8 Domains

Arts and Creativity

The renaissance of this domain, which takes in all the arts, creativity and the imagination, is long overdue. A vigorous campaign should be established to advance public understanding of the arts in education, human development, culture and national life. There should also be a much more rigorous approach to arts teaching in schools. However, creativity is not confined to the arts. Creativity and imaginative activity must inform teaching and learning across the curriculum. 

Citizenship and Ethics

This domain has both global and national components and includes the values, moral codes, customs and procedures by which people act, co- exist and regulate their affairs. It stems in part from widespread concern about growing selfishness and material greed. It intersects clearly with a number of the aims: ‘encouraging respect and reciprocity’; ‘promoting interdependence and sustainability’, ‘celebrating culture and community’ and ‘exploring, knowing, understanding and making sense’.
In relation to the aim of ‘enacting dialogue’, work in schools on dialogic teaching and philosophy for children are examples of this domain in action.

Faith and Belief

Religion is so fundamental to this country’s history, culture and language, as well as to the daily lives of many of its inhabitants, that it must remain within the curriculum, even though some Review witnesses argued that it should be removed on the grounds that England is a predominantly secular society or that religious belief is a matter for the family. Non-denominational schools should teach about religion with respect and understanding, but they should also explore other beliefs, including those questioning the validity of religion itself. The place of the daily act of worship, required by the 1944 Education Act and now seen by many as anomalous, deserves proper debate.

Language, Oracy and Literacy

This domain includes spoken language, reading, writing, literature, wider aspects of language and communication, a modern foreign language, ICT and other non-print media. It is at the heart of the new curriculum, and needs to be re-thought.
Literacy empowers children, excites their imaginations and widens their worlds. Oracy must have its proper place in the language curriculum. Spoken language is central to learning, culture and life, and is much more prominent in the curricula of many other countries.
It no longer makes sense to pay attention to text but ignore txt. While ICT reaches across the whole curriculum, it needs a particular place in the language component. It is important to beware of the perils of unsavoury content and long hours spent staring at screens, but the more fundamental task is to help children develop the capacity to approach electronic media (including television and film) with the same degree of discrimination and critical awareness as for reading and writing. Therefore it demands as much rigour as the written and spoken word. The Review disagrees with the Rose report’s decision to establish ICT as a separate core ‘skill for learning and life,’ especially in the light of some neuroscientists’ concerns about the possible adverse effects of over- exposure to screen technologies. Placing it in the language component enables schools to balance and explore relationships between new and established forms of communication, and to maintain the developmental and educational primacy of talk.
Every school should have a policy for language across the curriculum. If language unlocks thought, then thought is enhanced and challenged when language in all its aspects is pursued with purpose and rigour in every educational context. Language should have a key place in all eight domains and children should learn about the uses of language in different disciplines.


This includes both numeracy and the wider aspects of maths, as well as financial literacy. The question of what aspects of maths are truly essential in primary education should be re-opened.

Physical and Emotional Health

This deals with emotions and relationships and with the development and health of the human body, along with the skills of agility, co-ordination and teamwork acquired through sport and PE. The Review believes it makes medical and educational sense to group physical and emotional health together, and for health to become a mandatory component of the primary curriculum for the first time. Well-being is about educational engagement, raising aspirations and maximising potential as well as physical and emotional welfare.
This domain should be re-conceptualised to explore the interface between emotional and physical development and health and their contribution to well-being and educational attainment. The Review is ambivalent about placing the education of the emotions in any one domain, but this is necessary if it is to be treated as part of the statutory curriculum. However, concern for children’s emotional health and wider well-being needs to pervade the entire curriculum.

Place and Time

This includes how history shapes culture, events, consciousness and identity and its contribution to our understanding of present and future. It includes the geographical study of location, other people, other places and human interdependence, locally, nationally and globally.
Like the arts, the humanities need proper public and political recognition of their importance to children’s understanding of who they are, of change and continuity, cause and consequence, of why society is arranged as it is, and of the interaction of mankind and the physical environment. This domain may include anthropology and other human sciences. It is central to the aims of respect and reciprocity, interdependence and sustainability, local, national and global citizenship, and culture and community.

Science and Technology

This includes the exploration and understanding of science and the workings of the physical world, together with human action on the physical world and its consequences. Although science is currently a core subject, Review evidence shows that it has been increasingly squeezed out by testing and the national strategies. The educational case for primary science, as for the arts and humanities, needs to be strongly re-asserted. 

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