As we begin to look at deconstructing the National Curriculum in order to expand the course, some teachers ask me where we would find the room to focus on all the habits of learning, I want the students to develop. "Our curriculum is already packed as it is". My answer to this tends to be along the lines of this:
1. The National Curriculum was designed at a time when teachers did have the monopoly on information. Students didn't have access to the wealth of information they do now. The tables have turned now and students have access to all the information they want. If this is the case, why the don't we allow student who are able to do so, the opportunity to discover new information themselves. If they are given pointers some assistance when required, this free's up the teacher to work more closely with students who for varying reasons are not yet able to access information themselves.
2. If we identify all the difficult concepts in the syllabus and deliver these (seminars on the course) discretely, then we create a lot more time for students to access the curriculum themselves, and by doing so develop good habits of learning along the way.
All sounds easy really, but try deconstructing the National Curriculum and then reconstructing it in a way that allows this to happen - it's a massive job; especially when we do it in a cross-curricular way.