The Primary School Curriculum
The goal of the national curriculum is to have learners progress from one level to the next in a seamless, continuous, coherent way through productive and meaningful experiences. Learning should be progressive and developmental. The curriculum should facilitate the translation of the national development goals to classroom instruction. It should allow for the pursuit of personal goals and link learning to assessment. Levels of sophistication should increase and tasks become more complex as students move through the continuum.
While no one ideal curriculum will suit the needs of all individuals, the following principles should inform the national curriculum so that all children can have the maximum opportunity to develop their potential.
The curriculum must therefore:
- reflect and support our national ideals and aspirations
- flexible and responsive to the developmental needs, life experiences and unique abilities of each individual
- provide learners with the experiences, tools, resources and social structures to construct knowledge that is relevant to their needs and interests
- empower learners to become agents of personal and social transformation
- prepare learners and support their motivation for lifelong learning
- be structured to allow goals to be achieved within a coherent, coordinated and integrated structure and framework
- equip all learners with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to attain a good quality of life
- equally prize and utilize all dimensions of knowledge that will support students' development
Since achieving political independence, primary education has undergone a number of curriculum changes. Content and learning experiences have been included that are meant to be more responsive to the social and cultural experiences of students in Trinidad and Tobago.
In the last decade, the primary curriculum sought to place emphasis on learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate and reflect new understandings about effective delivery and assessment. Renewed efforts have been made to institute promotion by attainment rather than by age and class. Limited attempts have also been made to establish greater articulation between the primary and secondary levels of the curriculum. The existing curriculum comprises the following subjects:
Language Arts (Reading, English Language, English Literature)
Social Studies (History, Geography)
Creative Arts: Dance, Drama, Music, Art and Craft
Information Technology (some schools)
Spanish (some pilot schools)
Health and Family Life Education
Morals and Values Education (infused)
Please note: Physical Education, Information Technology and Religious Education will be available soon on the website.
Co-curricular activities provide students with opportunity to practice further what they learn in the classroom and the Ministry partners with various organizations to facilitate this. Activities include: debating and public speaking; mental mathematics; participation in the arts festivals, the Music Festival, annual calypso and Soca competitions, Parang, steelband competitions, environmental pursuits and a range of sporting events. All religious festivals are observed.
The curriculum guides for several of these subjects were last revised between 1998 and 2001 while Science, Social Studies and Health and Family Life Education were revised over the period 2003-2006. Hence most of the documents are the products of the technology of an earlier time. They are all therefore due for revision to ensure that they reflect current trends in education and remain relevant to societal and individual education needs.
Primary Schools Curriculum Guides: