Curriculum changes to affect museum visits

CUT Tudors sessions at Southsea Castle will drop from 15 days to 10 from next summer
CUT Tudors sessions at Southsea Castle will drop from 15 days to 10 from next summer
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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PLANS have been announced to cut down on school visits to two city landmarks as a result of changes to the history curriculum.

The new national curriculum will be introduced in September and will focus on British history up to the year 1065 for Key Stage 2.

At the moment, topics supported by museum visits include the Tudors, the Victorians and the Second World War. But these topics will no longer be compulsory elements of the Key Stage 2 history curriculum – for pupils aged eight to 11.

Portsmouth City Council has agreed that the current Tudors sessions – which run at the Square Tower – should be scrapped as it is no longer cost effective. And the Tudors sessions at Southsea Castle will be cut from 15 days down to 10 for next summer.

Dr Jane Mee, head of museums at the council, said: ‘Primary schools use museums for the development of the history curriculum. But with the changes, primary schools are only studying up to 1055.

‘A lot of the provision we have is through led sessions where somebody comes in and leads sessions for schools.

‘So there’s no reason to assume that schools will still want them. There’s no point providing something that’s not going to attract people.’

Dr Mee said the council will assess how popular the sessions at Southsea Castle are and then decide whether to run them the following summer.

She added that it’s a shame to see it come to an end.

‘Tudors is quite important for the city of Portsmouth if you think about the Mary Rose museum and Southsea Castle,’ she said.

‘It’s worrying, but we have to be flexible and responsive to change.’

But Joy Squibb, headteacher of St John’s Primary School in Gosport said: ‘The new history curriculum is very different to the national curriculum that we are used to. That’s always a bit scary.

‘But people I know who understand history believe it to be an improvement.

‘We do trips everywhere and we do use local museums.

‘The new curriculum involves quite a lot of battles and things that are interesting for children to know about.

‘We wouldn’t stop going out and using local places.’