"Hello Kiddies. Ready to play the Dull and Pointless Life Game?"
Picture reproduced in crayon from here.
History. I remember that. It was the beginning of Grammar School which turned into a comprehensive shithole while I was there and has now been closed and demolished.
I was twelve. I wanted to hear about Cavaliers and Roundheads, the Spanish Inquisition, Napoleon, about Romans and about Knights in armour and what did we get?
The economic development of the Balkans or some such mind-numbing rubbish.
Okay. That might actually interest me now I'm past fifty but to a twelve-year-old this is absolutely in the 'Couldn't give a damn' category. I dropped history at the first opportunity because I saw no reason to stick with it. If it had been tailored to twelve-year-olds at first and built into serious stuff later it would have worked for me.
I have many history books now. If only school history had been interesting I might have done well, although obviously not as a history teacher because Labour made that illegal.
Then there was geography, Not a subject of great interest but not one I objected to either. To those of a geographic bent it might have been fascinating but not to me. I dropped geography before the O-level years too.
Both these subjects are to be compulsory until the age of 16. Which means they join English and Maths as the only compulsory subjects at GCSE (O-level).
Michael Gove is an idiot. He wants to take schools from their Socialist ridiculous curriculum to one that is more proscribed than any in the past and he expects children and teachers to just switch, just like that. One extreme to the other not in a generation, in a term.
Yes, there should be more real subjects in schools. But forcing history and geography on twelve-year-olds does not improve their lives nor ours. They should be options, yes, and certainly, history classes for the first year could be better designed to get twelve-year-olds interested in the subject, but compulsory?
So what's next, Govey-boy? Compulsory woodwork so we can build the huts you arses want us to live in? Compulsory metalwork to boost the stock of windmill-makers? Compulsory voting?
The thing I remember most about being twelve is that if you wanted me to apply myself to the utmost to avoid doing something, make it compulsory. If you wanted me to do it to the best of my ability, ban it.
I doubt things have changed.
The intelligence of politicians certainly hasn't.