Finland’s answer to a slip in standards is to put more ‘joy’ into the curriculum. We visit a school in Yorkshire that aims to show the UK could do the same

‘New core curriculum for basic education emphasises the joy of learning,” reads a recent headline on a government education website. This new, more joyful curriculum, it says, is based on “positive emotional experiences, collaborative working and creative activity”.

It is, of course, the Finnish Board of Education’s website. Finland has given its schools a new curriculum with a reduced subject content and is encouraging them to teach to “competences” through project-based learning. In England, the Department for Education’s initiatives on standards tend to focus on league tables and school structures – such as more grammar schools.

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