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First teaching of evolution in new primary national curriculum gets underway in English schools

Today marks the first teaching of the new primary national curriculum in English schools, which for the first time includes a module on evolution as part of the year six programme of study (ages 10-11).  Evolution had previously only been taught from year ten (ages 14-15) onwards, but the development of the module ‘Evolution and Inheritance’ at Key Stage 2 means children will now have the opportunity to learn about Darwin’s theory from a much younger age. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has been at the forefront of the campaign for such a change and welcomes its introduction in schools today.

Seeing evolution taught as part of the primary national curriculum has been a long-time goal of the BHA, and the ‘Teach evolution, not creationism!’ campaign, launched back in 2011, was set up to do achieve just that. Drawing on the support of organisations such as the British Science Association and the Association for Science Education, as well as leading figures such as Sir David Attenborough and Richard Dawkins, the campaign successfully secured the change when the Government published the final national curriculum back in September 2013.

BHA Education Campaigner Jay Harman commented, ‘For more or less its entire recent history the BHA has been campaigning for children to be taught about evolution from as early an age as possible, so we’re delighted that this will now start at primary school. So much of our understanding of this world hinges on learning about evolution, and the importance of having children learn about it at a formative age cannot be overstated.’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Jay Harman at jay@humanism.org.uk or on 020 7324 3078.

Read our previous news item on the introduction of evolution to the national curriculum: https://humanism.org.uk/2014/09/01/evolution-now-part-english-primary-national-curriculum/

Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on science, evolution and creationism: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/school-curriculum/science-evolution-and-creationism/

Read more about the BHA’s work on ‘faith’ schools: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/faith-schools/

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

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