This is a summary of one piece of the framework for the National Curriculum published this week. I have tried to make it more understandable and less wordy and plan to create bit sized articles and pull out relevant aspects over the next few blog entries.
Here are the key principles.
- The New Curriculum will be developed in line with freedom, responsibility and fairness
- Schools to be given greater autonomy with the government prescribing the essential knowledge to be provided by schools but allowing schools to serve its pupils better by tailoring it to fit its pupils needs and also teaching in the most effective way
- The curriculum should use the best collective knowledge we have re. the best way to teach to ensure the best learning. I am sure that this is what is already happening in most parts of the country.
- Schools must take note of vulnerable groups and ensure they move confidently and successfully through their education. – I suspect that this is where EAL will fit as well as SEND (Special Needs and Disabilities).
- Schools need to distinguish between The National Curriculum and The Wider School Curriculum (the whole curriculum as experienced by pupils in that school) – Schools will need document this to ensure they are fulfilling the key principles for governors, parents and OFSTED.
- The National Curriculum will continue to be a statutory requirement for maintained school but also be used as the benchmark for excellence across all schools.
One other thing to note is their interest in the Key Stages and they suggest that :
I think this will be debated in all schools at senior level at the very least, despite some schools already having moved the start of GCSE’s into Year 9 for it to happen on a permanent basis there will be staff implications, possible timetable restrictions, and questions re the suitability for the students involved…i.e. is it really best practice for them to achieve their potential? In primary I can foresee two years of focussed Assessment coaching depending on the implications of the Assessment criteria and expected outcomes again is that really the best practice we can give to our children? We must all make sure that at the end of every policy, every change to the curriculum and every piece of assessed work there is a child and sometimes as young as 7. So our question should be Is this the best for our children..if it isn’t we must find a way to give the children the best but also achieve assessment success and each individual reaching their personal potential.
A tall order maybe but one that with collaboration we can achieve.