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Home > Culture and Society

The TFT Guide to... The New Curriculum

11 February 2007

This week it was announced that the secondary school curriculum is being modernised. Changes will include updating and diversifying the English literature reading list, teaching practical 'life skills', and offering the chance to learn languages such as Mandarin and Arabic - presumably so that future generations will be able to say 'Where is the station?' and *nothing else* in fluent Arabic. But what will the new curriculum mean for pupils? TFT explains...


1) Teens obsessed with street culture are given the chance to learn an exciting new language: English As It's Meant To Be Spoken.

2) Questions are raised about whether the new English literature curriculum is trying too hard to be accessible when exams are found to include the following questions:

- Examine the use of imagery in 'Totally Frank: The Autobiography of Frank Lampard'.

- Explain the role of The Illuminati in suppressing knowledge of the true bloodline of Christ and secretly controlling world history, with reference to Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code'.

- In 'Bravo Two Zero', Andy McNab says: 'I ditched my Bergen and reloaded the M203 with phosphor while Legs took the flank with the Minimi.' What does this tell us about Andy's feelings at this point?

3) In an effort to promote healthy eating, pupils are taught to cook for themselves, much like the Home Economics lessons of the 1970s and 80s. Unfortunately, after kids bring home a few meals consisting of flavourless cheese scones and revolting ham and egg salad, even the most health-conscious, middle-class parents start bundling their families into the Saab and rushing to McDonald's.

4) While studying a new learning module about Britain's role in the slave trade, schoolchildren show that they have truly come to understand the suffering of the slaves and man's inhumanity to man, by drawing big spunky cocks with hairy bollocks on the text books. (And sharks' fins on any picture of a slave ship, which has now been dotted with swastikas.)

5) Government ministers deny that the new curriculum is just a headline-grabbing mish-mash of vaguely fashionable ideas when the curriculum is found to contain Podcast Studies.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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