Strengthening ‘the foundations’ of the primary school curriculum

The low status of the foundation subjects (e.g. Music and Physical Education (PE)) in English primary schools is well documented. Using PE as an illustrative example, a thematic analysis of 51 PE trainee students’ assignments, based on their perceptions of a two-week experience in a primary school, highlighted a number of areas of concern (e.g. limited/inadequate preparation; insufficient teacher knowledge/confidence; variable/limited subject leadership and non-qualified teachers delivering the curriculum). The possibility of teachers, coaches and other external specialists learning collaboratively with and from each other within a community of practice/learning is proposed as one way of strengthening the foundation subjects within the primary school curriculum.