Whole School Curriculum
The National Curriculum – what do parents need to know?
The National Curriculum in England has been through a period of transition and a new curriculum is now being taught throughout schools in England.
The main reason for this change is to raise standards and although the new curriculum is intended to be more challenging, the content of the new one is actually slimmer than the old one. It focusses on essential subject knowledge and skills such as extended writing and computer programming.
For your information a summary of the main changes are below:
English: Stronger emphasis on vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and spelling ( for example, the use of commas and apostrophes is now be taught in KS1). Handwriting is expected to be fluent, legible and speedy. Spoken English has a greater emphasis with children to be taught debating and presenting skills.
Maths: Five-year-olds are expected to learn to count up to 100 ( compared to 20 under the previous curriculum) and learn number bonds to 20 (previously 10). Simple fractions such as 1/4 and 1/2 are now taught from KS1 and by the end of primary school, children are expected to know times tables up to 12×12 ( previously 10×10) Calculators will not be introduced until near the end of KS2, to encourage mental arithmetic.
Science: Strong focus on scientific knowledge and language, rather than understanding the nature and methods of science in abstract terms. Evolution will be taught in primary schools for the first time. Non-core subjects like caring for animals have been replaced by topics like the human circulatory system.
Design and technology: This has become more important in the new curriculum, setting children on the path to becoming the designers and engineers of the future. More sophisticated use of design equipment such as electronics and robotics. In KS2, children will learn about how key events and individuals in design and technology have shaped the world.
Computing: Computing has replaced Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with a greater focus on programming rather than on operating programs. From the age of 5, children learn to write and test simple programs, and to organise, store and retrieve data. From 7, they are taught to understand computer networks, including the internet. Internet safety is taught in primary schools.
Languages: A modern foreign language is now mandatory in KS2. We learn Spanish and French biannually. Children are expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the language.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception Year. During this phase enjoy a range of experiences in which they explore, investigate, discover, create, practise, rehearse, repeat, revise and consolidate their developing knowledge, skills understanding and attitudes.
In EYFS we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We believe that all children are entitled to the best possible start in their school life, both intellectually and emotionally, in order to enable them to develop their full potential.
We aim to support each child’s welfare, learning and developmental needs by:
- Recognising that all children are unique and special.
- Understanding that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates – physically, cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally.
- Providing a safe, secure and caring environment where children feel happy and know that they are valued.
- Fostering and nurturing children’s self-confidence and self-esteem through their developing awareness of their own identity and role within the community.
- Teaching them to express and communicate their needs and feelings in appropriate ways.
- Encouraging children’s independence and decision-making, supporting them to learn through their mistakes.
- Developing children’s understanding of social skills and the values and codes of behaviour required for people to work together harmoniously.
- Supporting children to develop care, respect and appreciation for others, including those with beliefs, cultures and opinions differ to their own.
- Understanding the importance of play in children’s learning and development.
- Providing learning experiences in play which reflect children’s personal interests and areas of curiosity in order to encourage and develop their natural desire, interest, excitement and motivation to learn.
- Providing experiences which build on children’s existing knowledge and understanding in order to challenge, stimulate and extend their learning and development.
- Providing effective learning opportunities in a range of environments, inside and outside
The school ethos recognises that equal opportunities encompass gender, nationality, ethnicity, culture, disability, age, sexuality, religion and special educational needs. Children are treated fairly and are given equal opportunity to take part in activities across the whole school curriculum.
Equality is an important part of the planning and teaching of lessons. When planning work for children with special educational needs we hive due regard to information and targets contained in the support plans. We have high expectations of all children and we believe that the equality principles underpin work and life through the school.