Author Archives: Kelvin Smythe

I am not sitting on my hands: the cabinet paper is not enough

On balance, the paper by the minister of education to the cabinet removing national standards is useful, but not sufficiently so to make definitive philosophical change in the way National always does, and Labour has done twice, once with Peter … Continue reading

Posted in Education Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Here we go on phonics again

Ros Lugg managing director of The Learning Staircase uses the PIRLS result, no doubt in a way that will feel utterly sincere to her, to stir up support for her highly structured and commercialised phonics programme, blaming teacher training for … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, Schooling, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A quiet pre-Christmas warning: We are in trouble

In 1988 I wrote a three-part series in which I predicted why primary school education was heading for trouble (which is about to be re-published); to live that warning, in 1990, I resigned at 51 years as senior inspector of … Continue reading

Posted in Education Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A schoolwide science experience

I demanded of Shay Noonan, principal of Morrinsville School, that he write up one of his schoolwide science experiences as I knew they exemplified in practice the main elements of the holistic. The schoolwide science experiences, along with other kinds … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Jacinda: Labour’s school education reforms look set to fail

Memo: Other than the abolition of national standards, the last time I heard anything hopeful and inspiring about Labour’s school education reforms was when you said that creativity and imagination was about to return to schools. Your minister of education … Continue reading

Posted in Education Policy, Political | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Laura Walters and Simon Collins: wayward and biased reporting

Laura Walters should give up altogether, her writing spirals unobstructed by any semblance of originality below that which an intelligent 15 year-old could produce – there is a breathless, girl’s adventure quality to her writing, a hugely misplaced confidence, demonstrating … Continue reading

Posted in Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A threshold timetable Part 4 – Mathematics and Conclusion

National standards have gone, but how will schools react, will it just be much the same but minus official national standards? will there be much scratching of heads? or will it be a return to holistic values, our education cultural … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, Education | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments