“There's a huge focus on the core subjects, which children are examined on, and this often leaves newly qualified teachers struggling when it comes to subjects like Music and P.E.”
Sarah Misra, PGCE Award Leader
A Senior Lecturer from Staffordshire University's School of Education is championing the importance of subjects like Art, History and P.E. in primary schools.
PGCE Award Leader Sarah Misra worked in primary education for 17 years before moving into higher education to work with trainee teachers and believes that there isn’t enough support for primary teachers who are expected to teach non-core subjects.
Sarah has published a handbook to improve knowledge and understanding of an extended range of subjects with co-editor Maggie Webster, a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at Edge Hill University, and featuring a range of subject experts.
After changes to the national curriculum in 2014, Sarah believes that it is especially important to provide extra guidance for teachers.
“There's a huge focus on the core subjects, which children are examined on, and this often leaves newly qualified teachers struggling when it comes to subjects like Music and P.E.” explained Sarah.
“There is relatively little training in these subjects but they require a lot of skill so we wanted to create a toolbox that teachers can use when they qualify.”
Research has shown that a good grasp of such subjects can improve children’s understanding of the core subjects and Teaching the Primary Foundation Subjects aims to help primary educators deliver these.
Each chapter considers the identity and pedagogy of each subject as well as creative ideas for lesson plans.
Sarah said: “A lot of new teachers are overwhelmed by the wide range of subjects they have to cover but this book offers transferrable ideas than can be used across different topics within a subject.”
“A History lesson plan about Victorians, for example, could also be used for a lesson about the Vikings or Romans.”
The book, published by Open University Press has received praise from experts and teachers alike.
Sarah added: “We're really pleased that the book has been received so positively. Children deserve a rich and varied education and so if this book can help this happen it's fantastic.”
Sarah and Maggie are in talks with publishers to extend the series to Teaching the Primary Core subjects and Teaching the Early Years subjects using the same format.
Staffordshire University offers PGCE courses in Primary, Secondary, Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) and Post Compulsory Education and Training.
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