The 2014 Curriculum
A Guide for Parents
The Curriculum at St James C of E Primary School
The National Curriculum in England has changed and the obligation to teach programmes of study from the previous National Curriculum had been dis-applied, and new programmes of study and attainment targets have been put in place.
Why the big curriculum change?
The main aim is to raise standards. 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.
The main changes.
The information below summarises the main changes in the core subjects.
- 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 speed.
- Spoken English has a greater emphasis, with children to be taught debating and presenting skills.
- 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 12×12 (currently 10×10 by the end of primary school)
- Calculators will not be introduced until near the end of KS2, to encourage mental arithmetic.
- 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
- Design and Technology 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 replaces Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with a greater focus on programming rather than on operating programs
- From age five, children will learn to write and test simple programs, and to organise, store and retrieve data
- 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
- Currently not statutory, a modern foreign language or ancient language (Latin or Greek) will be mandatory in KS2. Children will be expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the language
In order to prepare pupils for the more ambitious end of year expectations in English, Mathematics and Science, as set out in the new curriculum, teachers at St James have amended their delivery of the programmes of study detailed above as appropriate. New programmes of study for English and Mathematics have been adopted, in line with guidance from the Department of Education and our creative curriculum (Cornerstones Curriculum) has been fully updated to account for these changes.
If you require more information on the curriculum, please contact the school office or a class teacher, who will be happy to help.