SpongeBob takes the curriculum by storm in Scotland.

What should be in the curriculum? Thanks to a cutting-edge initiative at a Scottish school, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dr Who, The Titanic and Famous People are currently taking top billing in the classroom.

From the Education Guardian, June 15 2010 with added material which did not appear in the published article.

 Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian.

Children at St Mary’s primary in Leith are surrounded by artefacts relating to SpongeBob

St Mary's primary in Leith, Edinburgh, is taking advantage of wide freedoms under the new Scottish Curriculum for Excellence to allow the children to choose their own topics as a jumping-off point for learning.

The use of topics as Trojan horses for smuggling maths, literature and science into children's heads has been popular since the 60s, but in the recent past much more detailed national curriculums both north and south of the border made it harder for schools to do this and gave them a more limited choice of themes.

Read more: SpongeBob takes the curriculum by storm in Scotland.

The Grim Reader - Education Guardian

Reprinted in The Australian Age, 07/9/09, and the Buffalo News, USA, 03/9/09
Tuesday 1 September 2009

One day recently I heard an unearthly wailing coming from my 11-year-old son's room. It was like no sound I'd ever heard from him before. He doesn't normally cry at television or films but, curled up alone in his bed reading, when the fantasy character he identified with met a grim end, vanquished by the forces of darkness, he found it absolutely devastating.

Read more: The Grim Reader - Education Guardian