Friday, 25 July 2014

Curriculum changes in England's schools in 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron says this "revolution in education" is vital for the country's economic prosperity.
 
In September 2014 the  school curriculum in England is going to change. For most school children, these changes will take effect from September 2014, except learners in Years 2 and 6 will continue the  existing curriculum  of study until September 2015 in English, maths and science. The main aim is to raise standards of teaching and learning provisions. It is  major concern that  the English  education  is slipping down in the tables of international education league. The new curriculum is designed to produce productive, creative and well educated students.  Although the new curriculum is intended to be more challenging, the content is actually slimmer than the current curriculum. The new curriculum is mainly focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming. In short, the new curriculum focus on excellence and core skills. There is no need that all primary schools follow the new curriculum from 2014. Schools which is classified as academies and free schools  are exempt due to the nature of these schools. Academies and free schools need more flexibility in what they teach.  Academies and free schools  still have to teach a balanced and broadly based curriculum that includes English, maths, science and Religious Education.

*The new-look curriculum puts a stronger emphasis on skills such as "essay writing, problem-solving, mathematical modelling and computer programming".
  • The history curriculum takes primary pupils through British history from the stone age to the Normans. They can also study a later era, such as the Victorians. "Significant individuals" studied include Elizabeth 1st, Neil Armstrong, Rosa Parks and suffragette Emily Davison. Secondary schools will teach British history from 1066 to 1901, followed by Britain, Europe and world events from 1901, including the Holocaust and Winston Churchill. This is a less detailed curriculum than an earlier draft, no longer including Clive of India, Wolfe or a reference to economic changes up to the election of Margaret Thatcher.
  • Maths will expect more at an earlier age. There will be a requirement for pupils to learn their 12 times table by the age of nine. Basic fractions, such as half or a quarter, will be taught to five year olds.
  • English will strengthen the importance of Shakespeare, with pupils between the ages of 11 and 14 expected to have studied two of his plays. Word lists for 8 and 9 year olds include "medicine" and "knowledge", by 10 and 11 they should be spelling "accommodate" and "rhythm".
  • Science will shift towards a stronger sense of hard facts and "scientific knowledge". In primary school, there will be new content on the solar system, speed and evolution. In secondary school, there will be a clearer sense of separate subjects of physics, biology and chemistry. Climate change will also be included.
  • Design and technology is linked to innovation and digital industries. Pupils will learn about 3D printing and robotics.
  • Computing will teach pupils how to write code. Pupils aged five to seven will be expected to "understand what algorithms are" and to "create and debug simple programs". By the age of 11, pupils will have to "design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems".
  Source* : bbc.co.uk/news/education

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