Are the Foundation Subjects as relevant to a child’s development as Mathematics and English?


Controversial is a idea/viewpoint that is disagreed about by a number of people. 


Controversial issues are looked at in primary schools in through: 



 Controversial issues in the Foundation Subjects.

  •  Art -What is art? Who decides what is a ‘great’ art? Who decides which is valuable art or not? 
  • DT – Will the industry affect Britain’s technological future?
  • Geography – Fair-trade? Brexit? Globalisation? Climate change? Water?
  • History – Glorified war? Different views? History of tomorrow? Accepted ‘truth’. 
  • Languages – English dominate? Should there be a universal language? Relationship of culture and language. 
  • Music – Sexualisation of music and videos. What music and why? 
  • PE – Racism/gender in sport. Obesity. Coaches teaching PE. Lack of time. Extra Funding.
  • RE – Gay Marriage. Equality for woman



Why are these issues not addressed in schools and how can we?

Society and particular people can support addressing controversial issues, such as Banksey, Protest movements/songs, Inventions. 

Demonstrations and Protests can show controversial issues and they show power. 


  • teach all of the foundation subjects 
  • question national curriculum 
  • use local authority 
  • utilise PSHE curriculum 
  • citizenship curriculum 
  • collection worship – use assembly’s to address issues 
  • talk about issues on the news

Hidden curriculum – Diversity, Equality, Race – aspects which are in the always occurring in a school setting and can support addressing the controversial issues. 

BOOKS – this resources can support the starting point of controversial issues for example Jaguar Talk, A fine dessert, The little refugee. 

Books can support the addressing of issues because they can support children questioning what happens throughout a book for example the little refugee can start conversations about war and refugees now on the news. 

Circle time, Worry Monsters, News-round, Question boxes, Share languages: ways in which we can start to address the issues in everyday life. 


Use art for questions – listen to music and discuss the purpose – discuss historical events – Protest ecological and culturally linguistic issues  – Explore feelings that relate to news (football and racism)  

Through engaging with further reading with Hess (2007) I believe that teachers should educate children in controversial issues and have a balanced approach when doing so. This is because children should have the opportunity to decide what they believe in relation to a particular issue and should not have teachers opinions influence their own decision. Education is to prepare children for later life experiences, controversial issues will be an aspect which children will encounter when they are older so this should be taught to ready the children and support their skills in deciding what they as an individual think. 

Following further reading by Oulton et al (2004) i discovered ways that issues can be taught to children. These practices included: focused groups, role play and resource-based learning. I believe that role play would be a beneficial pedagogy for teaching controversial issues as it offers children the opportunity to learn about an issue however the activity will depersonalise the debate as it is breached in an informal way. 


In relation to the original question, I have developed a philosophy through reading and directed tasks. I believe that Mathematics and English as important subjects that children should develop in however the foundation subjects and Science are just as beneficial towards a child’s development. For instance the subject of languages can offer time to develop phonology in both English and another language as well as learning about other cultures. Physical Education can impact a child holistically as well as improve their health. Subjects can be cross linked with others and this will create a interesting environment for the children and support overall development. Therefore, I believe that the subjects that are integrated in the curriculum are all beneficial towards a child’s development. 


Foundation Subjects

Religious Education, Geography, History, Physical Education, Art, Languages, Music and Design and Technology.

Year 1 notes for these subjects can be found in a file as a hard copy.Year 2 note are also in a hard copy format but are summarised below.

Religious Education 

In this session we recapped what was remembered from the previous session  (year 1). This included the attainment targets and using pupils as resources. The key skills and themes were also recapped.

The key skills are; Thinking, Communication, Enquiry, Reflection.

Themes included; Celebrations, Believing, Symbols, Leaders and Teachers. (there are also more and can be found in the NC).


This session was based on planning. RE can be planned to also be creative and not a worksheet based subject. Community based schools see RE as a foundation subject, where as faith schools see it as core subject therefore, it is taught equally as much as English or Mathematics.

In relation to planning for Community RE each Local authority has different learning outcomes for schools and also support to plan. Lancashire follow the ‘Field of enquiry framework’ when planning RE. In addition, Faith schools usually have a written format which they have to follow when teaching RE.

The following session was based on Toolkits for RE and also Islamaphobia. 

There are many activities that could be used when teaching RE. 

  • Teaching through popular culture 
  • Kahoot – Fun and interactive. Includes technology and the teacher can track the answers of her pupils for assessment 
  • Expert groupsDiscussion is present and children can share their knowledge of an area. Collate all information about an area. 
  • Eight fold path and rules to live bythis activity starts with teaching facts about religion then making it personal. 
  • Transform and reducetransforming complex stories or facts into simple sentences to help understand the story more. As well as forming sentences art can be used to reduce a story by drwaribg the main theme. 
  • Table of relevance offers discussion opportunities for children which supports one of the key skills of RE. Also offers time for debates and also time for children to argue in a safe environment. This activity can use any question and needs to be done through the persons opinion. 

This session supported me in developing ways to teach children RE and how to teach RE without stereotypes and misunderstandings. It is important not to group people and explain media posts to children as they are not always true and can cause Islamaphonia.