Pupils’ grasp of the past has been undermined because schools have “steadily downgraded” the importance of historical knowledge, it was claimed. In a letter to Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, a delegation of academics and teachers today called for history to be made compulsory up to the age of 16 to reverse a “catastrophic decline” in the subject.
They also claimed that the curriculum should be rewritten to expose children to a more coherent narrative of British history. It was suggested that at the age of 11, pupils should learn about the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, early medieval England and the Crusades. At 12, pupils should be taught about medieval life, the English conquest of Scotland and Wales, the 100 Years’ War, the Wars of the Roses, the Renaissance, the Reformation, Elizabeth I and overseas exploration.
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