Pupils to be taught The Canterbury Tales in retelling by Grime artist

It’s MC Chaucer in da house! Grime artist will retell the Canterbury Tales in new curriculum drawn up after Black Lives Matter protests

  • The Oak National Academy has recorded 10,000 free online lessons for pupils
  • Their government-funded curriculum is a backup in case schools close again
  • Schoolchildren aged 11 to 14 would receive a more diversified education
  • The Canterbury Tales would be retold to school pupils by a grime musician 

The Canterbury Tales could be retold to pupils through the voice of a grime artist as part of a backup curriculum by the Oak National Academy. Pictured: An illustration from the Canterbury Tales

A new curriculum developed as a plan B in case schools have to close again will see pupils learning about the Canterbury Tales through a retelling by a Grime artist.

Oak National Academy will also teach children that a medieval African emperor was the richest man in history in a shake-up to the national curriculum, the Sunday Times reports.

The academy was founded at the start of the pandemic with £3million of government funding after many schools failed to deliver adequate online teaching.

10,000 free lessons have already been recorded which aim to diversify the education received by schoolchildren aged between 11 and 14 following calls made by the Black Lives Matter movement to change the national curriculum.

Matt Hood is the principal of the virtual Oak National Academy and he said the aim of the recorded lessons is to give children an ‘accurate picture’ of the world.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘You could [in the past] go through education and not be aware that there were black people in Tudor England. Nor is it true that after the Egyptians the pre-eminent civilisations were all western.’

Hood also pointed to the medieval ruler of Mali, Mansa Musa, who was the richest man in history after his wealth was adjusted for inflation.

Oak’s English syllabus will also include works from black Americans such as Alice Walker and Michelle Obama (pictured)

Primary school children will also be given the opportunity to learn about the first black woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison. 

Oak’s curriculum doesn’t just focus on history though, with their music course containing lessons on Water No Get Enemy, which is a Black Power song by Fela Kuti.

Their English syllabus will also include works from black Americans such as Alice Walker and Michelle Obama.

Bennie Kara, a deputy head teacher of Asian heritage in Derby, advised the team at Oak when putting together their curriculum and she said she hopes that the academy’s work puts pressure on the government to diversify the National Curriculum.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (pictured) recently penned an open letter to parent of schoolchildren insisting that it is safe for pupils to return to classrooms

The lessons recorded by Oak are seen as a backup plan in case schools have to close because of coronavirus and Hood said that he hopes the lessons won’t be needed by all schools.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson recently penned an open letter to parent of schoolchildren insisting that it is safe for pupils to return to classrooms.  

In the letter, Mr Williamson told parents: ‘If a child is not in school, they stand to lose far more than just a few months of learning. It could well put a huge dent in their future life chances.

‘Education is a birthright, so let’s make sure we get all children back – back to learning, back to playing and back to being kids again.’

Published by the Department for Education (DfE) on Friday evening, the letter was released just before the bank holiday weekend and only days away from the start of autumn term. 

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