From September 2014 the primary school curriculum has undertaken radical changes across all subjects with the main aim to raise standards. The Government believe that it has been designed to produce productive, creative and well educated students.
The new curriculum is intended to be more challenging although the content is slimmer than the current curriculum.
It focuses on essential core subject knowledge and key skills. Year Two and Year Six will remain on their current curriculum for Literacy, Numeracy and Science for this academic year to undertake their SATs in the Summer term but all other year groups have already begun their new curriculum journey.
The Literacy title has been replaced by ‘English’, ‘Numeracy changed back to ‘Maths’ and ICT is replaced by ‘Computing’.
The English programmes of study will embody higher standards of literacy. Pupils will be expected to develop a stronger command of the written and spoken word and through the teaching of phonics pupils will be helped to read fluently. In Maths there will be a greater emphasis on arithmetic, and the promotion of efficient written methods of long multiplication and division. There will also be a more demanding content in fractions, decimals and percentages.
In Science there is a stronger focus on the importance of scientific knowledge and language and a greater emphasis on the core scientific concepts underpinning pupils’ understanding. For the first time primary aged children will learn about evolution and inheritance. The current ICT curriculum is replaced with a new computing curriculum with a much greater emphasis on computational thinking and practical programming skills. The study of languages is compulsory in Key Stage Two and History is to be taught chronologically from the beginning of Key Stage One.
All schools must provide a curriculum that is broadly based, balanced and meets the needs of all pupils. The new curriculum has been divided across the three phases in primary schools i.e. Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2), Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3& 4) and Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 & 6). There are no specific times during each phase where topics have to be taught nor how long it should take. This is left to the discretion of individual schools and teachers as it is dependent on how quickly children grasp the specific area being taught.
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, the new programmes of study for English, Mathematics and Science have been adopted in full, in line with guidance from the Department of Education.
At Gillshill we have embraced the changes of the New Curriculum and teachers have worked to create a thematic curriculum providing pupils with engaging, stimulating and challenging learning opportunities.