Education Letter: Wither the width?

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The Independent Online
IS ANY one else aware of the loss of educational breadth that A-level modules are causing?

For the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to recruit students to join and lead teams, clubs and posts of responsibility - all the elements of sixth-form life which develop maturity and those powers of communication and teamwork for which, we are told, employers are desperate. "Sorry, Miss - it's my module next week," is the cry to be heard from the second term onward.

I should be grateful if someone could explain to me how the new "wider" curriculum of five subjects will improve matters. If we are not to sacrifice quality, we need to teach the same number of lessons per subject as at present - 8 per week. Five subjects x 8 lessons = 40 lessons - a week's timetable.

Where do we put the rest of our current "widening" curriculum? For example, at the school where I teach, PE, Religious Studies, Thinking Skills, General Studies, Recreational Art, IT...

GILL JEFFORD

Sixth Form Tutor

Postcombe

Thame

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