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National Curriculum Overview

A new National Curriculum for primary schools has been introduced.


The changes affect all curriculum areas with children expected to reach higher standards in Maths and English. Over the next few weeks we will gradually add our schemes of work onto the website so that you can see what is being covered for each year group.


The English Curriculum
The new curriculum for English is knowledge-based; this means its focus is on knowing facts rather than developing skills and understanding. There is an increased emphasis on the technical aspects of language and less emphasis on the creative aspects. English is set out year by year in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) and two-yearly in Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6). There is specific content to be covered in the areas of spelling and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. These are set out for each year group across both key stages.


The Maths Curriculum
The main areas in the new Mathematics curriculum are number, measurement, geometry, statistics, ratio and proportion and algebra. The way that the curriculum is organised varies across the primary age range - every year group has its own programme of study detailing what the children should be able to achieve in each area. The changes for number present a significant increase in the level of challenge. Problem solving occurs in all areas of the Mathematics curriculum


The Science Curriculum
The new curriculum for Science puts a greater focus on acquiring scientific knowledge, and less emphasis on developing scientific skills and understanding. The scientific enquiry strand, now called working scientifically, is taught throughout each topic. The content of the Science curriculum needs to be covered by the end of the relevant key stage rather than being specified for each year group.


There are significant changes in the curriculum for History. In KS1 children will learn about the lives of significant people and will be expected to have a growing sense of historical understanding. In KS2 there continues to be an emphasis on developing chronology with the children studying History up to 1066. In addition to this schools can include special studies which will extend their knowledge and understanding beyond 1066. Examples of this will include significant historical events such as 'The Blitz' and the 'Great Fire of London'.


Another area of the curriculum which has changed a great deal is Computing. Previously children have studied ICT (Information and Communication Technology). The emphasis in the new Computing curriculum is on the children being able to use and understand programming, develop their digital literacy as well as their understanding of safe internet use. ICT will still be used across all subjects in order to enhance and develop the children's learning.


In addition to changes in the curriculum there are also changes in the systems for assessment. The old system of levels has been removed.  Schools are now devising their own ways for assessing and monitoring the progress of pupils against the expectations for each year group.  Children in Year 2 and Year 6 will be assessed using teacher assessment and national assessment tests.