National Curriculum 2014
From September 2014, a new National Curriculum was introduced to all schools. At Brockley School we have worked hard to develop the statutory National Curriculum into a school curriculum that meets the needs and ethos of our school. This letter will outline the changes brought about by the new curriculum, as highlighted in the curriculum briefings we held for parents and carers at Brockley Primary School.
The new curriculum has been slimmed down and is far less prescriptive. It allows schools to make their own choices about what and how to teach. It is a minimum requirement which can be added to. As a staff we thought about what we want to drive our new curriculum. We decided that diversity, creativity, enquiry, enterprise and the environment should be at the heart of all we do. The new curriculum will also reflect our school’s location and community, as well as the interests and passions of the children.
The expectations in Mathematics and English have been raised to bring them in line with the new Early Learning Goals for Reception.
Learning a language is now compulsory at KS2. We have decided to introduce a language and have chosen French, as it is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, children may have the experience of visiting a French speaking country as it will enable school to make links with geography topics.
ICT has been replaced by Computing. ICT skills will be embedded throughout all curriculum areas and computing taught as a discrete lesson that will shift the focus from using software to creating, for example, coding and programming. We use KindleFire and Ipads to help support the computing curriculum.
Cooking is also now a statutory part of the design technology curriculum and will be taught across all year groups.
Assessment through levels will be phased out by 2016. We have adopted the language as indicated by the LA and DfE. This will enable staff to present information regarding a child’s performance to parents in a clear and concise format. The outcomes for children at the end of KS1 and KS2 will be reported as:
- Working towards the expected.
- Working at the expected standard.
- Working at greater depth towards the expected standard.
We will update you on any changes relevant to your child throughout the academic year.
We have decided to change the way we organise the curriculum. Instead of termly or half termly topics we will move to shorter, more immersive topics that will vary in length. Some will last the whole year and be revisited at different intervals. This will allow us to create exciting learning journeys and respond to the needs of the children. There will also be space for whole school topics, topics that reflect contemporary events (e.g. the Olympics or The Queen’s 90th Birthday etc.) and topics devised by the children or teachers’ personal interests. There is an increased focus on British History. Each year group will study the period from the Stone Age until 1066 from a different perspective, with increasing cognitive challenge as the children get older. This will also allow them to revisit periods of history and develop a stronger sense of chronology. We will continue to teach Mathematics and English daily as discrete subjects that link to the topics, wherever possible, to allow a comprehensive coverage of skills and provide opportunities to apply what has been learnt in different contexts across the curriculum.
We want parents/carers to be involved in their child’s learning. We will publish the curriculum on our school website with links to topic overviews and ideas to support your child. We will also text and email parents to let them know what we are learning about and provide an opportunity for parents to volunteer their expertise, artefacts or resources to enhance learning within school. We will also be holding forums and workshops, on different areas of the curriculum, to give an opportunity for parents/carers to find out more, ask questions and make suggestions.
The NC2014 is an exciting opportunity to try new things while keeping all that we love about our current curriculum. In essence, it is not very different. We will be keeping specialist music and sports teaching, philosophy, forest school and all that makes Brockley School special. It will allow us to create a tailor made curriculum that addresses the needs of our school community. It is a work in progress and will evolve over time.
http://www.theschoolrun.com/primary-literacy-glossary-for-parents – Link to website with terminology and language explanations