National Curriculum

The Curriculum

Rushey Green School complies with all requirements regarding curriculum provision including the legal requirement to follow the statutory national curriculum as well as the requirement to make provision for a daily act of collective worship and teach religious education. In addition the school makes provision for personal, social, health, economic and citizenship education. The structure of the national curriculum, in terms of which subjects are compulsory at each key stage, is set out in the attached table (click here). Religious education is not counted as one of the compulsory national curriculum subjects although it is a statutory requirement at all key stages.

Promoting British Values

In 2011, the government defined British Values as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. The attached table describes how we promote these values through our own school values, curriculum and enrichment activities.

Information for parents on the National Curriculum 2014

As of September 2014 all maintained schools in England must follow the New National Curriculum. The new curriculum contains the programmes of study and attainment targets for all subjects taught from Key Stage 1 up to Key Stage 4 (Key Stage 1 refers to school years Y1 and Y2; Key Stage 2 is years Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6; The Early Years (Nursery and Reception) have their own curriculum – the Early Years Foundation Stage, an updated version of which was implemented a couple of years ago.

All maintained schools in England must start teaching these programmes of study from September 2014 with the following exceptions:

• for this academic year only, pupils now in Year 2 and Year 6 will continue to follow the pre-2014 programmes of study in English, Maths and Science – end of year SATS this year will be based on the previous curriculum

• new key stage tests based on the new curriculum will be introduced in the Summer of 2016 (i.e. for the current Year 1 and Year 5 cohorts when they are in Year 2 and Year 6 respectively.)

Why the curriculum change?

The main aim is to raise standards, particularly as the government judge the UK to be slipping down international student assessment league tables. The new curriculum is based on what is taught in the world’s most successful school systems, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Finland, as well as what was already delivered in the best UK schools (including schools like Holystone). It is designed to produce productive, creative and well educated students. Although the new curriculum is intended to be more challenging, the actual content is greatly reduced compared to the previous curriculum. It focuses on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as British History and computer programming.

Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural Development

Pupils are expected to progress each year; follow this link for examples of how the curriculum influences pupils across all subjects in relation to Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural Development.

What are the main changes?

The main changes to the national primary school curriculum are as follows:

English

  • Literacy reverts to being known as 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, as well as reciting poetry from memory.

Maths

  • Numeracy changes its name back to Maths.
  • Five-year-olds will be expected to learn to count up to 100 (compared to 20 under the previous curriculum) and learn number bonds to 20 (previously 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 (end of Y4), 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 and calculators can no longer be used during SATS.

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

  • An increased priority under the new curriculum, with the aim of encouraging children to become 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 (now called Computing)

  • 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 (we do this already).

History

  • Certain long-standing topics are no longer necessarily covered
  • KS1 now includes: Concepts of monarchy, parliament, civilisation, democracy and war & peace
  • KS2 now contains: Chronological progression through the history of Britain from early Britons (Stone Age) to 1066.
  • There remains the requirement to teach Ancient Rome & Greece as well as the ability to link to aspects of local history.

Languages

  • A modern foreign language or ancient language (Latin or Greek) will be mandatory in KS2. (We offer Spanish)
  • Children will be expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the language