by RAY FLEMING
IN his new report on reform of the primary school curriculum in British schools Sir Jim Rose says that the aim should be “to instil a love of learning for its own sake” and he goes on to talk about the “thrill of discovery” which will support the applied hard work that has to come later. Such objectives are welcome even if the means of achieving them is less clear. The report adds some flesh to the provisional proposals published six months ago and its main recommendation remains the structuring of lessons around themes embracing related subjects rather than on individual subjects taught within narrow limits. In the report's view this approach will give greater freedom to teachers to develop their work in the way they think best - an outcome which the Education Secretary Ed Balls endorses in his presentation of the report. When the minister commissioned this report he said it would be “the most fundamental review of the primary curriculum for a decade”. Sir Jim Rose has done his best but three related considerations have been beyond his control: the first is the quite separate review of the future of Stats testing at the end of primary education; the second is the predicted financial cuts in public services which could hinder the implementation of some proposals; and the third, of course, is whether a new Conservative government would adopt Sir Jim's ideas or prefer to launch another “fundamental review”.