New Curriculum 2014

The 2014 national curriculum: what primary school parents need to know?

In September 2014 the primary school curriculum is to get a radical shake-up. So why the big change, and how will it affect your child?

Please follow the link to read the National Curriculum in full:-     National Curriculum 2014

 

For most children, these changes will take effect from September 2014, but children in Years 2 and 6 will follow the existing programmes of study until September 2015 in English, maths and science.

 

Why the big curriculum change?

The main aim is to raise standards, particularly as the UK is slipping down international student assessment league tables. Inspired by what is taught in the world’s most successful school systems, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Finland, as well as in the best UK schools, it’s designed to produce productive, creative and well educated students.

Although the new curriculum is intended to be more challenging, the content is actually slimmer than the current curriculum, focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming. It also follows on from similar curriculum revamps in Scotland and Wales, which were implemented in 2010 and 2008 respectively and have a similar focus on excellence and core skills.

 

Will all primary schools follow the new curriculum from 2014?

No – academies and free schools are exempt. Academies and free schools do, however, still have to teach a balanced and broadly based curriculum that includes English, maths, science and RE.

What are the main changes?

The table below summarises the main changes in the core subjects covered by the National Curriculum.

Subject

What’s new?

English

  • Stronger emphasis on vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and spelling (for example, the use of commas and apostrophes will be taught in KS1)

 

  • Handwriting – not currently assessed under the national curriculum – 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 will be expected to learn to count up to 100 (compared to 20 under the current curriculum) and learn number bonds to 20 (currently up to 10)

 

  • Simple fractions (1/4 and 1/2) will be taught from KS1, and by the end of primary school, children should be able to convert decimal fractions to simple fractions (e.g. 0.375 = 3/8)

 

  • By the age of nine, children will be expected to know times tables up to 12x12 (currently 10x10 by the end of primary school)
  • 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 will be replaced by topics like the human circulatory system

Design & technology

  • Afforded greater importance under 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

ICT

  • Computing replaces Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with a greater focus on programming rather than on operating programs

 

  • From age five, children will lear to write and test simple programs. 

 

  • From seven, they will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet

 

  • Internet safety – currently only taught from 11-16 – will be taught in primary schools

Languages

  • Currently not statutory, a modern foreign language will be mandatory in KS2 (At WFS we will be teaching French to year 3 and 4 children using the expertise of a specialist teacher to plan for progression)

 

  • Children will be expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the language

Will the 2014 primary curriculum involve any new tests?

The Department for Education is currently in the process of reforming KS2 tests.

 

Please find below a long term curriculum planning map for each year group:-

 

Reception

To follow...

Year 1

Year 1 Mice and Ducks Long Term Curriculum Map.docx

Year 2

Year 2 Rabbits and Owls Long Term Curriculum Map.docx

Year 3

Year 3 Otters and Squirrels Long Term Curriculum Map.docx

Year 4

Year 4 Badgers and Foxes Long Term Curriculum Map