chapter  2
The literacy hour and beyond
WithMartin Ashley with John Lee, Richard Eke and Helen Butcher
Pages 21

Most people involved in primary education want to see a broad and balanced curriculum. Most people involved in primary education also want children to be literate and numerate. Are these two desires necessarily incompatible? In the previous chapter, we made out a strong case for the humanities. We did not do so, however, at the expense of the basic literacy and numeracy curriculum. We are as aware as anybody of the fact that the humanities cannot be effectively taught in secondary schools to pupils arriving from primary school deficient in basic literacy. In addition to traditional forms of literacy and numeracy, at the beginning of the twenty-first century we have to contemplate exponentially accelerating demands for literacy in Information and Communications Technology. Going on-line with the National Grid for Learning will hardly be comparable with the ‘toe in the water’ approach to ICT of the late twentieth century.