Influencing the National Curriculum

In the March issue of Independent Schools Magazine, Principal of the Grammar School at Leeds, Mike Gibbons comments on the National Curriculum consultation currently underway.

“GSAL Junior School does not follow the national curriculum, however we take the best features of it and try to provide further opportunities to extend our pupils in a challenging and engaging way. We believe that we go beyond the national curriculum in what we provide for our pupils. 

“We have very good relations with a whole host of primary schools in Leeds and Yorkshire, over 70 of which provide our Senior School with pupils every year, and we are immensely proud that they come to us. We’re interested in doing what we can to help them to improve further and tackle some of the problems common across the primary sector today. One obvious area is literacy; society has changed and console games have replaced books for many, while fewer children are read to or read with at a young age.

“It is important that our sons and daughters are enthused by the prospect of reading and the world of books. Strong literacy skills enable a child to access every branch of the curriculum and I know how important primary heads recognise this to be.

“GSAL is a member of the Forum for Independent Day Schools* which is exploring closer links and partnerships by day schools like GSAL with the state primary sector. It is clear to many educationalists that the more we can do to facilitate the learning of a child at a young age by acquisition of key skills, the greater their progress and development of interest, and the more likely they will fulfil their potential in secondary education.

“It is to be hoped that the eventual proposals will be shaped by the views of teachers rather than the centralised thinking that has tended to dominate initiatives of this sort in the past.”

Click here to read the article © Independent Schools Magazine.