The Sabre Tooth Curriculum was invented by New Fist. He posed the question: what things do future tribespeople need to have full bellies, warm backs and minds free from fear? He concluded that they needed to catch fish with their bare hands; they needed to club the woolly horses to death and they need to scare away the sabre tooth tigers, with fire. He designed a curriculum to do these things and it worked. The tribe was happy in the possession of adequate meat, skins and security. It was the first example of the ‘Cave to Work’ programme. And New Fist was revered across the land.
Some time later the ice sheets reached the headwaters of the valley in which the tribe lived. The streams grew muddy and no one could see the fish that could be grabbed with bare hands. The climate changed and not to the liking of the woolly horses and they fled south. The dampness in the air gave the sabre tooth tigers pneumonia to which they succumbed and, even worse, they were replaced by marauding glacial bears. The bears were not afraid of fire and could not be driven away by even the most advanced methods taught in the tiger-scaring courses in the schools.
The community was in crisis. There were no fish, no hides for clothing and no security from the hairy death that stalked across the land. Fortunately, the tribe was blessed with Fist Change who was the first to tie a chard of flint to an elongated horse club and make a weapon that could kill the ferocious glacial bears. This would solve the skin and security problem with one telling thrust, he said. He even suggested that spear making and bear killing should be added to the Sabre Tooth Curriculum in schools.
“Oh no,” said the elders. “With all the intricate details of fish grabbing, horse clubbing and tiger scaring, there isn’t enough room for these other things. We can’t add fads and frills like flint chard making and bear killing to the Sabre Tooth Curriculum. New Fist would turn in his grave”
Burial Cairn of New Fist, Founder of the Sabre Tooth Curriculum, c 7982 BCE
“Training to catch non-existent fish with bare hands is the best way to achieve muscular coordination and agility; training in clubbing horses that do not exist is an education in stealth and ingenuity; practising to frighten tigers that do not exist develops courage. These things are fundamental and sacred in education and must not be changed.” They said.
“The new world does not need container loads of young men and women whose knowledge is narrowly academic and subject-specific which they can then regurgitate in splendid isolation in exams. It needs people who have genuine understanding not just in one but in several academic domains, and who comprehend how these different fields relate to each other. It needs people who can work collaboratively, with advanced interpersonal skills, as opposed to those who just hold a large body of data in their memories.”
“We need to prepare children for the tests of life, not a life of tests.”
The curriculum has to be made to be relevant and that is one of the jobs of the teacher…….. and generally, teachers in Hampshire are good at that!
What does PISA really tell us? Not much difference between 2006 and 2009 – except for higher achievers in maths (fewer) Shanghai, Korea, Finland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Australia all score statistically higher than UK in reading, maths and science (Shanghai and Singapore did not participate in 2006) A large number of countries score statistically about the same and a large number worse than the UK. In science there are only 7 countries with a greater proportion of higher achievers than the UK In reading and science the UK’s problem is its long tail which does not compare well with the highest scoring countries. The UK has a relatively large proportion of under-achievers compared with the strongest countries.
If England is to compete on the world stage it must focus on two related challenges: raising the performance of the lowest achievers and breaking the link between family income and educational achievement The evidence from world-leading systems shows that excellence can only be achieved by having an equitable system…….and a system that believes its children can achieve. “A Long Division; IPPR: September 2012”
The Issue in Hampshire Children whose prior attainment is described as ‘high’ make very good progress. Children whose prior attainment is in the middle range make about the same progress as made nationally. Overall, lower attaining children make poor progress against that made nationally. This applies equally in primary and secondary schools There is a close correlation between low attainment and eligibility for free school meals
What kind of schools do we need? Descriptor of SchoolSchool EthosKey Process Talent RefineriesSchool must provide opportunities for students to show what they can do Ensuring good teaching and curricular coverage Talent IncubatorsAll students can learn but not all can achieve high levels Drawing out what is within the student Talent factoriesAll students can achieve at high levels Whatever it takes
We know what doesn’t work 17.School Uniform 18.Block scheduling or timetabling 19.Grouping by prior attainment or ability 20.Teaching assistants 21.Performance pay NB. Evidence is stronger for some than others and full report gives further information on phase and subjects www.suttontrust.com/research/toolkit-of-strategies-to-improve-learning/
We know what works 1.Effective feedback 2.Meta-cognition and self regulation strategies, teaching ‘bouncebackability’ 3.Peer tutoring and peer assisted learning 4.Early intervention 5.One to one tutoring 6.Homework 7.ICT 8.Assessment for Learning 9.Parental involvement 10.Summer schools 11.Sports involvement 12.Reducing class size
Soldiers are we whose lives are pledged to Ireland Some have come from a land beyond the wave. Sworn to be free, no more our ancient sire land, Shall shelter the despot or the slave. Tonight we man the gap of danger In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal, Mid cannon’s roar and rifle’s peal We’ll chant a soldier’s song.
Sinne Fianna Fáil Atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn Buíon dár slua Thar toinn do ráinig chughainn Faoi mhóid bheith saor Sean-tír ár sinsear feasta Ní fhágfar faoin tiorán ná faoin tráill Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil Le gean ar Ghaeil chun báis nó saoil Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar Seo libh canaig Amhran na bhFiann
The most successful school systems understand what leads children to attain, achieve and grow into successful adults and organise the schools around those things never talk about ‘helping children to realise their potential’ because their potential cannot be known and has to be assumed to be limitless don’t talk about ability and are more interested in zero failure than value added – value added is a useful tool but it can trap children in the conditions of their disadvantage share their knowledge of how children grow to be successful with the children themselves and their families – if you can’t do something yet it’s because you haven’t practised it enough and/or you need someone to show you what to practise understand that earlier interventions have more effect. (If every secondary school was outstanding the gap in attainment between rich and poor would only narrow by 20%)
They set out explicitly to………… teach how to learn, memorise, plan, review, organise, practise effectively – showing children how to become confident teach how to cope with setbacks and how to bounceback teach how to self regulate their behaviour, how to defer their gratification, how to ask for help and how to use that help make these things part of their curriculum not, in some way, hidden in pedagogy share what they know about how children succeed with their parents/carers
What is already happening? Pilot project on improving self regulation in 8 early years settings New guidance on writing Personal Education Plans setting out what to do 50 schools involved in the Hampshire Hundreds Project Launch of a new Partnership with the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester