Summary

What is the National Curriculum?

The National Curriculum covers learning for all children aged 5-16 in state schools in England, and sets out:

  • which subjects should be taught
  • the knowledge, skills and understanding your child should achieve in each subject (according to your child's age)
  • targets - so teachers can measure how well your child is doing in each subject
  • how information on your child's progress should be passed on to you

Teachers in English state schools have to use the National Curriculum as a guide or framework, to make sure that they cover important subjects and that they have covered all the essential areas in their lessons. Independent schools are not obliged to follow this curriculum but many of them do, either completely or in part.

Primary schools

The primary curriculum covers the broad areas of what children must learn at different stages at primary school. Children have to learn core knowledge and skills and explore a wide range of topics, to prepare them to move up to secondary school.

The primary curriculum covers school Years 1-6. This is broken up into two parts: Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Key Stage 1 covers Years 1 and 2, and ages 4 or 5 to 7. Key Stage 2 covers Years 3-6, or ages 8 to 11.

The Key Stage 1 curriculum

* denotes a non-statutory programme of study
** denotes a statutory subject with a non-statutory programme of study

Art and Design
Citizenship *
Design and Technology
English
Geography
History
ICT
Mathematics
Music
Physical Education
Science
Personal, Social and Health Education *
Religious Education **

The Key stage 2 curriculum

* denotes a non-statutory programme of study
** denotes a statutory subject with a non-statutory programme of study

Art and Design
Citizenship *
Design and Technology
English
Geography
History
ICT
Mathematics
Modern Foreign Languages *
Music
Physical Education
Science
Personal, Social and Health Education *
Religious Education **

Parents have the right to withdraw children for all or part of the Religious Education curriculum. In addition, a school may cover these subjects under different names, and may teach more than one subject together under the same name. This is left up to individual schools, as long as they are covering the National Curriculum.

Assessments

During Key Stages 1-2, progress in most National Curriculum subjects is assessed against eight levels. At the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 the school will send you a report telling you what level your child is working at.

At Key Stage 1 the level will be based on the teacher's assessment, taking into account your child's performance in several tasks and tests.

At Key Stage 2 the level will reflect the teacher's assessment and your child's national test results.

The importance of speaking and listening

This part of the curriculum is likely to concern you the most when your child stammers. It is very important that he has the confidence to take part in oral work, even though he may be stammering.

The English curriculum places great emphasis on speaking and listening but nowadays all other subjects do require the pupils to contribute to discussions and other oral tasks such as reading aloud. In some subjects, such as Modern Languages and Science, there will be specialist vocabulary to learn and pronounce.

When your child stammers

Your child can fully participate in these lessons as long as his speech is supported and he has the confidence to contribute. Teachers need to know how to give this support; advice from a speech and language therapist, who visits the school and works in partnership with the teacher or assistant to demonstrate effective strategies, is immensely valuable, together with information for teachers from BSA:Education-Oral Tasks.


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