Posted: 21/05/2016 at 11:12
My first primary school (Huncoat, Lancs) had outside loos across the schoolyard. We also had slates and chalk to learn to write and do sums. Miss Demaine was very good and very strict and nobody left her class unable to read, write, tell the time and do their tables up to 12 plus 13, 15, 17 and 19 which she insisted were essential too. Amazing teacher.
By the time I left school at 18, teachers had decided teaching grammar was old-fashioned and boring and unnecessary so I've met people here just 2 years younger than me who have no idea how a sentence is constructed which makes it nigh on impossible for them to learn French as you really need to know about subject, object, indirect object, adjectives, past participles and subjunctives and so on to get agreements and tenses right.
It's also basic to being able to write coherent English that is not a chore to read - a basic skill for many jobs as well as simple communication between friends, colleagues, service providers etc. The English language is rich in vocabulary and can be direct, elegant, beautiful in its simplicity but also in its capacity to use precise words and elegant structures to communicate complex ideas.
We should embrace it and not fall into the lazy traps of imported Americanisms or ugly structures.