Masters of Language
One of the strong positives of the Cambridge curriculum is that it is focused upon core subjects. The core represents subject areas which are the basis for all other learning and knowledge.
Modern, secular education in the government schools is being ruined by curriculum inflation. Now there are endless choices, options, and multi-form subject areas. Even the best students are left knowing a little about many subjects, but with competence over none. Modern education, as the proverb has it, risks leaving a student as “Jack of all trades, Master of none.”
The core of the Cambridge curriculum is language, number, and science. Every year builds upon this core, with all other subjects “tucked” around it.
Students have been learning to write fictional and non-fictional descriptive recounts using lots of adjectives. This particular activity was called ‘A Moment in Time.’ Students could write about a time they felt nervous or a time they felt proud.
I Felt Nervous by Luke (Year 4)
I heard the roar of the massive, four metre, giant crocodile. My hands were shaking. I clenched my stick as I attached a raw piece of juicy meat to the stick. My legs felt like jelly as I approached the stadium. I wondered if I would be the massive crocodile’s dinner on my very first day doing this terrorizing job. I saw the bellowing crowd behind the strong, tough glass. The smell was unbelievable. It smelt like dead carcasses!
Then I saw it. The huge crocodile with its log like body, waiting for me to make a wrong move. It had razor sharp spikes (as sharp as a butcher knife), but this time, I was on the menu! I stretched out my stick as far as I could. It lunged. It tore off the piece of juicy meat with one big bite. I cautiously went backwards. Then it ran straight towards me: the four metre long crocodile lunged. I knew what I had to do. I threw the stick in its mouth. This gave me time to run. I sprinted towards the door and shut it behind myself. I heard the angry roar of the frustrated crocodile. I was safe…finally!
Below is a sample written piece, presented as part of the NZ National Curriculum’s Reading and Writing Standards for Year 4 pupils:
… as I was about to leave I saw a ram. It was approching me. I saw it stare at me a scary look like it was going to hurt me. I droped the buket and ran. I glanced back and it was chasing me. I was so close to the fence so I started climbing it. The ram caught my pants when I was almost over. I screamed as it pulled me to the ground. But it finally let go so I jumped up, gbabed the buket, chuked it over the fence then I climbed over the fence before the ram could get me. I lay on the grass releived that I was safe. I looked in the buket nothing. “Oh well” I said” she’ll just have to put up with no grass tonight”.
This piece meets the government schools’ writing standard for a Year 4 pupil.
Notice the differences?
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