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Published 11th October 2007, 1:2pm

Parents, teachers and students are once again being invited by the Education Ministry to have their say on the direction of the national curriculum review, as it enters its final stages before the introduction of the new curriculum in schools at the beginning of next year. The curriculum review team, headed up by Mrs. Helena McVeigh, Chief Inspector of Schools, has posted draft curriculum documents for each academic subject on the Ministry’s website (www.brighterfutures.gov.ky/curriculum) and is encouraging educators and members of the public to take this final opportunity to review them and submit feedback. Whilst the national curriculum refers to what students learn in schools, the full review process, which began in July of 2006, has covered in extensive detail related issues such as how students learn, how they are assessed, guiding principles and expected outcomes for students. Hon. Alden McLaughlin, JP, Minister for Education explained, “The schools’ curriculum is one of the major factors which determines children’s academic performance as well as the relevance and standard of skills and knowledge they eventually leave school with. Continuity at each level of education is very important as are provisions for varied learning styles among students to accommodate every child with the best possible chance of success.” These latest draft proposals outline what students should know, understand and be able to do, for all subject areas within the curriculum. Mrs. McVeigh explains, “They are the result of extensive research of curricula from around the world and existing Cayman Islands curriculum documents.” The curriculum review was one of the outcomes of the national education conference in 2005, where it was recognized as being of key strategic importance to successfully transforming Cayman’s education system. A taskforce was subsequently appointed to conduct the review, whose consultative approach was well-received in public and private schools as well as among parents, students and employers. This exercise resulted in the publication of an overview document outlining the aims and guiding principles that should underpin a new curriculum, upon which the public were invited to comment. Referring to the overview document, which is also available on the Ministry’s website, Mrs. Wahler, said, “The new approach will be student-centred, with students actively involved in their own learning. Instead of focusing on what we teach, the new curriculum puts the emphasis on what each student learns and achieves.”