Knitting to make classroom comeback

Knitting to make classroom comeback (Thinkstock)

Knitting could soon make a comeback in classrooms, as part of a proposed curriculum change.

Design and technology lessons may be about to feature knitting, sewing and embroidery for children aged up to 14 as part of a drive to teach more traditional home skills.

Despite not being taught widely for decades, Mail Online reports that proponents of the change believe it could have a knock-on effect for improving pupils' maths and behaviour.

Speaking to the publication in 2011, Worth Primary School in Kent began teaching students knitting and found that it helped them to write and encouraged them to have proper discussions, rather than being preoccupied with playing on their phones.

After the lunchtime knitting club proved popular, the skill was incorporated into lessons, with Maths lessons asking them to count how many stitches different designs required, while history classes taught the kids about clothing worn in the Middle Ages and how it was made.

Commenting on the lessons, headmistress Lynne Moore said: "It has dramatically improved behaviour, and it really helps communication. Instead of playing on their phones or computers, the children knit and talk to each other. They have proper conversations."

A consultation with teachers and parents has now opened and is discussing the planned shake-up of the national curriculum for 2014, which could see them taught to "plan, design, make, repair and evaluate decorative and/or practical objects, using a range of textiles and employing common techniques such as sewing, embroidery and knitting".

This return to make do and mend culture has been welcomed by many, however, Caroline Wright of the British Educational Suppliers Association has this week raised concerns.

"These proposals will result in some fabulous knitwear but, sadly, fewer world-class engineers and innovators," she said.
Knitting was popular in classrooms after the Second World War, however was phased out of lessons completely with the introduction of the national curriculum in 1988.

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