I find the following annoying as well as sad:
At these Covid times and the GCSE debacle of this year [both connected, but the latter’s nonsense caused by algorithmic software and political ineptitude] the last thing we need is a further dreadful encroachment into the year 9 English curriculum.
English teachers with any subject content sensibilities have been aware and critical of this increasing dismantling of, for example, giving time to creativity and exploration at Key Stage 3 [with the driven and obsessional GCSE demands], so touting new ways to further this deforestation is unhelpful and wrong.
And as for ‘knowledge-rich’ – well, that says it all: tapped into the new Hirschian dogma and this government’s [a la The Gibb] philistines’ adoration of it. We should be looking to radically change GCSEs, probably by finishing with them and looking at teacher-led assessment opportunities at age 18. There is plenty of historical insight into this, much surprisingly old as it was always rejected at the time, but still full of intelligent relevance.