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Thursday, 11 July 2013

All change in the Curriculum again

Posted by Jo Dunlop, Marketing Manager on 09 July 2013

Jo D
It's in the news again - the way we teach our children is going to change. In Scotland we have had Curriculum for Excellence for a couple of years and now the review of the English curriculum is underway. Mr Gove is hopeful that this will be implemented in September 2014 which feels rather quick - the draft framework is out for Consultation at the moment until the start of August this year with the completed framework due to be announced when the schools return in Autumn 2013. All rather quick one could say!
The good news is that the new framework includes compulsory food and nutrition education for all children 5-14 years. As has been in the past this will sit within the broad ranging "Design and Technology". That said, it is likely that the published curriculum will be limited to only a couple of sentences stating what children should be taught over a 3-4 year period!!! We are expecting there to be a renewed focus on food, farming, cooking and healthy eating and we will be working to ensure that our seafood resources help teachers deliver to this requirement.
That's good news then. However, it's not so simple - alongside this renewed focus, we are not expecting any formal or statutory support to implement these changes and this means no guidance for interpretation. Perhaps not so good then. As with many of these things, some teachers and educators will embrace this change but others may struggle with it. Free schools and Academies will not required to follow the National Curriculum, so they may need some guidance and support too.
What are we doing about it?
We are supporting the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) on their Food Curriculum Fund, Food a Fact of Life and Healthy Eating Week projects which will provide teachers with curriculum compliant support, accurate and consistent messages and appropriate teaching resources. We need to make sure that fish and seafood are not forgotten about in cooking and healthy eating lessons. Our own project areas will dovetail into this. We have researched teachers and learnt that there while is a willingness to teach, a lack of confidence and resources often limits this.
During Spring 2013 we ran a pilot in North East Lincolnshire which gave us some great learning and our new curriculum resources will ensure we build on this. We will be developing age specific resources for 5-8 year olds to take them on a journey with fish. We will let them explore what fish they eat now, find out what their friends eat and then ensure they get to taste new species and learning to cook from their peers. This will be a pack of materials with teaching plans, games, and importantly messages to take back to mum and our successful Fish is the Dish website.
Our plan is to have these ready for the middle of the Autumn term 2013 to take advantage of the lesson planning done by teachers before Christmas. This will be the first curriculum resources developed by Seafish in over ten years. Once we get the younger age groups established, we will look to take this through each age group making sure that we adapt and develop as the requirements of the curriculum and teachers do.
We have opened the registration process for these 5-8yr packs with 2,000 available to primary schools in England and they will be allocated on a first come, first served basis click here to register. We will be adapting these for Northern Ireland and Wales to ensure we dovetail with their curriculums too. If you'd like to find out more about the project, please contact Jo Dunlop or Kirsty Champ on education@seafish.co.uk
Jo Dunlop, Marketing Manager