Debenham and Caldwell in New York

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
a different guest

Postby a different guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:01 am

Misty - it shouldn't be a matter of the boys asking to study geography - the course should be offered by the school regardless! Here the humanities subjects are mandetory up until year 10 (about the same as your "o" levels). Geography goes hand in hand with history in giving students an understanding of the world.

I am also amazed that no modern history is offered, How on earth are students meant to grasp an understanding of todays world without having an exposure to the events that have led up to the here and now?

Alban
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Postby Alban » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:10 am

Absolutely!

One of my lasting complaints about the schools is that they did not offer a rounded education (no modern languages, little or no art, no modern history etc), and what they did teach, they did badly. And what's more, they expected us to pay for this!

That was my experience then, it may be better now (although I have my doubts), but once-bitten-twice-shy!

Misty

Postby Misty » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:14 am

a different guest wrote:Misty - it shouldn't be a matter of the boys asking to study geography - the course should be offered by the school regardless! Here the humanities subjects are mandetory up until year 10 (about the same as your "o" levels). Geography goes hand in hand with history in giving students an understanding of the world.

I am also amazed that no modern history is offered, How on earth are students meant to grasp an understanding of todays world without having an exposure to the events that have led up to the here and now?


Sorry what do u mean by modern history? The have to teach us accroding to the sylabus -the national ciriculum....

The nazis, the suffragettes... etc etc...

a different guest

Postby a different guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:19 am

Misty - from what I read of the syllabus at the St James school all the history offered seemed to be ancient history, except when getting into A level where they taught 19C.

Do you call 19C "modern" history? A hell of a lot happened in the 20C you know. :)

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dottydolittle
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Postby dottydolittle » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:40 pm

a different guest wrote:Misty - from what I read of the syllabus at the St James school all the history offered seemed to be ancient history, except when getting into A level where they taught 19C.

Do you call 19C "modern" history? A hell of a lot happened in the 20C you know. :)


Well, that is something for the NATIONAL ciriculum to sort out, as St James follows the ciriculum for all the schools in the nation for public exams.

Also, I remember studying the egyptians and found them the most amazing people on earth! Egyptian civilisation was great, it's the only history lessons i remember most vividly....although history is not my type of subject, as I always seemed to fall asleep in them.

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:12 am

National curriculum ONLY pertains to the public exams - the question is, is what courses of study are being offered, and also what is taught BEFORE NC kicks in! From what I have read at the St James website, nothing seems to go past 19C (and then ONLY cos it is NC stuff).

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Postby Guest » Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:54 pm

a different guest wrote:National curriculum ONLY pertains to the public exams - the question is, is what courses of study are being offered, and also what is taught BEFORE NC kicks in! From what I have read at the St James website, nothing seems to go past 19C (and then ONLY cos it is NC stuff).



bahhh humbug...... 'the annoyed' in me seems to be kicking in....

SO in these other schools, do they teach their pupils every single period in time?

and what type of history (which is past 19C) should you recomend that the St james junior schools should teach?

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bella
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Postby bella » Wed Mar 31, 2004 5:58 pm

and what type of history (which is past 19C) should you recomend that the St james junior schools should teach?


Some modern history that aids understanding of why the world today is the way it is would probably be of benefit. I'm thinking Cold War, Nazi Germany, Vietnam, Israel/Palestine for starters. When you've got that under your belt, you could try Apartheid, Northern Ireland, Gandhi's "Quit India" movement, and throw in some African tribal conflicts for good measure.

12-year-olds are certainly equipped to hear this stuff, imo - and at high school level I personally believe it should be mandatory. I don't believe children much younger than that will get any benefit from hearing about irrational cruelty in those terms. Young kids need to hear about good deeds done by brave people, because they're still formulating their ideas about what constitutes a decent society, and they're still doing it in a more or less sponge-like manner. You don't have to take my word for this, or the SOP's for that matter - Piaget and Erikson concur.

The difference between Ancient History and Modern History is obviously the amount of time that has been allowed to smooth the rough edges, and objectively delineate right from wrong. Try doing that with the Gulf Wars, or even Vietnam - you can't, it's too raw. Ancient History does give you the background to understand why certain types of conflicts happen again and again throughout history to the present - there are common themes that are best understood at some distance.

I loved Modern History and excelled, so perhaps I'm a tad biased - but I do believe there comes a time where a few open-ended questions of "good guy/bad guy" (and the possibility of there being no clear answers) can be of benefit to a developing rational mind.

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dottydolittle
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Postby dottydolittle » Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:41 pm

The modern history Bella described was all on the national ciriculum for my public exams. I agree with the annoyed one.. I enjoyed studying ancient history.. even studying modern history again and again does not prove to be so exciting.


I don't believe children much younger than that will get any benefit from hearing about irrational cruelty in those terms. Young kids need to hear about good deeds done by brave people, because they're still formulating their ideas about what constitutes a decent society, and they're still doing it in a more or less sponge-like manner.


i agree.

Exasperated

Curriculum

Postby Exasperated » Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:40 pm

Can I suggest all you concerned and interested folk who seem to know how to run schools so brilliantly base your comments on St James curriculum on facts rather than guesses?

St James Boys school teaches Ancient History, Modern History and Medieval History. So students have a choice.

The school teaches French, German and/or Spanish if you want it, Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. You get to choose.

Most kids read stuff like Harry Potter, the Philip Pullman trilogy, Lord of the Rings - whatever happens to be popular or have been turned into movies at the time. In English they study modern novels - the usual stuff - Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four etc. etcv., plus some C19 novels - Jane Austen or Dickens or Hardy et al. They also study modern plays by people like Willy Russell, Arthur Miller etc, plus Shakespeare. When they get to the sixth form people who take up English get to read a huge range of stuff - everything from Tom Stoppard and David Mamet to Milon and Chaucer.

In Philosophy at A Level people study Descartes, Locke, Hume, Berkley, Kant & Co., discover that there's no real proof for the existence of God, explore ideas like scepticism, idealism, empiricism, etc. etc.

As for music - in the recent music competition, there were some pop songs (e.g. 'Uptown Girl'), some jazz instrumental stuff, songs from shows like West Side Story, and songs and instrumental pieces by a whole raft of composers. I think there was even some Mozart.

It's true there's not really enough art, but I understand that's about to change. At the moment the younger boys have whole afternoons of either music, art or drama, and people can do art for GCSE and A Level.

So wise up guys, do me a favour.

Oh. No. You can't do geography...

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:18 pm

Thanks for the post exasperated. The info we've had to hand re the curriculum has been based on the info at the school's website - perhaps they should update it. :)

But the question must still be asked - why no geaography??? It is a very important subject.

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bella
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Postby bella » Fri Apr 02, 2004 8:04 am

Given the seeming contradictions that have appeared in descriptions of what is offered, I wonder if everyone is using "19th century" to mean 1800-1900? If you mean the 1900's, that would be the 20th century. Captain Obvious here, reporting for duty.

Exasperated

Curriculum

Postby Exasperated » Fri Apr 02, 2004 10:10 am

A careful, or even cursory look at the current website - boys' school, curriculum page - will reveal that the syllabus for Years 10 and 11 (i.e. GCSE) is OCR's syllabus B - The Modern World.

The website was updated quite recently, so maybe you haven't been able to catch up.

Why no geography? No time. The curriculum is over full already, with 10 lessons per day and verybody (bar the odd exception) doing 10 subjects for GCSE. Could be organised for A Level if there was enough demand.

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bella
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Postby bella » Fri Apr 02, 2004 12:25 pm

Exasperated, thanks for directing people's attention to the website additions, even if the manner in which it was done was a tad snide - I for one would not have thought to check back weekly for updates on curriculum details.

.

Postby . » Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:56 pm

I would also like to inform you all, that in the St James Girls school they do teach geography also with all the other things Exasperated described (except that they only teach French out of the modern languages).

I think being a tad snide is the only way to go about it, as no one actually got the jist of what 'the annoyed' or 'Misty' has been trying to say!


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