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The Tory plan for traditional school lessons

If you fancy a laugh, have a look at this short article.

Thnaks to Chris Harte for the link.

Rant alert.

I'm off to learn a poem by heart (probably the Charge of the Light Brigade) and memorise the dates of all the great British battles. I'm sure Mr Gove is a bright chap, but I doubt, for reasons that will be obvious to the reader, if he or his colleagues know that much about the state education system. What people sometimes forget, when they talk about dumbing down the curriculum, is that many children find some things almost impossible to do in the school environment. Learning a language is one of them. With only two hours a week, if that, a lower ability child will not make much progress in a foreign language and it is very arguable that they should be doing something else - and I don't mean memorising poems or sitting in rows copying down dates from history.

Thankfully, over the last few years, children are often doing things which they find more motivating than they used to and, as a consequence, get better-looking exam results too.

Education aside, I agree with those who claim that an election victory in May will be a poisoned chalice for whoever wins. The next few years will be difficult, with higher taxes and cuts in public spending. A very small, sado-masochistic, part of me would even like the Tories to win. It's hard to get excited about this election, though. Where is the vision? Certainly not in Tory education policy, by the looks of it.

French for "poisoned chalice"? Wordreference was no immediate help. To "dumb down" = niveler par le bas.


And whilst on the subject of internet translators, which our pupils occasionally resort to. Here is babelfish's version of the above post. OK in parts, but too often reads like Miles Kington's Franglais column in Punch. I quite like "le dumbing en bas" and "un enfant inférieur de capacité".

I' ; m au loin pour apprendre une poésie par coeur et pour mémoriser les dates de toutes les grandes victoires britanniques de bataille. Quelles personnes oublient parfois, quand elles parlent de dumbing en bas du programme d'études, est que beaucoup d'enfants trouvent quelques choses presque impossibles à faire dans l'environnement scolaire. L'étude d'une langue est l'une d'entre elles. Avec seulement deux heures par semaine, si cela, un enfant inférieur de capacité n'accomplira pas beaucoup de progrès dans une langue étrangère et lui est très défendable qu'ils devraient faire autre chose - et I don' ; t signifient mémoriser des poésies ou se reposer dans les rangées copiant en bas des dates de l'histoire. Éducation de côté, je suis d'accord avec ceux qui réclament qu'une victoire d'élection en mai sera un calice empoisonné pour celui qui gagne. Les prochaines années seront difficiles, avec des impôts plus élevés et coupent dedans des dépenses publiques. Très un petit, sadomasochiste, une partie de moi voudrait même que les Conservateurs gagnent. It' ; s dur à obtenir excited au sujet de cette élection, cependant. Où est la vision ? Certainement pas dans la politique d'éducation de Conservateur, par les regards de elle.


  1. i think this could lead me to élucubrations!!
    V McIntyre

  2. cadeau empoisonné? you'd better get them reciting their irregular verbs Steve! je fais des bétises, tu fais des bétises, le gouvernement anglais fait des co******ies!

  3. Helen beat me to it! Was about to suggest the same expression...:) Esther

  4. D'accord avec Helen et Esther... c'est ce qui m'est venu à l'esprit aussi


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