Curriculum 2014

The National Curriculum in England is currently in a process of transition!  A new Primary National Curriculum was introduced in September 2014 which is more demanding than the previous National Curriculum and children are expected to be taught, and learn, more than before.  From September 2014, the new curriculum was statutory for children in Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 and will be for all children in September 2015.  This is because children in Y2 and Y6 will sit SATs based on the old curriculum in May 2015.

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 previous curriculum, focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming.

The main changes …

The table below summarises the main changes in the core subjects:

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 learnnumber 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 knowtimes 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.
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
  • 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.
ICT
  • 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
Languages
  • 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