To-Do List

It's actually open season at the moment: almost everything that's missing is up for grabs, so there's no point in spelling out what's missing until most things are in place. I'm looking for some special people who instinctively understand what this project is about who can take control of a whole subject area and design the structure of the course, managing the team of people who will put it together. There are a number of priority subjects which I want to concentrate first. Most children should study English (though I want to push it more to the writing side rather than training people to regurgitate pointless nonsense about other people's works), maths, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, computer programming and at least one language: they should take all of these subjects to the highest school level. We will have to teach them so efficiently that this will never be a burden to the learner in any way.

English: I need people who can take pieces of literature and explain to children what they're supposed to get from them and how to use them to answer exam questions. (I never found out what you're supposed to do with literature when I was at school because I had a teacher who might have been a corpse, and everything she touched withered and died with her. She even managed to murder Shakespeare and make me hate him.)

Maths: The primary stuff is all either complete or under construction; I intend to be heavily involved in all levels of secondary maths, but I can't do all the work myself. Take a look at what I've done with primary maths: I want everything at secondary level to be done the same kind of way, and that means teaching it directly and concisely, using interactive programs to aid the teaching and then providing addictive programs to drill the skills in and maintain them.

Physics: same story as with maths. Doing a few experiments is fun, but it soon gets dull when they are repetitive and they end up getting in the way of real learning. By all means, let's encourage children to do experiments, but they must be able to skip any which their imagination can easily simulate for them. The knowledge they are supposed to be gaining is fascinating in itself, but it gets really dull if you hide it behind endless chores.

Chemistry: as with maths and physics.

Biology: I have no plans to provide content myself for anything in this subject, but lots of ideas about how to present it better.

Geography: I have no current plans for anything in this subject, but I do want it to cover more ground than is normally done in school. I found geography at school to be a real disappointment because it didn't go anywhere: I could have passed the exams without even studying the subject.

Languages: I have detailed plans for these, having studied fifty languages myself. What I will not be doing is writing texts in any foreign language because all texts need to be written by native speakers. I will also be looking for people to compile special lists for interactive programs designed to teach vocabulary and phrases. If you look at what I've done for French verbs, you'll realise that there is also room for other people to do the same for other languages, although I've nearly finished the Spanish version.

Computing: programming languages are all up for grabs, including JavaScript where someone can take over from where I've left off and improve on what's already there (it was flung together in a hurry and I'm unlikely to have time to get back to it in the near future, though I will still be involved in it). Learning to program is an absolutely vital skill for anyone who wants to manage a company, organisation, country or football team - all of these things are programming, and the best managers are the ones who work hard to eliminate all the bugs in the systems which they design, so computer programming should be a core subject which trains people to get all the little details right. Other aspects of computing are pretty easy to teach and should be available as optional learning: I have no plans of my own to write courses for them, so it's over to you.

History: I have no plans to provide any further content in this subject, so over to you. This should be a voluntary subject beyond the essentials of giving children an overview of how things came to be the way they are.

Media studies: I have no plans for this, but I would have thought it could be incorporated into English, making both subjects more worthwhile. The divide is rather artificial.

Other subjects: if they're done in a school and they're worth doing, we'll certainly find a way to do them here. I don't have any plans of my own for them, so again it's over to you.