NMDC welcomes changes to the proposed History National Curriculum 8/8/2013

NMDC has welcomed the changes the Department for Education has made to their proposals for a revised History National Curriculum for English state-supported schools. NMDC responded to the consultation on the revisions and the response can be read here.

The initial proposal, published in Spring 2013, caused grave concern across the museum sector for a number of reasons including that it would not allow schoolchildren the opportunity to visit a museum or use museum resources as part of their History education. It was felt that the curriculum suggested age inappropriate content, an unnecessary focus on the accumulation of facts and limited teaching of world history. 

The revised curriculum, which can be read here, no longer only focuses on a detailed and prescriptive chronology. Whilst there is an element of chronological teaching (up to 1066 for Key Stage 2 and beyond 1066 for Key Stage 3), there is also the opportunity for pupils to study both local and world history at both Key Stages 2 and 3. Furthermore, a period or theme in history beyond 1066 must be studied at Key Stage 2, and a period before 1066 at Key Stage 3. There are therefore many more opportunities for schools to utilise their local and national museum resources, particularly at Key Stage 2 when there is time in the school timetable to visit museums. Changes have also been made to Key Stage 1 to ensure the content is age appropriate.

School visits to museums strongly support learning inside the classroom, and the object and experience based learning that museums provide bring periods of history alive for children. School visits ensure that pupils, irrespective of their social or economic circumstances, are able to experience
museums.