they wish children to understand. For example, in English, appropriate concepts might be novel, poem, plot or sonnet. Others, such as continuity, change and causation might be identified by various subject teachers and require to be developed across the curriculum. However they are identified, it remains important that they are not trapped within subject boundaries but related to and explored in other subjects and wider perspectives.

Necessary action 3

To ensure that pupils are helped towards an understanding of concepts, schools will need:

to identify the general concepts that are important to their teaching; to identify in each department the main subject specific concepts;

to establish a curriculum working group, not necessarily composed only of senior staff, so that cross curricular development of conceptual understanding may be identified and implemented.

Knowledge and its relationships to skills, attitudes and concepts

In this context knowledge is the information which is selected to develop skills, attitudes and concepts and to achieve aims identified in the curriculum. As well as knowledge selected for this purpose, other knowledge may arise from the spontaneous interests and enthusiasms of both teachers and pupils.

The main problem in making a curriculum up to 16 is that of deciding which knowledge all pupils need. Criteria are needed for the selection of the knowledge to be taught, and these are best located in the overall aims and objectives and in the eight areas of experience. It is essential to ask whether this selected knowledge leads to the acquisition of certain desired skills, attitudes or concepts, or is central to an area of experience to which children are being introduced, or is necessary for the understanding which society, parents or employers expect. These considerations are more important than whether the knowledge is, for example, traditionally part of classical studies or geography, history or mathematics, physics or woodwork.

This is not to suggest that subject organisation in schools is inappropriate. Subjects exist, teachers have been trained within them and learning is most often promoted by the enthusiasm and insight which the subject specialist teacher offers. It is to suggest, however, that the selection of knowledge and concepts from subjects for designated educational aims is of crucial importance for the making of the entitlement curriculum. For example, if the aim is to give children some understanding of the development of modern industrial society, it is not necessary to teach the whole of British social and economic history. It may be that selections from modern British

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and Japanese history, together with some principles of geographical location, elementary economics, and some understanding of technological developments will be more effective. Or if the aim is to make children numerate or even to give them a worthwhile mathematical experience, not everything that is currently prescribed in school mathematics courses may be necessary and a better selection of knowledge and concepts might be possible. Subjects provide the framework of knowledge but the selection of knowledge which is to become the content of the curriculum needs to be made by reference to the criteria provided by the aims, objectives and "areas of experience".

Broad agreement has already been reached within the enquiry about the skills and attitudes which the entitlement curriculum should attempt to develop for children. Schools are now beginning to agree the concepts and knowledge appropriate to the age and abilities of their pupils. The Curriculum 11-16 papers indicated guidelines for this. Several LEAs are engaged in producing curricular guides, and some associations and national curriculum projects have already established some measure of agreement. Discussions about criteria for 16-plus examinations are also contributing to this process, notably through clearer definition of the levels of performance to be achieved by pupils of different abilities. However, even after five years of work in the enquiry, much remains to be done to reach agreement on the nature of the curriculum. Given the de centralised framework for education which exists in England and Wales it is even more important for all those involved to agree on the overall shape of the curriculum which children should receive. Two elements in particular were seen to reinforce the need for this agreement: the number and variety of schemes for the reorganisation of secondary education under the impact of falling rolls and the extent of parental mobility even in times of increasing unemployment. Transects of LEA provision, similar to that in Red Book 1, show clearly that pupils who move schools could experience a diversity of educational provision in terms of the types of schools attended, with consequent implications for the curriculum received. Piecemeal reorganisation even within localities has similar effects. As a result, pupils' education can be severely disrupted and they are likely to under-achieve their potential. This is especially the case for pupils aged 14-16 given the importance society affords to success in public examinations at this age. The need for agreement about the secondary curriculum remains a central problem for education in England and Wales. It has implications for the position of schools, LEAs and examination boards but, ultimately, it is a question of whether their freedoms are more important than the right of all children to receive an appropriate curriculum. Certainly a consensus about the concepts and knowledge to be taught, as well as the skills and attitudes to be developed, will be needed if the entitlement curriculum is to be realised.

5. Methodology

The importance of methodology and classroom practices cannot be overemphasised. If nothing happens in the classroom then curricular ideas remain paper exercises.

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This is true of any curriculum but particularly so for the entitlement curriculum since its aims and objectives are of such a nature that they demand a whole range of teaching techniques and active learning opportunities. Where a curriculum has, as its predominant emphasis, the acquisition of knowledge or learning of information, a relatively narrow range of methods may be considered adequate. When, however, a curriculum emphasises the acquisition of skills, attitudes and concepts as well as knowledge, this is no longer the case. For example, physical skills cannot be acquired through theoretical exposition alone and conceptual understanding does not come with dictated notes. The aim to develop curiosity, creativity and independent thought will not be achieved by teaching which relies excessively on instruction and didactic methods. Teachers have shown that they need to adopt various teaching styles; they are at times listeners, at times partners, at times assessors; they need to question, cajole, encourage and guide and to know when, how, and when not to intervene. Teachers must have the means to enable the entitlement curriculum to be achieved.

During the enquiry it became clear that one of the main questions for teachers is, "How do children learn and how can I as a teacher help them?" Often it came as a revelation to teachers that they were working on assumptions about children's learning which were over-simplistic. In Lancashire a group of schools using agreed guidelines monitored their attempts to teach a skill which was part of the work of all departments, namely, "the ability to understand and act upon instructions given orally, in writing and diagrammatically". As part of this, one teacher drew on the board a diagram intended to help children translate the instructions of a map which had been given to them. Several failures by the children to use the blackboard map led the teacher to realise that he was assuming that all pupils could readily transfer between a vertical and a horizontal mode. The conclusions of other teachers about their attempts to teach the same skill are also revealing.

A history teacher

In general terms, the most important conclusion was in many ways the most obvious, ie that the giving of effective instructions is a far more subtle and complex activity than the various 'guidelines' might have indicated.

A head of a religious education department

It was suggested by a teacher in the department that it was a fallacy to assume that if one worked hard and thoroughly in order to 'spell out' the relevant explication of material, all pupils would eventually grasp these and retain them-I reluctantly agree with this statement and suggest it emphasises the need for the teacher constantly to monitor a pupil's progress or non-progress.

A teacher of physical education

The teacher's visual assessment of pupils' success emphasises the assistance given by demonstration, particularly as the skill becomes more complex (9 instructions for a sprint start). Some children have the ability to understand and observe an instruction but find translating it into a movement a problem.

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A general comment

Some teachers failed to appreciate the importance of 'visual' instruction-by gesture or movement-and interpreted graphical only in terms of diagrams, maps etc. Teachers of practical subjects were all much more aware in this respect as they use it frequently, often as a teaching technique or to support other forms of instruction.

Clearly such frank monitoring by teachers of their classroom practice is valuable and it illustrates the way in which, in attempting to teach the entitlement curriculum, consideration of learning and teaching habits necessarily becomes a major concern.

There were many examples during the enquiry of how teachers successfully devised ways to help children acquire a defined skill, an important concept or a particular attitude. The following extracts from observations of lessons show how children practised the skills of note-making, talked together to explore their understanding of a scientific concept, and engaged in directed activities designed to help them understand a difficult text.

A humanities teacher in one school wanted to include in his lesson opportunities to improve the skill of note-making. Each child was given a practice sheet showing a highland and lowland farm, a worksheet relating to the illustrations and a letter (written by the teacher) which was said to have been sent to the school from two children living on a Lakeland farm. Each child was asked to write down in rough the main differences they could find between the two farms. They then worked in groups of three or four to select the best words to describe the two areas and to agree on a form for tabulating their selections. After reading the letter, and looking at a number of slides, they were given some tasks involving underlining which provided them with further notes. Finally, they were set a letter-writing task using the notes they had made to help them.

An LEA adviser observed a sequence of science lessons where pupils were encouraged to work together to predict, observe and record their findings. In one of these lessons two pupils were asked to carry out some experiments using a small motor, with a drive wheel, a flywheel and a winch. The activities were designed to develop the pupils' knowledge and understanding of energy changes.

The pupils completed the first tasks, discussed their implications and then decided to see if they could find a way of demonstrating how the potential energy, which was available when the mass on the string was raised up to the winch bar, could be transformed into rotational energy. After some brisk discussion they decided to link the two separate experiments to see if the mass, in falling from the winch bar under its own momentum, would drive the flywheel. Drive wheel ratios came into the discussion, adjustments were made and the demonstration performed successfully.

These two pupils helped each other by asking questions, predicting outcomes and examining practical solutions to genuine problems.

In another lesson a fifth year O-level class was dealing with the industrial manufacture of chlorine. As experimental work was not possible, in this

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instance, the teacher had devised a series of group assignments related to diagrams and texts. This was one in a sequence of lessons.

Four pupils were observed making an excellent job of dealing with the underlining activities which were given to them on the assignment sheet. They worked with concentration and diligence, and were able to complete the tasks in a very satisfactory way. Their discussion during this time was clearly concerned with sorting out the text and with making tentative suggestions about the scientific appropriateness and correctness of the answers. They then worked on a diagram showing the industrial process, and were able to use the information which they had extracted from the first worksheet. Their next assignment was to study a magazine account of the process, which the teacher had brought into the classroom. This had some complicated process data and a very dense text. The pupils made sense of this, though they were puzzled by one question in particular and asked the teacher to try to sort it out for them. An interesting discussion took place concerning the movement of the ions during the process and the teacher's explanation appeared to help the pupils to a clearer understanding.

Towards the end of the lesson the teacher dealt with the misconceptions which had arisen, and demonstrated the continuous flow process of the diaphragm cell, using the analogy of a weak swimmer trying to reach a bank on the other side, but being pushed away from the bank by the strong current.

When asked to compare these group assignments, which called for discussion and reflective comment, with dictated notes or individual comprehension one pupil said:

This way is better. It's a bit more enjoyable than just reading. If you like it, you're more likely to remember it and we have enjoyed doing this.

In addition to the concepts and knowledge specific to the subjects, in all of the above examples the pupils were given a chance to practise social skills and to acquire a cooperative attitude towards the teacher, the task and to the other pupils. Language was used in a sensitive way to discuss, question, record and shape ideas, and to regulate one another's behaviour. The impression remains that if children are given assignments which interest them and which call upon them to exercise their understanding in active ways, they are capable of learning to greater extents than might be imagined.

6. Assessment and evaluation

A curriculum which attempts to teach skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge has implications not only for methodology but also for assessment. As one LEA, Lancashire, reported:

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'Since we have suggested a change from a content-dominated curriculum to one which gives importance to the acquisition of skills, the understanding of concepts and the inculcation of attitudes, it would seem that the whole question of assessment is brought into sharp focus. Our experience in phase 2 shows that there is a growing recognition by many teachers that new ways of assessing pupils should be explored'
Where a curriculum aims mainly to teach information, assessment by some traditional form of written examination might be considered appropriate, but for a curriculum which intends to teach skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge this will be insufficient. Assessment is part of the curriculum and consequently assessment procedures and examinations, whether internal or external should, as one LEA progress report said, "arise from the curriculum and not determine it. Assessment is a means not an end". For a school to take pupil assessment across the whole curriculum seriously, a great deal of staff time will be needed to develop the necessary expertise. It may well be realised that it is unwise, and impossible to attempt to assess every aspect. Methods of assessment will need to be directly connected to ways of teaching and, in turn to what is taught.

In Cheshire the subject departments, having analysed their objectives in terms of the development of skills, ideas, attitudes and knowledge made a closer departmental investigation of the ways in which these objectives could be achieved. They were able to specify particular tasks in the classroom related to these objectives and develop a range of assessment techniques - oral, written, practical and professional observation - which indicated how far pupils had mastered the tasks.

After extensive trials in each subject area, departments found they were able to describe various levels of pupil performance in relation to the tasks set. This proved to be of practical value to the departments in helping them to determine their teaching and learning programmes and to the schools as a basis for more precise and informative records and reports to parents.

The first of the diagrams from Cheshire (pp 40, 41) summarises the sequence by which subject departments developed the tasks and the means of measurement and could then use the data to relate the teaching more specifically to pupils' needs. The second shows how schools were able to use the information gathered by the subject departments to create a profile of individual pupil capabilities across the curriculum for school records, references and reports. These more generalised assessments also helped the schools to evaluate the whole curriculum.

In Nottinghamshire and Lancashire a considerable amount of work was devoted to the teaching of specific skills and an important part of this was on the development of evaluation procedures. For example, one school decided that one of its aims was to teach the skills of entertaining visitors. Pupils in mixed ability groups in the first and fifth years were involved in various activities which culminated in the practical exercise of inviting and entertaining visitors. This was assessed by asking the visitors a range of questions of which the following are examples.

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Did the pupils who met you help you feel comfortable? Did they maintain a conversation?

Were there times when you had to help out with conversation? How many of the pupils in the group were involved and interested?

A similar range of questions was asked of pupils and, in addition, teachers also made their assessments.

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There has been general agreement that if the entitlement curriculum is not just to be offered by schools but is to be received by children as well, then some form of continuous assessment, in which pupils are involved, is needed. There is a growing amount of literature about the mismatch between what schools offer and the message which pupils receive. Some children consider that the message of secondary schools is boredom and that what a pupil learns is how to endure it; or that the message is how to get things right and that what pupils need to learn is how to disguise the fear and failure of having got things wrong. It has been seen that if pupils are to value the curriculum to which teachers say they are entitled, they will have to be taken into the teacher's confidence and be allowed to discuss what it is that they are entitled to experience. They should also be given the opportunity to comment on how, and how much, they are learning. In this connection there has also been agreement that the development of pupil profiles, with children participating in their completion, would be a valuable way of assessing and recording the progress pupils make in the curriculum.

In a school in Nottinghamshire, fifth year pupils were given the opportunity to comment upon some of their work for an O-level drama examination. They were required to prepare a dramatic presentation of a poem, Ted Hughes' Tiger psalm. The method involved a close study of the text with an emphasis on drama which allowed for a gradual absorption of the poem and cumulative work over a period of time. The pupils' own commentaries on the work are particularly interesting, showing the value of this extended approach.

At first I didn't like Tiger psalm at all, but now we have started to go into it in more depth, I have come to regard the production of the poem as a challenge.

I under-estimated the poem at first, thinking it would be easy to speak and perform.

In a Hampshire school, a history department asked its pupils to answer a questionnaire about the teaching they had received. The aim was to find out first which methods pupils found most helpful when learning something new in history and secondly, whether there were notable differences or similarities in the responses of pupils. The results of the questionnaire suggested that there was a high level of agreement among pupils, regardless of sex, age or ability, about the value of the various methods. For example, the items found most helpful were:

Studying the actual evidence (or clues) of something that happened in the past.
Watching a history film or TV programmes.
Going on visits to places of historical interest,
Other items voted as useful were:
Answering questions from a history textbook.
Making drawings or diagrams to remember facts.
Reading about something.

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Listening to the teacher explain something in class.
Working with another classmate.
Working in groups in class.
The items voted as not being helpful in learning something new in history lessons were quite clearly:
Playing history games to understand the problems of a past event.
Writing down notes dictated by the teacher.
Doing homework.
Other items voted as being of very little use were:
Listening to tape recordings and radio programmes on history.
Copying notes from the textbook.
Copying notes from the board.
Being tested by exams or shorter tests.
Writing about a past event as if you were there at the time.
Doing you own research for history projects.
In deciding about its future action the department concluded that "children are not always the best judge of their needs, but surely their views should be seriously considered .... Factors, then, which promote favourable attitudes and good motivation and learning conditions are vital matters for the school curriculum. So from our results we would want our children to work in groups of not more than four. We will increase the use of TV programmes and films on history for all years. We will reduce the use of tape recordings (audio only) and stop dictating notes to youngsters. We will try and organise more visits to places of historical interest for all our pupils, and we will continue with our work which emphasises actual evidence of something that happened in the past".

The influence of external examinations upon the curriculum was widely recognised by schools and one school expressed thoughts which were commonly held, when it produced "a short paper expressing the concern of the staff on the influence of the examination system even in the lower schools, despite the fact that from the foundation of the school, attempts had been made to. resist undue influence on the curriculum and pedagogy in years one to three". This experience echoed that of HM Inspectors during their survey of secondary education in the years 1975 to 1978, as reported in Aspects of secondary education in England, HMSO 1979.

As often, however, the comments of pupils are particularly relevant to this. The comments of one pupil on the work in the drama group referred to above, included the following:

The project hasn't really helped or taught me anything so far. It has probably hindered the group because we could have spent the time preparing for our examinations, but it has been enjoyable.

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It is ironic that personal involvement, active interpretation and enjoyment could be seen by an intelligent pupil as handicaps to achievement. It is indicative of the point that public examinations are a powerful- but by no means always productive - determinant of the curriculum pupils receive.

The entitlement curriculum has obvious implications for public assessment procedures at 16-plus. Since this curriculum is broadly based on areas of experience, the examination system for a certificate of general secondary education should reflect this, while allowing some pupils to take additional, optional single subject examinations at 16, or later. Relating the form of these examinations to the curriculum and teaching methods requires careful consideration. There is no easy or obvious solution. Nevertheless, the conviction remains that assessment and examinations should be servants of the curriculum and not, as so often in our educational history, its masters.

7. Achieving the curriculum: some teacher tasks

The argument has been that up to the age of 16 pupils are entitled to a curriculum which teaches a range of skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge, relevant to the eight "areas of experience", and that this involves a selection of teaching and learning methods, continuous assessment of what pupils achieve, and evaluation and amendment of the component courses to ensure that pupils continue to make progress.

It is difficult but not unattainable. The enquiry began to move towards its achievement, recognising that it was necessarily a gradual process. A range of practical cooperative tasks was devised, examples of which follow. They demonstrate what schools and departments have to do if statements of the entitlement in terms of aims and objectives are to be realised in classroom practice. They became known in the enquiry as "tracking exercises". Such exercises may be used by teachers to evaluate their classroom practice and to make any necessary changes in presentation and method. These examples are not selected because they necessarily show good subject practice but do present evidence to the teacher as to how far some of the overall aims of the school are being achieved. The process is shown in diagrammatic form followed by examples of actual practice.

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'Tracking exercises'

'Subsequent action' may include one or more of the following:

(i) modification of aims and objectives;
(ii) modification of content selected;
(iii) changes in methodology.

If the outcome of assessment and evaluation is wholly positive the decision would be that no subsequent action is needed and the entitlement is realised.

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Example 1: a tracking exercise of five English lessons (second year)

Aim: To allow pupils to develop lively enquiring minds and to experience enjoyment in learning

Objectives: That pupils should be able to:

savour, enjoy and understand poetry;
overcome a resistance to reading poetry;
with a partner(s);
devise questions about the poems selected.
Skills: The ability to:
read poetry aloud;
discuss various aspects in pairs, groups and class groups;
understand poetry at various levels, for example, literal and inferential;
devise questions in order to examine poetic ideas more deeply;
recognise literary devices like simile and metaphor.
Attitudes: To promote:
the value of personal response to literature;
a sympathetic response to issues like cruelty, neglect and greed;
a responsible attitude to discussion and differing opinion;
sensitivity in working with other pupils.
Concepts: Specific concepts would include metaphor, image, symbol; General concepts based on emotions, attitudes and ideas raised by poets.

Knowledge: (selection of content) English - selected poems. No special resources required.


Reading the poems in pairs, groups and individually;
Discussing in pairs and reporting back;
Discussing, selecting and writing questions;
Listening to and examining together the nature of poetic language.
Assessment: Teachers assessed the following aspects of the work:
the number of questions asked by pupils;
the kind of questions -literal, inferential, evaluative, those revealing emotional or literary response
to the text;
the variation in questioning at the beginning and conclusion of the work;
the subjective assessment by teachers of the pupils' work.

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Teachers' evaluation:
Pupils' enjoyment, interest and involvement were heightened;
more purposeful discussion was noted; learning became more active;
a close scrutiny of the text was observed;
the questioning techniques helped overcome inhibition in discussion.
The technique of getting pupils to devise questions was used in other English work, and was discussed with and used by other departments.

Example 2: a tracking exercise of three science lessons (second year) - of which one example is given.

presentation of experience and knowledge.
provision of stimulating environment for pupil development.
development of self confidence, self reliance while appreciating other people's opinions.
enjoyment of learning.
Objectives: Pupils should be able to:
make careful note of their observations; talk and listen to one another;
evaluate and interpret their observations;
make predictions on the evidence provided;
cooperate and enjoy working with others;
organise and present written work for assessment;
devise their own experimental methods while working in the confines of laboratory safety;
speak clearly and to express ideas;
raise new questions;
recall and record information;
write with freedom and enjoyment; give and accept critical opinion.
Skills: The ability to:

ask questions; speak in small groups; extract information; make predictions; assemble and use apparatus; take notes and make diagrams; choose and use correct apparatus; observe, tabulate and interpret; draw conclusions.

Area of experience:
linguistic, scientific, physical, social/political, ethical.

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Attitudes: To promote: self reliance; safety consciousness; open minded ness; curiosity; perseverance; cooperation.

Concepts: states of matter, change of state, combustion

Knowledge: (selection of content) smokeless fuels

Methodology: Lesson I Objectives 2, 5, 8, 9, 12

Pupils read a passage, which included diagrams, about burning coal without smoke. They were asked to work in pairs and to construct ten questions which they thought would test another group's comprehension of the passage. In introducing the exercise the teacher warned pupils to check that the questions they asked did indeed require the answer which they sought. After producing the ten questions one group exchanged questions with another and then tried to answer the other group's questions. As an additional incentive a competitive element was introduced, as follows:

1 point for answering a question correctly.
1 point for spotting a faulty question.
1 point for correctly rewriting the faulty question.

Agreement had to be reached between groups before the allocation of a point.


Teacher/observer comments - The exercise succeeded in getting pupils to think more carefully about the way they structured questions. They extracted a lot of information from the passage often splitting questions into several parts in order to make a greater challenge to the opposing group. The activity created greater pupil involvement than in the previous year when a set of questions provided by the teacher had been tackled with less interest and enjoyment and had not demanded the same scrutiny of the passage. Very heated discussions took place between some groups when discussing the value of each others questions. In some cases the teacher had to step in to act as the final arbiter. All of the children were involved for most of the time. Pupils produced questions which reflected their level of ability.

Pupil comments

'Liked this better sir because we made questions which we would understand, yours are too difficult.'
'It was a good game sir.'
'Johnny did all the work and would not listen to me.'
'It made me think more carefully about what I write.'
'Alan is trying to ask questions which cannot be answered from the sheet.'

Conclusion - An enjoyable exercise for both staff and pupils. For a mixed ability group the exercise was extremely valuable since each pupil used his "own" language to great effect. The exercise made pupils question themselves and each other and made them more aware of the effective use of language. Vigorous discussion took place and pupils criticised each other. The desire to complete the activity ensured that some level of cooperation was established.

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Example 3: The tracking exercise in a physics lesson - one in a sequence of four (fourth year).

To help pupils develop the social skills necessary to work well with other people.
To develop interests and skills which will give pupils satisfaction and enjoyment.
To help pupil to make contact with a major area of knowledge.
Objectives: That pupils should be able to:
develop their understanding of energy changes;
work with partners in discussion and demonstration.
Skills: The ability to:
discuss and predict outcomes;
set up practical experiments;
observe accurately;
discuss and record findings;
report back to an audience.
Attitudes: To promote:
cooperation in carrying out practical work;
a sensitivity to other people's ideas;
the self-confidence needed to present findings.
The general concepts of work and change.
Specific subject concepts of energy, including potential and kinetic.
Forms of energy and energy changes.
Class divided into eight working groups.
Each group sets up, observes and records a different experiment.
Groups demonstrate their findings in turn to the class.
Each group selects a speaker to outline the results.
Teacher summarises.
Observer's evaluation:
Excellent preparation and preliminary exposition of teacher.
Groups responded well and cooperated effectively.
Talk was used to reach agreement, to make decisions, to exchange ideas, to reach conclusions and to present findings.
There was insufficient time to present every group's work.

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Teacher is to reorganise similar work so that the reporting back session plays a more significant part. Instead of each group reporting to the whole class the pupils will operate within a four group unit.

8. Achieving the curriculum: subject and timetable implications

What might the entitlement look like in terms of timetables and courses? The way in which time is allocated is crucial. Given the wide nature of the curriculum, it is unlikely that its common elements can be achieved in less than 75 per cent of the time available in all of the five years of secondary schooling 11 to 16. This leaves about 25 per cent of the time for other courses to which children are also entitled and which would differ according to individual needs, ambitions and interests. The entitlement curriculum raises fundamental questions about the way in which time is allocated. It necessarily questions the inherited ideas about time in the curriculum. If the areas of experience are important it is necessary that all are seen to be important in the timetable. For example, do mathematics or English or a modern language have to be allocated five periods per week over five years as in traditional time tabling practices, while music and religious education have only one period? Is there any point at all in allocating a subject one period only? Do subjects have to be taught continuously over a five year span even for public examinations? For example, does history or geography have to be taught in every term, in every year, of a five year curriculum with a small allocation of two or three periods a week? Is there a case for a modular system by which, for example, history might be taught in one year or term with six periods a week and not at all in another? Is it always necessary to divide the day into small portions of time, such as eight thirty-five minute periods? This practice is based upon a teacher centred model of learning in which instruction dominates and pupil concentration spans are assumed to be limited. If another model is envisaged in which pupils are more actively involved in learning and where social skills such as discussion and cooperation are being encouraged, would not longer portions of time, at least in some parts of the week, become essential?

It is not easy to restructure the timetable. Schools which have attempted it have usually confined it to years 1-3 or to the timetables of less able pupils, partly because of the concern not to jeopardise examination results of 16- plus. The difficulties involved are real but the timetable should be seen as a means to an end, translating into practice as closely as possible the principles it has been decided should underpin the curriculum. If, for example, a curriculum based on the eight areas of experience were adopted, it might be necessary to work through a process similar to that suggested in Appendix 3 before arriving at an apportionment of time to subjects. If a wider common curriculum is to be achieved, then subject time allocations and fixed timetable patterns cannot remain sacrosanct.

There are also implications for the subjects and courses which make up the curriculum. In addition to the traditional subjects, it is likely that new

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courses will be needed. For example, while history, geography, sociology and social studies may all contribute to political and social awareness, it is possible that a purpose-built combined studies course with a new name, at some point in a five year curriculum, could be a more effective way of helping pupils to gain this kind of understanding. Similarly a separate course in personal development (or some similar name) may be one way of giving pupils the skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge relating to adult life in terms of education for health, for parenthood for employment and independent living. However, even the introduction of new courses will not guarantee that all aims are achieved and schools should establish procedures to check what pupils are receiving. Apart from new courses, the place of traditional subjects will need to be reconsidered. For example, if language is developed across the curriculum, what then is the precise function of English and will it need an allocation of six periods a week? Should its function be conceived more as that of introducing children to literature? Or if the aim is a worthwhile scientific experience for all pupils in a common curriculum to 16, are separate courses in three sciences the most appropriate way to achieve this? If one aim is to give all pupils a worthwhile linguistic experience, what is the value of most current practice in the teaching of a modern language. Certainly the range of the common curriculum for all pupils up to 16 would prevent the inclusion of, say, additional sciences or a second modern language for any pupils; these would have to be included in the 25 per cent of the time outside that needed for the common curriculum, and in the time available for post-16 education. Such considerations reinforce a point already made that new examinations will be necessary. If the adoption of the entitlement curriculum involves the development of new shorter modular courses, and shorter option courses, then current public examinations which expect, for example, four or five years study of French up to 16 would not be suitable, although graded tests might provide an appropriate means of assessment and certification.

The curriculum of every school should develop pupils' awareness of the democratic multi-cultural society in which they live, the competitive nature of the world of industry and commerce, the implications of recent technological advances. There must equally be provision for the development of personal and social skills including health education and education for parenthood; for some appreciation of the realities of unemployment and increased leisure time and for developing some understanding of career opportunities in the context of future patterns of working life. All these developments require cross-curricular work. The enquiry has found that in some schools this has been achieved by establishing new courses and in others by ensuring effective coordination across the subjects in the curriculum. Whatever the way adopted to achieve it, all these elements must be part of that common curriculum which occupies 70-80 per cent of the available time if pupils are to be equipped to face the demands of adult society. Any more specific courses, whether academic or vocational, must take place in the time remaining.

It is clear that the entitlement curriculum demands that schools consider very carefully not only the courses but also the time allocated to each of

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them. It cannot be assumed that a satisfactory vehicle for such a curriculum already exists in either traditional subject titles or time allocations.

9. Conclusion

If the entitlement is to be implemented, some old teaching habits will have to be changed and new ones acquired. Teachers will need to be aware of the common purposes of the school and their contribution to the total curriculum. All departments will have to rejustify the inclusion of their subjects in the curriculum and consider afresh their syllabuses. New courses may be needed and these will have to be built with agreed purposes in mind. Assessment and examination procedures will need rethinking. Finally, it will be important to develop staffing policies which are based upon the curriculum offered and not only on teach/pupil ratios.

The enquiry in which HMI and officers, advisers and teachers from five LEAs have been engaged has brought not only conviction that children are entitled to a common curriculum of this width between 11 and 16, but also evidence that with imagination and effort it would be possible to realise it. For the enquiry has shown, as a major step towards this goal, how it is possible to set up criteria by which to analyse a school's curriculum and judge its performance. Moreover, both the professional and lay groups concerned with that school can be involved. The process of discussion of aims, objectives, method and evaluation which creates this understanding and agreement between school, community and LEA is at the heart of the many achievements of this project. Every school has its individual approach necessarily dependent on subjective judgements in its own particular circumstances but the effect has been similar everywhere. Every school reached its own curriculum but acknowledged the common principles which should inform its construction and by which its outcome should be continually evaluated. Thus there has been created a powerful instrument by which to create, maintain and judge the work of a school.

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4 Work in the authorities


Cheshire and its schools

Cheshire is a county of wide variety, ranging from the main rural areas traditionally associated with the county to the older urban areas and the industrial complexes along the Mersey, and the areas of overspill development from Manchester and Liverpool. There are 77 comprehensive schools, three sixth form colleges and a designated tertiary college. The secondary schools range in size from 400-1500. Two-thirds of the county has schools for II or 12-18 groups and one-third of the county has 11-16 schools and either sixth form colleges or a tertiary college. All this variety of pattern of organisation has been reflected in the curriculum 11-16 project.


The terms of reference which those involved in the Cheshire Curriculum Reappraisal Group (CCRAG) set themselves in the spring of 1977 were agreed as follows:

'It is intended by means of a partnership between the school, the LEA and HMI to examine the secondary school curriculum for pupils between the ages of 11 and 16 so as to determine the experiences, knowledge and skills which children need in order to provide for their education as individuals, and as preparation for society and for work.'
From the outset the work of Cheshire Curriculum Reappraisal Group has been seen as developing a process of cooperative evaluation. Individually and collectively schools set out to define the essential concepts, skills and attitudes to which all pupils might reasonably be entitled between 11 and 16, and how they might best be achieved in the classroom. Each was also to look at the balance of experiences within the curriculum appropriate to their pupils, and to adjust, where necessary, the structure and content of their curricula to meet pupils' needs more effectively. This process of curricular enquiry was seen as part of a planned cycle of reappraisal and cooperative evaluation which could, over the years, encompass all the LEA's secondary schools. The major lessons learnt could also, from the beginning, be integrated into the LEA's INSET programme and thus be disseminated into the current thinking and practice of the county.

Enquiry schools

Three groups of schools have now been formally associated with the county programmes and a fourth group will commence its reappraisal work during the spring term 1983. Each group of schools has used the process as developed but modified and extended it to take account of current or particular needs. The schools in each phase were approached individually by the LEA. Full discussions of the implications of reappraisal were held with heads and staffs, though inevitably the consultations with the first group of schools could be far less precise about the exact nature of the work

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The LEA deliberately limited the number of schools in each phase to between six and eight. This size of group was large enough to include a variety of circumstances, ideas and problems but small enough to be able to work closely together, to share ideas and receive a reasonable degree of external support from advisers, careers service and HMI. In the first two phases schools were approached to represent the social and geographical variety in the LEA as well as the varying age ranges to be found in the secondary schools organisation. Voluntary aided schools have been included in each phase. For the third phase of the enquiry it was decided to involve six schools within the same town. Unlike phases land 2 where 50 miles separated the most widely dispersed schools, these six are all within ten minutes drive of each other. Such a close geographical association has encouraged more informal links and exchange of ideas and strategies at a greater variety of levels of staff responsibility than was possible in phases 1 and 2. The same strategy has been pursued in the operation of phase 4.

Instruments of analysis

Successive phases of schools developed the means and methods of enquiry and tested the effectiveness of the process. Eight instruments of analysis were originally produced and these have been modified and reduced in the light of experience to seven. The first instrument, El, was so constructed that all subjects were asked to look at their general aims and state their objectives for each year group in the school in terms of the:

concepts, skills and attitudes essential to their disciplines;

knowledge required to achieve these objectives;

methods and strategies used in the classroom;

ways in which pupil acquisition of the objectives was measured and how the course and teaching were evaluated.

The paper was designed to provide all staff with a means of understanding the rationale of subjects other than their own in a language which could be understood by all. Such an approach would also allow the group of schools to compare the similarities and differences which emerged and to see how extensive consensus was between them.

Each subject was also asked to examine its relationship to the whole curriculum. Instrument E2 took from The Red Book the idea of a pupil's entitlement expressed in terms of the eight areas of experience. For each of the five years of secondary schooling, each subject attempted to rate its contribution (and to justify its rating) to each of the eight areas on a previously agreed scale. The whole staff could, albeit in broad terms, then examine the nature of the balance in their current curriculum and consider whether it met pupils' needs effectively.

These two instruments formed the foundation of the enquiry. They were regarded by teachers as fundamental to all further review and time and care

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had to be invested if maximum benefits were to be drawn. They were used as a basis for analysis by all the schools in the second stage of the national project. In Cheshire, they led departments to consider the nature and quality of work undertaken in the classroom, both in teaching and learning. They also formed the basis for the other five instruments relating to the wider issues of employment, society and personal relationships.

The first of these instruments, WJ, asked senior management in the school to review the opportunities provided within the curriculum for pupils to consider the implications of the world of work and of possible unemployment. An analysis of the explicit provision for careers education and guidance and links with employers and trade unionists was undertaken in instrument W3. Instrument W2/S2 required members of subject departments to examine the contributions of their subjects to pupils' awareness of working life. At the same time, this paper explored the ways the subjects prepared pupils to understand and participate in society as adults. Instrument S 1 analysed where the school placed its emphases outside the subject disciplines in developing the skills and attitudes needed by pupils as functioning members of society. Finally, two checklists helped the school review an area not dealt with in detail by The Red Book: personal relationships. The first, PI, asked senior management and heads of department to assess how well the whole curriculum, both overt and hidden, contributed to the personal development of pupils and the second, P2, assessed the effectiveness of the pastoral system and the nature of personal relationships within the school. The partnership developed ways in which the data obtained from these analyses could be used by schools to arrive at general conclusions and highlight priorities for action.

Evaluation and assessment

At the end of each phase the partnership summarised the process that had been developed, and revised the instruments that had been used for the analysis. An evaluation of the methods used and the work of the schools was published by the LEA and issued to all the secondary schools in the Authority. (1)

Meanwhile a separate evaluation (2) was undertaken by both the North West Educational Management Centre, looking at the phase 1 work and the beginning of the process in phase 2 schools. Two of these schools were used in particular for the study. The partnership's own evaluation and this independent study have been used in the development of subsequent phases.

The major emphasis of the enquiry in phase 2 was the assessment of pupils' progress and the related evaluation of the courses and provision offered. Departments were involved in detailed analysis of the tasks set for pupils, the teaching methods used and the learning opportunities offered. Whilst the analysis of objectives could perhaps be undertaken as a purely

(1) Curriculum 11-16. Cheshire Curriculum Re-appraisal Group. June 1981.

(2) A study of the process of curriculum reappraisal in a group of secondary schools in one local education authority. North West Educational Management Centre.

Both these publications are available from Cheshire LEA.

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theoretical exercise, their implementation and assessment was closely related to everyday teaching and learning. All departments have been involved in detailed consideration of their objectives, and their assessment of pupils' work has led to modification in the content and methods of some teaching programmes. There has been variation in the progress made in different schools. Some are still exploring small scale assessments within departments. Others have reached the stage of synthesising the assessment of pupils' skills, concepts and attitudes to create pupils' profiles. The third phase of schools have undertaken an initial investigation into the nature and balance of their curricula. They will extend the work of assessment into evaluation of the whole curriculum and will analyse in particular its relationships to pupils' personal and social development.

A continuing process

After their formal association for two years with the partnership, schools continue to pursue their own lines of enquiry according to their needs, although they are kept in touch with the county work through the LEA's INSET programme.

It was always envisaged that this process of curriculum reappraisal had to be one capable of change and flexibility to adapt to the changing circumstances of schools and the changing needs of the service. The fact that there has been a structured approach within the process has had advantages. Schools must have a starting point and this process of reappraisal provides for the involvement of all staff from the beginning.

The levels of entry into the programme for a new phase of schools builds on an awareness of the process, the strategies, the terminology, the thinking and the deliberations of the previous phases. The acceleration in the induction of schools and the greater depth of thinking about the curriculum which have been achieved in each phase make it imperative that there is flexibility in the process to meet the particular needs of individual schools.

The process so far developed in the partnership seems to have the merit of providing a framework which incorporates and reflects differences of emphasis and direction. The staff of other groups of schools will take on the process, in the whole or in part, develop it, sharing their experience and thinking, as well as nurturing their own professional development. In this way the process of reappraisal should attempt to match what society wants and what pupils in the classroom need with what schools can and ought to provide.

The LEA has already published documentation on its means of curriculum reappraisal, and an evaluation of that process in practice, together with working papers developed and used in schools. It is the LEA's intention to update and add to this publication. It is available from The Assistant Director for Secondary Education, Education Department, County Hall, Chester CHI ISQ.

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Hampshire and its schools

Hampshire, a large Authority with a population of almost 1.5 million and a school population of 250,000, has 105 comprehensive schools, 11 open-access sixth form colleges, and two tertiary colleges. 60 per cent of the schools admit pupils at age 11, and the others at age 12; most pupils transfer to sixth form or FE colleges for post 16 education, but 20 schools receive the full age range of pupils from 11 (or 12) to 18.

The enquiry schools

The county is divided into eight education areas. In order to provide contact with the enquiry throughout the county, each of the eight areas nominated a school which had expressed a willingness to participate. The enquiry was planned by the Full Study Group (FSG), a body consisting of the eight heads, eight Area Advisory Officers, the County Adviser and Senior Advisory Officer for Secondary Education, the Principal Adviser and four (later two) HML In addition, the eight heads met regularly to help overcome the geographical separation of the schools and to aid cooperation.

Phase 1

The 15 points

The Red Book 2 (page 18) indicates how the shape of the work in phase 1 was influenced by the decision that schools should choose from a list of 15 points. Since the schools worked independently from the 15 starting points, a feature of the work in Hampshire has been the production of case studies by individual schools.

Case studies

This case study approach provided an opportunity for many teachers to participate in curriculum work in their own schools. It resulted not only in work of some depth in their own subjects, but also in activities that extended their interests to wider issues in the curriculum as a whole. Frequently HMI and advisers participated in the work of the. school-based groups and this was a major factor in developing an acceptance of the involvement of all the partners in the enquiry.

Other schools

All the secondary schools in the Authority were provided with copies of The Red Book; and were informed that the work of the enquiry in the eight schools was taking place. Information was reported at the regular meetings of head teachers in the eight divisional Areas and at the County Secondary Heads Conference. The activity was openly discussed with other schools, but there was no general distribution of findings throughout the county; the schools regarded the work as a self-enquiry into their curriculum provision rather than as a project in a particular style of curriculum development. There was no attempt made to involve more schools in the enquiry at any stage.

Phase 2

Of the original eight schools, seven decided to continue into phase 2 and agreed

to complete certain work started in phase 1;

to use the national Paper C returns to undertake the review of the subject contribution in relation to the expressed aims and objectives of the school;

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to undertake projects which would emphasise evaluation both of some of the work developed in phase 1, and of further aspects of the curriculum.

The Hampshire bank

The volume of written material associated with the Enquiry led to the establishment at the county offices in Winchester of an information bank for Hampshire. A catalogue was issued to schools to enable them to keep abreast of all the reports and papers that had been produced. Altogether 60 case studies were lodged in the bank, and brief summaries of these appear at the end of the Hampshire publication. Some of these represented several years work, eg on language across the curriculum, social education, integrated studies, assessment of pupil performance, courses for the less able; and schools felt it important to continue their work in these fields.

Central returns

It was noticeable that the work of phase 1 had established in the schools a climate which enabled teachers readily to respond to the proposals of the Central Coordinating Committee (CCC) under which schools and departments were asked to submit their views (see Appendix I). The teachers welcomed the structured approach; they felt able to participate fully and openly. Most of the Hampshire schools used these returns as an opportunity to structure a substantial amount of work in their own schools; most of them also used in a similar way the invitation to write on 'The desirable curriculum' and submitted their individual papers to CCC.


In addition to their work with individual schools, the two HMI remaining with the group undertook a major role in identifying the specific tasks to which the schools were committed in phase 2 and in coordinating those tasks to enable FSG to make general observations and recommendations both about the curriculum itself and about the process of curriculum review. Each school submitted a list of work undertaken during phase 1 and planned for phase 2. Most of the work has been recorded in the individual case study booklets submitted to the Hampshire bank. At the meetings of FSG, and at residential conferences attended by members ofFSG and groups of teachers from the participating schools, work was undertaken to coordinate the findings. A Hampshire writing group of two headteachers, two advisers and two HMI was formed to prepare the text for the Hampshire publication.

In phase 1 there had been considerable emphasis on pupil pursuit and on observation of the totality of curriculum received by individual pupils, on cross-curricular studies, and on links with industry and the community. There emerged, after considerable debate, an acceptance that a curriculum based upon the eight areas of experience was appropriate for all pupils.

School activities

This emphasis on studies of the whole curriculum and cross-curricular issues was continued in phase 2, and the schools related their work to these concerns. In the event, five of the schools used the Paper C returns as the umbrella programme into which they fitted their other activities; this, of course, caused them to undertake a review of the aims and objectives of the whole school and the relationship of the contributions of the parts to the whole. One school had already submitted a case study on language across the curriculum and two others completed the writing of their case studies in

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phase 2. Three schools reviewed their provision for less-able pupils; whereas one school sought to devise activities in a number of subjects which would extend the most able pupils. There has been much discussion in recent years about pupil profiles, and two schools made particular studies for developments within their own schools. One school had begun to investigate how pupils perceived the ways in which they learned most effectively and this work was extended through subject-specific enquiries in history, science and social studies.

Social education

At a meeting of FSG in June 1981 it was decided that, since all the schools had submitted papers on 'School, society and the local community' and four had listed 'social education' in their activity lists, a coordinated study should be made of the place of social education in the curricula of all seven schools. Four advisers made visits to the schools to discuss with teachers the contributions being made to social education. The group took as a starting point the definition given in The Red Book on the 'social/political' area of experience and identified the school's contributions under general headings: the ethos of the school; assembly; tutor time; 'social education' courses including associated courses such as health education and careers; inputs from particular subjects; and community service. This style of approach enabled many teachers to participate (usually 15-20 in each school), provided a framework within which the school has to consider cross-curricular matters .of this kind, and posed the questions; 'Does the school have an observable policy? Who keeps it going, checks on the practices, and involves all the collective, personal and departmental inputs in the most profitable way?' It was valuable in a different way from the approach made in phase 1, whereby each of the subject advisers held centrally convened meetings which one or two subject specialists from each school attended to consider the contribution of the subject to the eight areas of experience.

Influence of the enquiry

The influence of the enquiry in Hampshire has been considerable. The enquiry schools have provided materials to be used to support curriculum work throughout the County. The consistent involvement of the Principal Adviser, the Senior Advisory Officer and the County Adviser for Secondary Education ensured a close link between the enquiry and other curriculum working parties and groups. In Hampshire there have been many occasions - within the county in -service programme of three residential courses each week of the school year, in the area meetings, in the teachers' centres, in the school-based conferences and meetings - when work emanating from the enquiry, issues raised in The Red Book and other papers, have been considered in subject or whole curriculum courses. The national secondary survey, 'Aspects of secondary education' was discussed at meetings for head teachers and senior staff throughout the County. Also in 1980, every secondary head teacher in Hampshire had the opportunity to attend one of the three residential courses on the secondary curriculum. The curriculum documents of recent years and the presentation of case studies by Enquiry Schools provided the input, and the views of the head teachers were sought on evaluating the curriculum.


Following these county conferences came the establishment of a Hampshire Study Group on Self-evaluation in Secondary Schools. The group produced

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draft papers entitled Guidelines on self evaluation in secondary schools which were based to a great extent upon the work of the curriculum enquiry 11-16. The draft papers were distributed to all schools in the county together with a brief questionnaire asking for comments on the effectiveness of the papers as an aid to the process of self evaluation. This led to a widespread series of meetings, both in schools and at teachers' centres, at which issues raised by the draft papers were discussed. The comments which were subsequently received from schools by the Study Group showed that the guidelines were welcomed as providing a detailed structure through which a school could reappraise not only its curriculum but its organisation and its general methods of work. The Study Group amended the draft papers in the light of suggestions received from schools and produced a final set of guidelines which were distributed to all schools in the County. Self-evaluation is being regarded not as an obligation imposed by the LEA, but as an opportunity, voluntarily undertaken, for a school to make a professional reappraisal of its work.

Current initiatives

In May 1980, the County Education Officer submitted to the Schools SubCommittee a paper, 'The school curriculum: current initiatives', which sought to draw together the main issues under consideration in recent curriculum publications. The Sub-Committee accepted the paper which asked schools 'to consider and then discuss with their Governors their approach to the school curriculum in the light of this report and the various relevant official reports which have recently been published, and the definition of the purposes of school education set out in paragraph 13 of this report.' That particular paragraph summarised the aims set out in Sections I to 3 of The Red Book; and the checklist of areas of experience was given as a means whereby a school might assess whether a balanced education was being provided by the existing curriculum. The curriculum enquiry in Hampshire provided a basis on which the LEA was able to review its curricular policies and to prepare its responses to Circular 6/81.


A much fuller account than this was distributed to all schools in Hampshire early in 1983. It is anticipated that the publications of 1983 will influence substantially the curriculum of secondary schools. The curriculum enquiry will provide views about the curriculum with examples of how some schools have reappraised what they have been doing, while the self-evaluation papers will offer materials to support schools in making their own reappraisals. Much work has to be done to provide appropriate external support, particularly in helping to establish the circumstances which will enable worthwhile self-evaluation to take place.

The documents (1) will be distributed to all schools in the County, and will be

(1) Curriculum enquiry in Hampshire 11-16. An account of both phases of the Enquiry in Hampshire including particulars of the work undertaken by the schools, general observations on the enquiry, a section of the curriculum, and an annotated list of the 60 case studies. People who are interested in particular case studies will be able to contact the schools concerned. Price £3.

Guidelines on self-evaluation in secondary schools. A loose-leaf resource pack which includes institutional and personal papers on aspects or organisations and curriculum in the secondary school. Price £2.50.

The publications may be obtained from The Education Department (Advisory Section), Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester, Hants SO23 8UG.

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used as a means of helping schools and the LEA to plan future curriculum development. They will also be made available to other local authorities and schools, as will copies of case studies which the originating schools are still able to supply.


Lancashire and its schools

Lancashire, with a population of approximately 1.3 million, has 121 secondary schools. Of these, 26 are 11-18 comprehensive schools, 77 are 11-16 comprehensive schools, to are secondary modern schools,S are grammar schools, and 3 are sixth form colleges. There are 4 tertiary colleges.

The enquiry schools

Twenty-three schools were originally involved in the curriculum enquiry. 6 schools decided to continue the work and to investigate the practical implications of the resolutions agreed at Stoke Rochford in June 1980. Another school, who had not been previously involved, joined the group. All were 11-16 mixed comprehensive schools.

Planning the work

It was recognised that in order to attempt improvement in the quality of learning and to involve and commit as many teachers as possible in this second phase, the work would have to be classroom based. In the early years much time had been spent on the discussion of skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge and how these related to the eight areas of experience. The decision was taken that the work should concentrate on the teaching of skills. Teachers saw the work as closely related to the normal work of the school and firmly based in classrooms; they could explore the means of translating departmental aims into objectives which could be assessed; they appreciated that teaching methods and styles would have to be reviewed and that significant changes might have to be made.

Two modules were planned and carried out during 1981-82:

the teaching of subject specific skills;
the teaching of a cross-curricular skill.
At the same time schools examined how far departmental aims and objectives matched the school's overall aims. All the schools followed the same procedures and adhered to an agreed timetable when the modules had to be done and the evaluative reports written.

Module 1: teaching subject specific skills

In the autumn term 1981 heads of the various departments from each of the seven schools decided on three or four skills to be taught and assessed; for example, in geography, the skill of locating a place in atlas or ordnance survey map; in science, the skills of interpreting instructions, appropriate and safe handling of apparatus, making accurate observations. They also suggested methods of teaching the skills, and formulated criteria and procedures for assessment of how far pupils had acquired these skills. The choice of year group was left to each individual school. It was generally agreed that the teaching was to be done within the normal subject syllabus and no special project or content should be used.

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The module covered a span of five weeks (the equivalent of a double lesson of 70 minutes each week) of normal school work. Each teacher involved wrote an assessment report of the exercise and also an evaluative report on the whole format and structure of the module. These reports were collated into a general departmental report. The subject reports were circulated to all seven schools.

Module 2: teaching a cross-curricular skill

This module took place during the Spring term 1982. The skill selected was:

"The ability to understand and act upon instructions given orally, in writing and diagrammatically" ...
This module differed from the first in that it was a whole school exercise and depended for its success on the corporate discussion involving all departments. Guidelines to teachers involved were produced and these were helpful. The general skill was broken down into further elements which showed that there was a hierarchy of sub-skills not all of which pupils would attain. The work was done in departments but all agreed that at least two of the ways of giving instructions should be introduced in the teaching. Three schools devised common tests to be taken by the pupils before and after the module; the other schools devised departmental tests.

The module was carried out with first year pupils and covered a period of three weeks (180-220 minutes). A senior member of staff coordinated the work of the module and wrote a school report based on departmental findings.

During the modules, schools were visited by HMI and advisers who had also been involved in their planning.

Assessment and evaluation

An important development, arising from being involved in the teaching of these modules, was the growing realisation amongst teachers that skill-based teaching demanded new ways of assessment. It was also apparent that teachers had become deeply involved in self-assessment. Two schools introduced the idea of teachers assessing colleagues not only in the same but in different departments. Teaching methods and styles were scrutinised, lesson objectives reviewed and changed, content re-examined and ways in which pupils could be better motivated were discovered in a number of instances. Perhaps more importantly teachers were more aware than before that many of their assumptions about their methods and the effect these had on pupils and their learning had to be revised.


The principles and concepts of both phases of the curriculum enquiry, supported by the experience of teachers, were introduced into the authority's general and specialist in-service courses. Some schools, which became interested in the work undertaken by the seven schools, have initiated their own curriculum review, assisted by advisers, headteachers and teachers who have been involved in the national enquiry. Various papers, produced by individual schools, on a number of issues have been given to teachers who were developing similar ideas at departmental level. Groups of specialist teachers have further developed some aspects of the enquiry; for example,

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science teachers and advisers, using the general science report from Paper C returns, have begun the task of defining the skills to be taught in each of the five years. Some schools have reviewed their assessment procedures and begun work on pupil profiles.


The report on phase 2, in the form of a booklet, gives details of how the work was organised, subject and school reports on the two modules, an assessment and teacher evaluation of each module, headteachers' review of the effect on the school of being involved in the enquiry, school documents on individual projects and a chapter on the entitlement curriculum. This booklet may be purchased (Price £3) from The Chief Education Officer, Education Department, County Hall, Fishergate, Preston.


Nottinghamshire and its schools

Nottinghamshire has a population of around 975,000 with a full-time school population of 163,000. The Authority is fully reorganised into comprehensive education, with a variety of systems within the county. There are 84 schools which are classified as secondary, the majority being 11-18 or 11-16 establishments. There are a few upper and high schools and 11 middle schools which cater for about 1,700 children in the 11-13 range. The total number of secondary age pupils is 85,300.

Work in phase 2

The work in Nottinghamshire in phase 2 of the 11-16 enquiry has been very heavily slanted towards classroom activities and to the preparation and evaluation of work by members of the partnership. Five schools were involved in phase 2 and they agreed to tackle three broad categories of enquiry. These were: the world of work; the curriculum for the less able; language and learning across the curriculum.

The table overleaf indicates which of these areas was the concern of the individual school.

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Case study 1: The world of work

Those schools who carried out investigations into the world of work were aware that curricular packages in careers and in social education were inadequate. Teachers believed that much of what was required was already in existence in the subjects offered to pupils in their schools, but it needed to be highlighted and coordinated. There was a feeling, also, that some timetable time would have to be committed to the introduction of new material and that all the work depended, finally, on the teaching styles adopted by the staff.

The early work made use of a questionnaire which tried to identify the skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge which might be relevant to preparing pupils for the world of work and were already being presented through other departmental approaches. The questionnaire investigated specific objectives and tried to determine at what stage in the pupil's career these could most properly be presented.

The results of these questionnaires were analysed and areas of curricular deficiencies were discovered. The first evaluations and suggestions were encouraging and some departments were interested enough to make positive contributions to the development of courses across the curriculum.

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Social education programmes were the concern of three of the schools and, though they set about the task in different ways, they found that the identification and correlation of the work of different subject disciplines helped them to see where the objectives of social education were being fulfilled. All felt the need to examine closely the option system to ensure that each pupil had a proper balance of skill-based work. Two other important conclusions were that cooperative planning by teachers within and between departments must be carried out if a really effective social education programme is to be implemented, and that all members of staff need to develop, in a cautious and sensitive way, a wide range of teaching methods.

Case study 2: enrichment for the least able

Two schools in the authority decided to investigate and make a programme for curriculum enrichment for the least able. Since much of the work in phase 1 had centred on the concept of a common entitlement for all pupils up to 16, the two schools attempted to find answers to such questions as: how far can provision be common across the whole ability range? To what extent and why should it be different?

Common objectives were established for the work in both schools. The social objectives established placed greater emphasis on enabling pupils to enjoy school, to gain success, to increase self-esteem, to develop a sympathy for others and to make worthwhile friendships.

The academic objectives were different in each school. One school wanted to develop skills in literacy, numeracy and, at the same time, to widen the horizons of the less able pupils; in the second school the teachers wished to provide the same opportunity for learning a foreign language as that which was offered to other pupils in the year, to give their pupils the chance to begin a subject in which they had not already met failure and to facilitate the pupil's transfer into mainstream classes where appropriate.

At the end of phase 2 the needs which both schools identified for success were:

extra financial resources must be available for producing course materials and for visits;

teachers who are doing this work must have the opportunity for regular discussion about materials, approaches and evaluation;

a small team of staff working towards limited objectives.

Case study 3: language and learning

The stages leading to the establishment of a language and learning enquiry within two of the enquiry schools were as follows:

an invitation was extended to all departmental teachers to meet an LEA inspector, to discuss the procedures for setting up a programme of work;

the Authority printed and published a language and learning folder which related theory to practice, and included resource materials and ideas for teaching across the curriculum;

in each school three major departments (English, humanities and science) agreed to take part;

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the language and learning folder was used to give starting points for discussion, to suggest models on which new materials could be based and to suggest ways of planning and trying out some of the basic ideas;

one full term was set aside for the teachers and inspectors to organise the materials and assignments into lesson sequences;

it was agreed that evaluation procedures would include observations made by the teachers, comments from individual children and reviews by an "outsider" who would be familiar with the work and its preparation.

No set pattern of working was imposed on anyone in the project. The planned lessons were to be those which would appear in the term's syllabuses and demanded that children should work together, that they should learn by talking as well as writing, and that there should be an emphasis, in part of each lesson, on problem-solving.

At the end of the investigation the teachers were quite clear that the translation of curriculum principles and aims to effective classroom practice depended finally on the ability of the teacher to command the right kinds of teaching methods. Many of the teachers who took part in the enquiries sought to present their pupils with a variety of styles of learning and tried to assess and evaluate the work which has been done. It became increasingly clear that it was how material was presented to pupils and what sort of opportunities they were given to work on it which enabled them to develop as genuine learners. Schools which did not foster critical and reflective thinking, which did not involve pupils in making meanings for themselves, which did not include opportunities for pupils to fail, redraft and reshape information, were preventing children from developing as real learners. The language and learning enquiry taught those who were involved in it that classrooms should be places where pupils can think personally, feel personally and develop a strong self-identity, and where the formulation and solution of problems is not inhibited.


At the end of phase 1 of the enquiry, representatives from all the Nottinghamshire secondary schools were invited to attend a conference where they were brought up to date with the work which had been completed. Two further conferences were held during the spring term 1983 to which all secondary headteachers were invited. The main theme of the programme at both meetings was the entitlement curriculum and course members were invited to carry out selected readings and practical activities designed to help them understand more fully the philosophical basis of the publication.

Currently schools in the Authority are being invited to review their curricular provision and to begin similar investigations to those completed by the participant schools. A full support programme is being planned and developed which will involve the local Inspection and Advisory Service in the coordination and development of the work.


See Appendix 5, Case studies.

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Wigan and its schools education

The Metropolitan Borough of Wigan is a small compact local authority with a population of just over 300,000 persons, of which 29,500 are receiving education within the 11-18 age range, within 32 schools and colleges. Three sides of the Authority are bounded by major roads, the M6, M61 and the A580; travel across and around the Authority is easy. Within the period of half an hour one can have traversed the Authority at its widest point; ease of communication, because of the geographical features and because of the style in which the project has been implemented, has been a feature of Wigan's work. The Steering Group, consisting of some 12 to 15 people, representing the three elements of the partnership, have met on more than 60 occasions during the life of the project. Such regularity of meeting has been a reflection of the commitment of the partnership in Wigan to the exercise; it has enabled time to be given to the challenges in The Red Book 1, as well as the opportunity to carry out a process of in-service education with all the participants.

Enquiry schools

Initially six schools from the Authority were involved, but for the last two years this number has been increased by one; continuity and stability has been a major feature. All school representatives who started are still in post while continuity has been maintained at advisory level. It has been possible to develop a depth and consistency of thinking because of the time factor; this does not imply complete agreement. Discussion and debate have been evident throughout and even at the time of writing have been used to explore and exemplify some of the tentative proposals being put forward.

From the inception of the work the style and interpretation of the project have been influenced by the perceptions, interpretations and obviously prejudices of those people who have been closely linked with the central team at national level.

It must be made perfectly clear that the local group has not always seen 'eye to eye' with the project as a whole. Some differences were highlighted at the first Chorley Conference and were equally evident at the final Bournemouth Conference. Consequently some of the work of the project has been seen as a hindrance to the lines of development initiated in Wigan. The Paper C returns are perhaps the best example of this; this element has not been given the same accord in Wig an as in some other authorities.

Underlying principles

From the outset the approach has been based upon three underlying principles:

the production/development of a more meaningful curriculum framework to replace that which operates at the moment;

the need to engage all those who have a contribution to make to the educative process but in particular teachers who are in effect the delivery system in relation to curriculum thinking;

the use of the challenges of The Red Book 1 and the subsequent documentation on this issue as a means of establishing such a curriculum framework.

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At no time was Red Book 1 seen as being, for example, a series of prescriptions to be tested. The eight areas of experience had been used as a concept and not as the check list against which to assess that which is in existence. The idea of a check list, of which the eight areas of experience are but one example, became the important element in the work.

Curriculum framework

The work developed upon these principles has been continuous in nature; it has not been phased. From the outset work in Wigan has aimed to develop a theoretical curriculum framework, and, as areas of agreement have emerged, the participants who produced the framework have translated the ideas into classroom reality. The development of classroom practice has been a feature of the Wigan approach since the early days; the degree of interpretation of these ideas at classroom level has increased as the teachers' personal understanding and commitment have developed. The case studies produced within the enquiry illustrate ways in which the curriculum framework has been adopted within the schools and classrooms. As yet there is not a complete translation of the framework; gaps exist but the work is continuing.


It was recognised from the inception that dissemination had to be built into the development strategy. The people in the local steering group have become a cadre of trained personnel, all of whom have been involved in the dissemination of the ideas throughout the remainder of the Authority since September 1981. Dissemination has never been something which has been 'done' to the remaining schools; it has been seen and implemented as part of a continual process. The schools initially involved have taken on the mantle of leaders of the development of thinking in other schools which have been drawn into the work.

Curriculum change through people

It was established very early in the enquiry that if a radical curriculum review was to be implemented then a whole school approach needed to be taken, and it was recognised that a school in isolation from the rest of the Authority could not undertake such a radical review. The enquiry has been an Authority activity involving the locally elected representatives right through the spectrum of the education service from Director to the most newly appointed scale I teacher. Emphasis has not been given to changing school structures or hierarchies but on capturing the hearts of those people who actually deliver the curriculum. The evidence is that to spend time upon altering hierarchies or structures often only serves as a cushion or barrier to the real changes which are required.

The Wigan perspective is that of a problem centred process model where people are at the heart of the work.

Fundamental curriculum change occurs when those people involved have internalised the ideas with which they are being challenged and become committed to them. In an attempt to develop professional self-awareness there has been an emphasis upon the need to develop personal self-awareness. The belief that there is a relationship between personal growth and professional growth has been tested. Activities within the project have taken the following pattern:

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development of a set of skills to help people think through the issues (it is too often assumed that teachers, because they are teachers, possess such skills);

identification of what matters most - to the individual, the institution, the authority;

development of a range of strategies; fitting the strategies together;

doing it.

The process has been a mixture of the contemplative (as opposed to the theoretical) and the practical. Those involved have had the opportunity to participate in the traditional academic rigour normally associated with a long secondment, together with the immediate opportunity to translate such thinking at school level. The two activities have been simultaneous as opposed to that which would be the norm-consecutive.

The involvement of people in the actual process of rethinking has been a cornerstone of the Wigan activities; taking people through 'the fire' is an essential commitment of radical curriculum review. It is something which is carried with people and not to people.


The documentation produced is as follows:

a statement of the curriculum framework which has become known as the 'Wigan strands';

a set of case studies collected from the schools;

a detailed study of the process approach adopted within Wigan.

The elements have been put together under a single cover which is available from: The Director of Education, Education Offices, Gateway House, Standishgate, Wigan.

It is not expected that the price will exceed the sum of £5.00, including package and posting.

As part of the activities, one of the headteachers was seconded as a TeacherFellow to Lancaster University. The report which he produced on behalf of Lancaster University and the Authority is available at a price of £1.50 from: Centre for Educational Research and Development, University of Lancaster, Cartmel College, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YL.

A survey of option choice procedures in six secondary schools by a Wigan teacher seconded to Lancaster University is also available at a price of £1.50 from the same address.

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Appendix 1

Second phase, PAPER C questionnaires

11-16 Curriculum enquiry, second phase

Paper C

Section A The overall objectives of the school (These were interpreted by the schools as statements of aims)

To be answered by heads in consultation with heads of department as appropriate

A 1. What are the school's overall objectives?

A2. Does the school have a written statement of these?

A3. If so, how was this compiled? Did the heads of department play any part in its compilation?
If not, how are the objectives conveyed?

A4. Is there an agreed procedure for modifying these objectives?

A5. Are any modifications to or extensions of the school's objectives intended?
If so, what would these be?

Section B The objectives of the department/faculty

To be answered by heads of department in consultation with departmental staff as appropriate

B 1. What are your departmental objectives in relation to the curriculum of pupils aged 11-167

B2. Does your department have a written statement of these? B3. If so, how was this compiled?
If not, how are the objectives conveyed?

B4. How are these objectives related to the school's overall objectives? B5. In order to achieve your departmental objectives:

i. What knowledge does your department aim to impart?
ii. What skills does your department aim to impart?
iii. What concepts does your department aim to develop?
iv. What attitudes does your department aim to foster?
In each of years 1-5

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For each year, please answer on a separate sheet of paper, using the following format:

Year 1 (eg)    Knowledge    Skills    Concepts    Attitudes

If there is an order of priority within these lists, please indicate by arranging items in numerical order, with the most important item numbered 1.

v. In which areas of experience does your department aim to make a significant contribution within the 11-16 curriculum?

(We appreciate that you have very likely answered this question before, but CCC is anxious to have a full up-to-date picture, especially in order to ascertain any changes in schools' and departments' thinking.)

aesthetic/ creative








A. Please place in rank order, the contribution made by your department to each area (column 1). NB Most significant contribution "8"; least significant contribution" 1". Please use a separate sheet for each year or for each group of years (eg 1-3,4-5), as you feel appropriate.

B. Indicate the level of contribution on scale (Column 2).

Definition of grades:

0. No contribution to this area of experience.
1. An indirect contribution to the pupils' development in this area of experience.
2. A recognisable contribution which bears directly on pupils' developing awareness of this area of experience.
3. A highly significant contribution to pupils' understanding of this area of experience.

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B6. Would you wish to make any modifications to or extensions of your departmental objectives? If so, what would these be?

The Paper C process

Chapter 1 has described how the planning sub-group of the central coordinating committee made requests to schools for written submissions about the curriculum. Schools were asked for a statement of their current aims and objectives, first as a school and secondly by departments. Each department was asked to state its aims and objectives for each of the five years of compulsory secondary schooling, using the agreed framework of areas of experience, skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge. Departments were also asked to consider the relationship between these aims and objectives and those for the school as a whole. These became known as Paper C submissions.

The Paper C was sent out to schools in April 1981 and subject summaries made of the returns. These were used, and continue to be used, in various ways by schools and LEAs.

At school level:

Some departments made reviews of their own statements, considering a. the adequacy of their current objectives against those of other departments and the school's overall aims and b. their success in achieving these objectives and c. the inhibiting factors;

Some schools used the composite picture obtained from the returns in order to identify areas of agreement, overlap or omissions in the total curriculum on offer or in the educational experience of individual pupils.

At LEA level:
the documents from the authority's schools provided a basis for subject-based activity linking departments from different schools in jointly examining objectives, under the coordination of specialist advisers;

these documents were used in the preparation of authorities' statements on the entitlement curriculum.

The returns made by schools in response to the Paper C questionnaires represent a considerable amount of information on the work done within subject departments in the participating schools. To illustrate this, reference has been made to the submissions made by history and science departments. In common with all other departments in the schools which made returns, these departments had written statements on their objectives. There tended to be a broad similarity across the returns in the objectives thought desirable in the teaching of history, this possibly being the result of the widespread acceptance of skills-based history courses by examining boards in recent years. For example the following list of objectives taken from one school were closely matched in the returns from many other schools.

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History objectives

To develop an interest and awareness of the past. To build on the interest which may already exist and which may have come to the child through comics, television/radio programmes, games and visits.

To develop an awareness of our identity as individuals and as a nation. To be aware of cultural difference; ethnic, religious and political minorities.

To develop an awareness of the existence of primary and secondary evidence. To be aware that such evidence may be contradictory or affected by bias/opinion.

To be aware of a sense of change in our society, and a sense of continuity. To develop a sense of shared characteristics with our ancestors.

To develop a sense of empathy - to be able to imagine oneself within a certain situation and thus feel sympathy and understanding for the situation.

To be aware of cause and effect. This may arouse controversy as it must be accepted that any teaching may be swayed by the teacher's own personal bias.

Similarly, the returns showed that although syllabus context might differ there was agreement amongst history departments about teaching the same historical concepts.

Historical concepts
There was widespread reference to the understanding of cause and effect as a fundamental concept, and similarly a clear emphasis on the need to convey the concept of time in its widest sense (eg to include the meaning of prehistory, decades, centuries). There was also some mention of progress as a concept.

Recognising that there are major areas in which overlapping occurs, the most common concepts have been categorised into four broad bands.

Political - this was an area on which heavy emphasis was placed, particularly higher up the school. The broad concepts of power and authority provided a strong theme, and their implications are mentioned in a number of concepts which occur very frequently - barbarism/civilisation; war /conflict/force/militarism; colonisation/ imperialism/migration; feudalism/serfdom/slavery; rebellion/revolution; nationalism/racism. Another dominant theme was political organisation and concepts associated with it - parliament, democracy, monarchy, republic, autocracy, liberty, equality, fraternity, conservation, communism, fascism, nazism, nationalism, detente.

Economic - another area which was widely represented. The most regular contributions were trade, wealth and poverty, industrialisation, mechanisation, depression/ recession, laissez-faire, capitalism, socialism.

Social - (note the considerable overlap with economic, social welfare, welfare state, urbanisation, communication.

Spiritual - mentioned in fewer cases, but there was recognition of a need to convey the concepts of reformation, protestantism, catholicism and nonconformism.

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The objectives of the science departments which made returns were varied although many departments showed the effect of public examinations on their thinking about objectives for fourth and fifth year courses. For example, one department specified:

"A general developmental knowledge of the three sciences based largely on demands of 0 and CSE syllabuses. Extended to the lower ability pupils by means of Mode 3 syllabuses."
In contrast another science department used the Paper C process to examine its departmental objectives under the headings of Knowledge and understanding, Manipulative skills and Attitudes. This use of the Paper C process went a good way towards the sharpening up of thinking about the curriculum.

A. Knowledge and understanding:

Students should be able to demonstrate:

knowledge of some facts and concepts;
knowledge of the use of appropriate instruments in scientific experiments;
an adequate scientific vocabulary;
ability to communicate using this vocabulary;
comprehension of some basic concepts so that they be used in familiar situations;
ability to analyse data and draw conclusions;
ability to select relevant knowledge and apply it to new situations;
ability to think creatively, by devising novel procedures to solve problems.
B. Manipulative skills:

Students should acquire:

ability to use apparatus in performing simple science-based skills;
ability to implement procedures;
ability to perform experimental techniques involving several skills;
C. Attitudes:

Students should:

be able to work a. independently, or b. as part of a group;
adopt objectivity with respect to observations and in assessing observations; appreciate the place of science in the curriculum and its relationship with other subjects;
be aware of the inter-relationship of the different disciplines of science;
be aware of the contribution of science to the economic and social life of the community;
be concerned for the application of scientific knowledge within the community.

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There was a considerable difference in the ways in which departmental objectives were compiled. These ranged from departments which closely referred to the schools' overall aims to those which simply made an assumption that there would be a close match between departmental and school aims. Nevertheless, the Paper C process did lead to a lot of work in departments, possibly for the first time in some, where a wider view of the curriculum was taken in relation to the school's overall aims. Examples from two different departments illustrate this.

'The aims and objectives of the Chemistry Department were formulated in recognition, for the most part, that they must be compatible with and reflect the accepted aims of the school.'

'The general aims and objectives of the History Department are related to the school's overall aims in that as in other areas, the History Department aims to develop literacy and oracy in the pupil and the means to acquire knowledge and skills to produce an interested and enquiring adult with an appetite for further knowledge.'

In most departments, the list of written objectives was compiled by the head of department after consulting members of the department. There was not a great deal of direct reference to outside influence, although some history departments stated that they had been influenced by recent publications, for example, the Schools Council 13-16 project, and one school had derived aims for the science department from the LEA Science panel.

The Paper C returns were found to be useful within the LEAs as being:

a process which had stimulated work in the participating schools and could now be extended to other schools within the authority as part of a dissemination process taking the 11-16 curriculum enquiry to a wider audience;

a pool of information which could be used within the authority's inservice programme;

a starting point for further work within the participating schools.

The Paper C printed in this appendix continues to be used by LEAs though with some modifications in format.

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Appendix 2

Wigan's approach to the clarification of aims

The 'rational' approach to specification of aims and objectives suggests that these should always precede content and method. In the preparation of the final treatise this is probably true. In practice, however, it has been the experience of this group that initial discussion tended to centre upon curricular details rather than principles. The debates and arguments which were generated then brought into question the reasons for inclusion or exclusion of content. Thus, the very principles of education were questioned and eventually clarified. This process was repeated over and over again until finally it was possible to state the principles upon which education should be based and the curriculum content and method best employed to reflect them.

It is worthy of note that whilst the group accepts corporate responsibility for all that follows, there has not, in several areas, been complete consensus of view. This in no way detracts from the validity of these papers but serves to emphasise the difficulty of stating educational aims as well as their importance.

What follow are statements which are offered as educational principles which are intended to underpin the detailed curriculum proposals. Neither these statements nor the curriculum can stand alone. They are interdependent; each pervades the other and neither is valid in isolation.

Each statement is followed by an amplification which is, of necessity, brief and which is not intended to be complete.

"Education must look forward and recognise that it is the means of preparing people for a future of which we have little or no conception."

The ever increasing momentum of the technological revolution makes it increasingly difficult to envisage the quality of life even one decade ahead. In the past the rate of technological change has been such that society has been able to absorb it and evolve accordingly even though it may have been painful (eg the Industrial Revolution). In today's world and that of tomorrow, before one change can be absorbed, another more significant change takes place. Our increasing inability to foresee the future paradoxically requires proportionately more effective preparation for it. Education must foster in young people not only the ability to accept change but also commitment to the responsible management of the opportunities which the new technology affords.

"Education must take place within an international context as opposed to the national context within which it has operated to date."

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Major issues such as conservation, ecology, the role of women, human rights, allocation of world resources, etc transcend national boundaries and demand to be considered within an international context.

"Education must respond equally to the needs of all individuals. The needs of individual people may be different but anyone need is of no greater importance than any other."

Different needs are not met by giving equality of resources. The aim should be to make education equally valuable to all individuals and to do this it must respond proportionately to the needs of that individual.

"Education must free the individual to enable the expression of human uniqueness."

Education is responsible for fostering those conditions which afford the individual the security to express emotions, feelings, and thoughts which are peculiar to them. Education, therefore, must be based upon moral, spirit and humanitarian values such as love, tolerance, altruism, freedom of speech, freedom from oppression. The fostering of these values, which are of supreme importance whether viewed from a religious or secular perspective is vital to the nurturing of the human spirit.

"Education must take cognisance of the rights of the individual and encourage mutual respect between individuals and between ethnic and cultural groups."

Human dignity is of supreme importance and it is the responsibility of education not only to respect this but to strive to enhance it. Thus, education, must recognise that human rights are common to all and not the prerogative of certain social strata. All cultures are, by their very existence, deserving of respect both by the individual and by whatever system pertains within society. Education bears the responsibility not only of encouraging this respect by the individual but of setting the example whereby the dignity of the individual is not subordinate to the requirements of the system.

"Education should equip people with the desire and skills to participate in a democratic society."

Democracy, by definition, demands the involvement of people. Education has the responsibility of operating within a democratic system; of respecting and nurturing democratic principles; of being open to change by democratic process; and, perhaps, most importantly of encouraging within the young those qualities and skills which will enable them to participate in a democracy and ultimately to develop or change it.

"Education must encourage awareness of the fact that society exists only as a combination of the many and varied roles of individuals within a structured framework."

The fabric of society is woven from the contributions of the individuals within that society. To exist and to function without conflict we have to appreciate the reciprocity of these contributions. Education, therefore, is charged with the responsibility of demonstrating that mutual dependence of individual roles, and per se, the right to equality of dignity and respect which all contributors possess.

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Appendix 3

Planning the entitlement curriculum

There is no single way to achieve the common or entitlement curriculum of the kind proposed. Though schools will be following the outline specification envisaged in Chapter 3, the detailed expression of this in terms of the subjects and courses taught will differ from school to school, according to the particular strengths of the school, its staff and its local circumstances. Most of the work of the enquiry has been concerned with clarifying the broad principles of the entitlement curriculum, and it was only towards the end of the present stage that it became possible to consider the more detailed shape of curricular patterns reflecting these principles. This work is far from complete, and in any case the decisions made by each individual school about its curriculum will continue to be subject to change. The work of the enquiry has contributed in some LEAs to the modelling of a curriculum which has become the basis for their staffing policies over the next few years.

To assist in the next stage a sequence of steps has been suggested by which a series of curriculum models may be generated by individual schools to allow them to explore in greater detail the implications of the assumptions on which they wish to proceed. Such models are not the same as time-table specifications. In designing a curriculum it may well be necessary to develop several models each exploring a different set of assumptions and a different range of objectives. Examples of some of the models developed during the project can be obtained from the LEAs from the addresses given in Chapter IV. The following steps are offered as guidance in working towards a curricular model.

Step 1

The school must first decide the basis upon which it intends to construct a curriculum model. Most probably this will be expressed as a checklist of those features which are felt to be necessary elements in the curriculum. The eight areas of experience, or the skill clusters outlined in Chapter 3, or a list of attitudes or concepts, or a combination of these are examples of such a checklist.

Step 2

Further decisions will need to be made about whether the model will account for 100 per cent of the timetabled time, or a range such as the 70 to 80 per cent indicated in Chapter 3, and about whether or not the pattern may vary from year to year.

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Step 3

It is important before proceeding that schools should examine closely and agree the meanings of the terms to be used in the checklist as this will affect later decisions. For example, what exactly is meant by 'English' or 'language' or 'political science', or by 'curiosity' or 'integrity', or by 'aesthetic'? Agreement on definitions inevitably involves the expression of subjective views and the acceptance of compromise.

Step 4

Schools will need to make a reasoned judgement about the relative importance of the items on their checklist. (Every curriculum is based on such judgements, although the criteria are not always explicit.) Are all the items on the checklist of equal importance, or are differences in importance to be reflected in different time allocation? It may be convenient to express this relative importance in terms of a percentage or some other form of "weighting". For example, one school using the eight areas of experience as a checklist may decide that the linguistic area merits 15 per cent as against 20 per cent for the scientific. Another school, using the skills and concepts approach, might decide to put skills into clusters (for example, 'communication', 'physical') and allocate 18 per cent to the first, and 10 per cent to the second. Schools may decide that the weightings should be varied from year to year across the five secondary years.


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Step 5

Subjects or courses which contribute to each item on the checklist should be identified, and an attempt made to assess their contribution to each of the checklist items. These contributions, too, could be expressed as a percentage: the percentages in each box would add up to 100.

In reality, this process is identifying subjects or courses which make a contribution to each checklist item, ranking them in order of the importance of their contribution, and expressing the relative importance as a percentage. A strong case can often be made for the inclusion of most subjects under most items in checklists. However this produces an impracticable situation, and one way forward may be to identify those subjects and courses which are thought, after close examination to make a clearly significant contribution to extending pupils' experience under the particular headings being considered.

Step 6

Allocation of time to subjects and courses in the light of steps 4 and 5 above may be done by translating the percentages arrived at in stages 4 and 5 to the subjects and course groups indicated in step 5. For example, if one checklist item has been awarded 20 per cent of the time in year 1 (Step 4), which is

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equivalent to eight periods in a forty period week, and if one particular subject is judged to make a 40 per cent contribution in that area (Step 5), it will be given 8 X 40/100 (3.2) periods per week for that contribution. However, the subject may be given additional time because it contributes to other items on the checklist. The totals for each subject or course will give an approximate allocation of time only, since many will not add up to a number of whole periods, and at this stage further decisions will need to be made as to whether to round up or down.

Step 7

Schools may wish to repeat the procedures using one or more alternative checklists.

It is in fact vital to recognise that the outcome of a single model is not to be treated as a time-table specification or as the final picture of the curriculum. The model can only reveal the consequences of the assumptions on which it is based and it remains to the modeller to assess the validity or acceptability of the outcomes.

Though the project has officially ended, the LEAs and individual schools continue to develop this process in the course of their curricular planning.

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Appendix 4

List of schools involved

Cheshire schools

Brine Leas County High School Nantwich 11-16
Knutsford County High School Knutsford 11-18
Lymm High School Lymm 11-18
Malbank County High School Nantwich 11-18
Norton Priory County Comprehensive School Runcom 11-18
Queen's Park High School Chester 12-18
St John's RC High School Warrington 11-16
St Nicholas RC High School, Hartford Northwich 11-18

Hampshire schools

Broom Field School Havant 12-16
Fareham Park School Fareham 11-16
Frogmore School, Frogmore Camberley 11-18
Hardley School Hardley 12-16
John Hunt of Everest School Basingstoke 11-16
King Richard School Portsmouth 12-18
Redbridge School Southampton 12-16


Edge End High Nelson 11-16
Moorland High Darwen 11-16
Millfield High Cleveleys 11-16
Walton-Ie-Dale High Preston 11-16
Up Holland High Up Holland 11-16
West Bank High Skelmersdale 11-16
Towneley High Burnley 11-16

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Nottinghamshire schools

Ashfield School Kirby-in-Ashfield 11-18
Dayncourt School Radcliffe-on- Trent 11-18
Manor School Mansfield Woodhouse 11-18
Portland School Worksop 11-18
Redhill School Arnold 11-18

Wigan schools

Golborne Comprehensive School Golborne 11-18
Hesketh Fletcher C of E High School Hesketh 11-16
Lowton High School Lowton 11-16
Rose Bridge High School, Ince Wigan 11-16
Shevington High School Shevington 11-16
Whelley Middle School Wigan 10-13
Whitley High School Wigan 13-18

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Appendix 5

List of case studies from schools in the 5 LEAs


The approach in Cheshire has generated four groups of working papers.

Papers designed to stimulate discussion and analysis produced by the working parties of the steering group and representing all three partners - schools, LEA advisory staff and HMI. Examples of this type of paper are:

Curriculum/staffing model
Curricular entitlement
Aesthetic/creative experience
Preparation for working life

Papers produced by heads of subject departments from schools in each phase working together on areas of common interest. Many of these concentrate on the place of individual subjects within the curriculum and methods of assessing pupil performance and evaluation of courses provided. Some, however, deal with cross curricular issues. In each case, they represent a consensus of teacher thinking at particular points in the work of reappraisal of each phase. Examples of these papers are:

Curricular statements of essential ideas, skills and attitudes for each subject in the curriculum.
Assessment and evaluation techniques for each subject in the curriculum.
Compensatory education.
Language learning.
16-plus common examination criteria.
Careers education.
Social and personal development.

Papers produced by individual schools on particular areas of interest and investigation. Examples of these papers are:

Study skills.
The curriculum for the first year to the third year.
Option systems 14-16.
Differentiated material to match various pupil ability levels.
Pupil profiles and reports.

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Assessment of the whole curriculum.
Working papers for individual school in-service days.
Cross curricular skills and ideas.
The application of the eight areas to a balanced curriculum.
Curricular initiated enterprises involving local industry and the community.

Independent evaluation of the process and practice of curriculum reappraisal has also contributed to the development of the work of the project. Examples are:

A case study of curriculum reappraisal in one secondary school: thesis for a higher degree by a participating teacher.
Evaluation of curriculum reappraisal in two schools by a participating head teacher.
LEA Handbook Curriculum 11-16 containing the LEA's own evaluation.

The three phases which have been involved for a period of two years have so far generated a number of working papers specific to their needs. They have also' revised and modified papers written by earlier phases. A fourth phase has just begun to look at alternative strategies of reappraisal for a curriculum looking towards the 1990's and will in turn create its own documentation. Much of this output is ephemeral and serves only to develop ideas and thinking and to prompt action within the partnership. Some has been collected and published: for instance, the agreed statements by phase 1 schools on the place of individual subjects within the curriculum was published as the 'White book'. These have been substantially revised by subsequent phases and will be re-published together with the latest material on assessment in due course. Even so, much material is by its very nature short-term and can become out-of-date with surprising rapidity.

Any of these papers can be obtained through The Assistant Director for Secondary Education, Education Department, County Hall, Chester CH1 1SQ.


In Hampshire, some 60 case studies were produced by individual schools. Many of these are still in print, although some of them represent work that was undertaken in early stages of the enquiry. The studies range over a wide area, some being subject specific or even teacher specific. During phase 2, however, there was increased emphasis on the learning experiences and the curriculum balance provided for individual pupils, and the following titles indicate some of the topics:

Community study
Language across the curriculum
The impact of a day on an individual pupil
Links with industry

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Social education
Methods of learning -

in the whole school
in science
in social studies
in history
A review of the curriculum for the less able
Top 10 per cent: gifted pupils

The full list of studies, with a brief note on each, is given in the Hampshire booklet, in which the schools are identified. The headteachers may be approached direct for copies or for comment on the work undertaken. This publication (see page 60) or further information may be obtained by writing to The Advisory Section (CEETS) Education Department, The Castle, Winchester, Hants SO23 8UG.


Detailed accounts of the work of the LEA can be found in the following publications.

1. The 11-16 enquiry in Lancashire phase 2-An account of teaching specialist and cross-curricular skills.

2. Individual school reports on reaching a cross-curricular skill.

3. One paper on essential skills for pupils 11-16.

4. A list of agreed skills which can be developed for pupils in 11-16 school. They are available from Chief Education Officer, Education Department, County Hall, Fishergate, Preston.


The steering group of the Nottinghamshire enquiry schools made a firm decision at the beginning of phase 2 to concentrate on three major practical investigations. These were: The world of work; the curriculum for the less able; language and learning. The case studies which followed the planning and implementation of these three areas of work now form the basis of the Nottinghamshire Local publication. Price £2.

A subsequent addition has been made to the above account. This is a Guideline to curriculum review and change, which gathers together ideas, outlines and examples from the partnership schools, and is intended to support and stimulate other schools who wish to undertake such a review. Price £2.

The above can be obtained from The District Inspector, The Area Education Office, 19/21 Musters Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham.



These case studies are examples of practice in schools from which the Wigan

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statement of curricular entitlement is drawn. It is a tentative statement subject to a variety of interpretations even within the group. It illustrates nevertheless a vitally important consequence of the exercise, by demonstrating the truth of the third 'Fundamental proposition' and providing concrete examples of the commitment which an ' ... educated, trained, professional body of teachers ... ' is prepared to give over and above their normal professional duties.

From the outset of the enquiry schools were asked to produce case studies of what they felt to be good practice. As a consequence schools worked from their current position. As the work progressed, more studies began to emerge concerned with implementation of the steering group's curriculum thinking. The studies reflect the stages by which that thinking began to be absorbed into curricular reality.

The curriculum of the seven schools has remained subject specific. They have begun, however, to use some of the elements in a checklist to identify

. gaps in their provision. What the schools now have is a framework against which curricular planning decisions can be taken. In Wigan it is felt that no maintained school, nor the LEA itself has either the power or the courage to discard the present subject-based structure even if it believes that young people may be better served by so doing. Outside pressures upon schools and LEAs are not easily resisted.

None the less despite these feelings of limitation the Wigan work has been based on a forward looking philosophy. Some of its premises may be/will be challenged. The participants have undertaken the path of curriculum reappraisal and will continue to carry it out.

The case studies which follow will allow the reader only a limited insight into the hours of additional work in and out of the classroom for those teachers involved in their preparation.

Their number was such as to preclude their publication complete and unabridged. The Steering Group would want to try to get this done, as a natural consequence of the contract between them and the teachers in the seven schools. Therefore it is their clear intention to publish the case study material for the benefit of the rest of the Wig an secondary schools and for others beyond the LEA. The case data will be accessible to interested readers.

Ideally, the case studies would have followed naturally from the statement of principles and the identified strands of the curriculum. In practice however case studies were undertaken alongside a consideration of the principles and strands by the Steering Group. The principles and strands are consensus statements by the Steering Group; the case studies are a record of what has taken place in the individual schools, in some cases the work of only one or two teachers. Therefore there are limited achievements in the time, and on occasions a sense of uncoordinated and unrelated work.

[page 89]

Writings on what is happening in schools often use the analogy of the snap shot. So far as these case studies are concerned this would be false; schools are dynamic, not static, institutions.

The case studies are non-attributable. A detailed list of all the case studies is given with details of access to the original documents in Appendix 2, where this is appropriate.

The case studies reflect the different priorities, approaches and interests of the schools and also their different stages of curricular development. They are not intended to illustrate every strand of the ideal curriculum. Thus a study of 'mathematics' does not appear just as it did not appear as a subgroup 'strand'. The Steering Group felt that as the HMI statement on mathematics in Aspects of secondary education could not be improved upon, so no case study was undertaken. It would be silly to think that mathematics does not appear in the curriculum of the seven schools, or that it is considered as a strand less important than any other.


The case studies can be categorised as follows: Curricular restructuring studies: this group of studies is based on the thinking to be found in Curriculum papers 11-16: 1977; on consideration of the core, of the ideal balance and the eight areas of experience. The curricular areas covered range from the totality of the school to more limited areas such as rethinking the 'options scheme'.

Curricular innovative studies: this group contains examples of a pragmatic, 'additive' approach to curricular innovation, arising from a recognition of the need to add to what already exists. This resulted in the '13 strands' and statements on 'pupil entitlement at 16-plus'.

Curricular reorientation studies: These studies outline changes in practice - its methods and its administration - affecting existing curricular content, professional expertise and the resources available to the school.

'Hidden' curricular studies: the two studies in this section contrast approaches to the 'hidden' curriculum, that is the effect of the 'ethos' of the school on the total education offered. One study outlines work in an EPA school, whilst the other was carried out in a voluntary aided school.

Curricular studies involving agencies external to the school: case studies in this category have involved MA students from Lancaster University, a course developed jointly by the LEA and the Education Department of Manchester Polytechnic (Didsbury Campus) and those resulting from the work of the LEA advisers and its teachers (not exclusively from the seven schools).

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G.1.The administrative programme approach to curriculum management
L.1.Modern languages in the 42nd school.
L.2.The 42nd school.
L.3.Observations on the timing of the school day.
S.1.Bristol resources for learning.
S.2.Self awareness.
L.4.Links with industry.
S.4.Modular mathematics.
S.5.Remedial studies.
H.1.Religious education and the hidden curriculum.
L.5.Creative studies.
E.1.Middle school liaison.
R.1.The hidden curriculum - an investigation.
S.7.Health education.
S.8.Options process development.
1.1.'Outlook' course.
R.2.Learning how to learn.
R.3.The teaching of craft, design, technology.
H.3.Computer studies.
L.6.Mixed ability teaching.
H.2.Life studies.
S.9.CAL - Computer assisted learning.
L.7.Mixed gymnastics.
R.4.An approach to problem solving.
S.10.Computer studies.
1.2.Half-day conferences.
R.5.Language and learning.
W.1.The contribution to pupil development through the medium of drama.
W.2.The 'Didsbury' contribution.
S.6.Study skills.
G.2.Health education.
W.3.Language and learning in schools and classrooms.

KEY: E = Whelley; R = Rose Bridge; S = Shevington; H = Hesketh Fletcher; I = Whitley; L = Lowton; G = Golborne; W = Wigan LEA.