What I hope they will teach at school


What I hope they will teach at school

What I hope they’ll teach at school

When I was at school, I remember learning the basics; addition, subtraction, times tables, long division, how to read, and how to write. You know how it went…

It wasn’t until secondary school that we had a reason to doubt the relevance of what we were learning, and I’m specifically talking algebra here, which was a common topic of conversation but  looking back I have no real qualms over what I was taught.

On the positive side, we were taught home economics where both boys and girls would learn sewing and knitting and the like, and as well as the boys, us girls would do woodwork too, which I personally loved. This was a huge leap forward from the school days of my parents for whom such stereotypical subjects were segregated – boys didn’t cook and girls didn’t saw wood and hammer nails.

Back to the present, although we’ve seen further great progress with subjects becoming more gender neutral, there is still some way to go to really give kids a rounded education and prepare them for the real world.

Other than gaining an all round experience in such subjects as history and geography, my general expectation for my child leaving primary school was being able to read fluently, write in a readable style and make calculations in his head. For me, that’s pretty much it for the basics.

My son is now in big school so I’ve had to the full-on Primary school experience to reflect upon, and one thing I’ve wondered is whether my Primary aged child really needed to know the difference between a subordinating conjunction or a preposition. I don’t even know the difference!  I cant understand why we need to fill Primary age children’t heads with anything but the essentials-for-life. My hope for secondary school is different, I want to see my son prepared for life and as well as what I can show him at home, school could easily incorporate life lessons within other lessons. Finger’s crossed my evaluation in about 5 years time is a good one!

Here’s my top 5 wishes for kids in secondary school.

  1. Home economics & how to run household – Wouldn’t it be great for maths lessons to feature an an element of real life activities; knowing how much income you have verses your outgoings and what the consequences are of bad budgeting. Allowing for those unforeseen circumstances such as a flat tyre on the car, a broken window.
  1. Money management – how to plan for the bigger expenses and to compare the options available such as an overdraft or quick loans, and indeed how loans work. Working out pension options and savings rates. Comparing energy companies and switching, benefits and importance of insurance. All great life lessons that teach practical maths too.
  2. Maintenance & DIY – how to change a light bulb, how to fix a squeaky door, fix a bike chain, change a car tyre, assembling flat pack furniture, unblocking the toilet and drains. How to wire a plug, importance of removing the cardboard plug protector on a new plug! All such skills will be essential in later life and really ought to be addressed in secondary school.
  3. Cooking – do away with the fruit salad, hot chocolate and pizza making. Come on school, we can teach this at home, go on – push the kids and go with the more sophisticated recipes – if our kids can navigate their way around Minecraft, servers, coding and more then they’re perfectly capable of a made-from-scratch lasagne or paella.
  4. Life & Social skills. Giving practical teaching on bringing up a baby, I believe, would illustrate the reality of parenting, that it can be tough and how our environment and how we treat children affects our behaviour growing up. I’m sure it would help kids understand each other and ultimately make them behave more positively towards one another.





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