NSW Curriculum Change
This week’s announced changes to the NSW state education curriculum are a welcome change. Schooling has always been about preparing children for their future, and giving Years 11 and 12 a renewed focus on fundamental skills such as grammar, punctuation and financial literacy is a step in the right direction. Now, I’m not downplaying the importance of the social sciences or arts, however having children leaving school without an understanding of money or a decent level of literacy is clearly a failing that needed to be addressed.
So what is really going to change? Let’s first look at why we have a curriculum at all. The answer to that is consistency. Consistency across schools, across teachers, but most importantly across a student’s studies. Consistency of message and information are required to ensure long term retention of information. By setting out a clear focus on fundamental skills, the new NSW curriculum is showing it’s intent to prepare our children for the future. But is it enough?
Having a curriculum is one thing, ensuring a consistent, daily approach to teaching this curriculum is a whole other story. In fact, this was the whole reason that I left teaching to create Lizard Learning. I went through the same struggles as every teacher. I felt frustrated. I was overwhelmed. I wasn’t reaching the children in the ways I needed to or wanted to. I needed more than the basic curriculum to get through to my children and ensure they were prepared for life after school. I knew what I wanted but I couldn’t find the help I needed.
It was from this frustration that the 10 Quick Questions a Day program was born. The program provides that simple yet effective tools to deeply ingrain the fundamental skills of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, writing, number, time, measurement, problem solving and more. Starting from Year One through to Year Six, we provide the materials and platform to give your children that solid foundation, the solid foundation that these curriculum changes are seeking to provide in Years 11 and 12.
We know that help is needed. I recently received a comment from a high school teacher who wrote he has Year 11 and 12 students who have literacy skills at a Year 6 level. This is no surprise to me! When we visit our community at Queensland Education Resources Expo, the annual educational tradeshow here in Brisbane, every 5th person to visit our stall is a high school teacher asking if the 10 Questions a Day program is written for Years 7 – 12. They usually end up purchasing Years five and six so they can provide consistent learning for their struggling students and try and bring them up to speed as fast as possible. This resource is perfect for that!
So if you want to bring your students back to the basics, check out our 10 Quick Questions A Day Resources and see how simple it is to implement a consistent, constant and repetitive system in your classroom. And keep an eye out for our term two materials which will be available soon.