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St John's CE First School

Curriculum

Please follow the link to read the National Curriculum in full: National Curriculum

Why the big curriculum change?

The main aim is to raise standards. Inspired by what is taught in the world’s most successful school systems, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Finland, as well as in the best UK schools, it’s 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, focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming. It also follows on from similar curriculum changes in Scotland and Wales, which were implemented in 2010 and 2008 respectively and have a similar focus on excellence and core skills.

What are the main changes?

The table below summarises the main changes in the core subjects covered by the National Curriculum.

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 learn number 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 know times tables up to 12x12 (currently 10x10 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

  • Afforded greater importance under 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. 
  • From seven, they will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet
  • Internet safety – will continue to be taught in primary schools

Languages

  • Currently not statutory, a modern foreign language will be mandatory in KS2 (At St John's we will be teaching French to year 3 and 4 children)
  • Children will be expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the language

St John’s CE First School will deliver a broad and balanced curriculum in a welcoming, stimulating and secure environment. A variety of teaching and learning styles and strategies are used to provide opportunities for all children to learn and achieve, and to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

Importance is placed on both academic and social skills to encourage children to become active learners and responsible members of the community. Children will have opportunities to participate in individual, group and whole class activities with an emphasis on the learning being interesting, meaningful and relevant to the child. This is enhanced through both practical experiences and educational visits.

The curriculum is well resourced and supported by visitors to the school. One of our most valued resources is the time given by parents to support children’s learning, both in school and at home.

Classteachers provide a detailed Curriculum booklet for each topic during the year and details of these can be found on the class pages.

Long term curriculum maps are published below. If you would like further details about our curriculum please contact us.

 

 

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