Long-, medium- and short -term planning are reviewed fully in 'Reflective Teaching', Chapter 10. Authors who write to support an understanding of this process include Bennett et al., who analyse activities into five categories that remain useful in judging whether they are appropriately varied; Clegg and Billington (Reading 8.3), who show how resources should be seen to support a curriculum rather than as a means by which it is selected; and the ASE and NAAIDT, which note health and safety requirements for practical science and design & technology lessons.
- Bennett, N., Desforges, C., Cockburn, A. and Wilkinson, B. (1984) The Quality of Pupil Learning Experiences, London: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- ASE (1994) Safety in Science for Primary Schools, Hatfield: ASE.
- NAAIDT (1992) Make it Safe, London: National Association of Advisers and Inspectors of Design and Technology.
Further, in providing an overview of the general principles of constructivist learning and teaching, Ager demonstrates how the idea of pupils' participation in their own learning need not be incompatible with planning and working in the context of a National Curriculum:
- Ager, R. (2000) The Art of Information and Communications Technology for Teachers, London: Fulton
Bonnett focuses on the role of ICT across the curriculum.
- Bonnett, M., McFarlane, A. and Williams, J. (1999) ‘ICT in Subject Teaching: An Opportunity For Curriculum Renewal’, in The Curriculum Journal, 10(3), pp 345-59.
In the context of the curriculum in England, the non-statutory Literacy and Numeracy Strategies (see above) and the Qualification and Curriculum Authority's Schemes of Work are of central importance. An interesting book by Moyles et al. examines key questions about interactive learning and effective classroom interaction in the context of the Literacy Strategy.
- QCA/DfEE (1998) Science: A scheme of Work for Key Stages 1 & 2, London: HMSO.
- Moyles, J., Hargreaves, L., Merry, R., Paterson, F. and Esarte-Sarries, V. (2002) Interactive Teaching in Primary Classrooms: Digging Deeper into Meanings, Buckingham: Open University Press
A number of authors question the efficacy of such developments. Amongst these are Davies & Edwards, who consider the growing tendency for the government in England to exert control over pedagogy in order to deliver 'standards'.
- Davies, M. and Edwards, G. (2001) ‘Will the Curriculum Caterpillar Ever Learn to Fly?’, in Collins, J., Insley, K. and Soler, J. (eds) Developing Pedagogy. London: Paul Chapman.
In addition, advice proliferates about ways to use subject texts in the Literacy Hour, and how to promote literacy objectives through work in a range of subjects - see Parkin & Lewis.
- Parkin, T. and Lewis, M. (1998) Science and Literacy: A Guide for Primary Teachers, London: Collins.
When a pupil complains that an activity is 'pointless', is 'boring' or that they 'don't see what it's for', then the curriculum is failing to satisfy the criterion of relevance. Motivation may fall and with it may go concentration, commitment and quality.
The importance of practical tasks in ensuring relevance for pupils is considered by authors such as Hunter & Scheirer, and Johnston, Chater & Bell examine how teachers can manage the whole curriculum and still educate the whole child.
- Hunter, R. and Scheirer, E.A. (1988) The Organic Classroom: Organizing for Learning 7 to 12, London: Falmer.
- Johnston, J., Chater, M. and Bell, D. (2002) Teaching the Primary Curriculum, Buckingham: Open University Press.
For pupils with special needs, specific approaches to planning may be appropriate:
- Byers, R. and Rose, R. (2004) Planning the Curriculum for Pupils with Special Needs, London: David Fulton
Work where subject boundaries are sometimes broken down has exciting potential, for pupils are very often interested by cross-curricular themes - see Siraj-Blatchford and Webb. In 2003, a key publication from the DfES suggests the possibility of a loosening of the subject-based approach to planning now adopted by most primary schools in England and Wales. Beyond subjects, there is increasing concern with teaching that addresses citizenship and values - see Bailey, and Holden and Clough.
- Siraj-Blatchford, J. and Siraj-Blatchford, I. (1995) Educating the Whole Child: Cross-curricular skills, Themes and Dimensions, Buckingham: Open University Press.
- Webb, R. (1996) Cross-curricular Primary Practice: Taking a Leadership Role, London: Falmer.
- DfES (2003) Excellence and Enjoyment: A Strategy for Primary Schools, Nottingham: DfES Publications
- Bailey, R. (ed) (2000) Teaching Values and Citizenship Across the Curriculum: Educating Children for the World, London: Kogan Page
- Holden, C and Clough, N. (2002) Education for Citizenship: Ideas in Action, Buckingham: Open University Press
Despite publications and statements from the DfES, Holden & Smith and Campbell & Neill point out that there may be problems as well as possibilities in such work.
- Holden, C. and Smith, L. (1992) ‘Economic and Industrial Understanding in Primary Education: Problems and Possibilities’. Education and Training, 34(3), pp.11-14
- Campbell, J. and Neill, S.R.St.J. (1992) Teacher Time and Curriculum Manageability at Key Stage 1, London: AMMA.