Introducing the New National Curriculum – Information for Parents
Introducing the New National Curriculum:
From September 2014, the Government introduced a new statutory national curriculum for all grant maintained schools. The new National Curriculum provides schools with programmes of study which set out end of year expectations for each year group, in the core subjects - English, Mathematics and Science and end of key stage expectations in the Foundation subjects. At Haydonleigh School, we have worked hard to develop the statutory National Curriculum into a school curriculum that meets the needs and ethos of our school.
Aims of the New National Curriculum:
The main aim is to raise standards. The current government recently reviewed the previous curriculum and felt that it did not contain sufficient levels of challenge and that higher expectations should be placed on children from their early stages of education. The Government believes that the new National Curriculum has been designed to produce productive, creative and well-educated students prepared for a life in modern Britain.
The key focus of these reforms is to provide schools with greater opportunity to:
- Develop their own school’s curriculum relevant to their children, that includes the new National Curriculum
- Develop their own on-going internal assessment system that enables the school to check what children have learned and whether they are on track to meet age-related expectations at the end of the key stages, and to report this to parents. (This is because there is no longer a prescribed national system for school’s on-going assessment.)
How Schools are expected to implement this:
Schools are free to choose how they organise their school day, as long as the content of the National Curriculum programmes of study is taught to all children. By the end of each key stage, children are expected to know and understand, reason and apply
and understand the content specified in the relevant programmes of study.
The new National Curriculum identifies what to teach, but not how to teach. It is essential to distinguish between the statutory National Curriculum and the whole school curriculum. All schools must provide a curriculum that is broad, balanced and meets the needs of all children.
The New Curriculum at Our School:
At Haydonleigh School, we have fully embraced the changes to the National Curriculum. We have been preparing for its implementation over the previous academic year, have received training and we have worked together in meetings to ensure that we have a full and clear understanding of the requirements from September 2014 and onwards.
We have designed our new school curriculum with enthusiasm and pride. We aim to ensure that our children have the best opportunities to meet the requirements of the new National Curriculum through engaging and exciting themes and by maintaining high expectations and levels of challenge for all of our amazing children. The school curriculum is broad and balanced and we are dedicated to ensure that all our children are able to maximise their true potential during their valuable time at Haydonleigh.
Assessment & Reporting to Parents:
EYFS2 Children (Early Years children)
In 2015, children will be assessed throughout the year by the teachers using the Foundation Profile. Teachers observe the children and how they play and learn. They then make a judgment at the end of the year whether children are emerging towards the profile, have reached the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) or have exceeded the profile. The profile covers seven areas of learning but includes early reading, writing and number skills. In Sept 2015 a new baseline test, Early Excellence, will be introduced at the start of EYFS with an end-of-year report to parents.
Year 1 Children
In June, children do a phonics screening check. They do this on a one to one basis with their class teacher using nationally published phonics screening materials. Parents will be informed whether their child met the expected standard. If the child doesn’t pass the screening check they will repeat it in Year 2.
Year 2 Children
Children in Year 2 are assessed by their teachers in reading, writing and maths. The teachers make the assessment judgments based on the pupil’s work and also will in the Summer Term give the children a national SATs paper to further inform their judgment. The levels achieved will be reported to parent. However, the KS1 SATs are changing to scaled score after July 15. A new spelling, grammar and punctuation test is also being introduced.
Year 6 Children
In May every year, all year 6 children take SATs. These are national exams taken by all Year 6 children across the country. They are administered by the school and sent off to be marked by external markers. Results come back to the school in mid-July. Exams are taken in reading, maths, spelling grammar and punctuation. Writing is not an examination but a level given based on the writing children have produced over Year 6 in all of their work. Moderators from outside school do check the writing levels given. In 2015 children will get results in National Curriculum Levels, after July 2015 the marks will be given as a scaled score.
- Please note-The national curriculum tests and teacher assessment at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 will be reported in levels for the last time in summer 2015, as children in Year 2 and Year 6 that year will not have been taught the new national curriculum.
"As part of our reforms to the National Curriculum, the current system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress will be removed from September 2014 and will not be replaced. By removing levels we will allow teachers greater flexibility in the way that they plan and assess pupils’ learning." [Department for Education, 2014]
Currently as we are in a transition period, we are reviewing our recording and reporting of our on-going assessment system. This is because the system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress (e.g. 2a, 3c etc.) has been removed and will not be replaced. This will allow teachers greater flexibility in the way that they plan and assess children’s learning.
The government states that new assessment systems need to be guided by these principles:
- Help drive improvement for children and teachers.
- Give reliable information to parents about how their child, and their child’s school, is performing.
- Make sure the school is keeping up with external best practice and innovation.
Therefore our school’s curriculum must now include a new assessment system which enables us to check what children have learned and whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of their key stage and to report this annually to parents.
At Haydonleigh, we will be developing assessment focused on the two distinct types of assessment used by schools to assess a child’s learning. These are:
Assessment for Learning- these are the daily and on-going assessment strategies used to help to identify the next steps for a child to make progress in their daily learning and for future learning, e.g. next steps marking in books, conferencing, observations, key questioning of a child’s understanding. (Formative assessment)
Assessment of Learning- this is more associated with judgements based on a child’s overall learning performance or attainment at the end of a unit of learning, e.g. tests, grades. (Summative assessment)
For all future annual reports and Parent Evenings, we will no longer be reporting what level your child is at but will instead let parents and carers know if your child is making progress towards the new age related expectations and if they are on track to meeting them. We will also discuss what they need to do in order to make further progress.
In annual reports, we will be using the following statements to assess and report each child's progress against age-related expectations:
- Using the new curriculum objectives, your child is currently working below the age related expectations.
- Using the new curriculum objectives, your child is currently working at the age related expectations.
- Using the new curriculum objectives, your child is working at the age related expectations and has been working at a deeper level of understanding and application.
More Able Children
- For children who have securely met the end of year objectives they will be assessed as enriching the objectives for their age group. Rather than moving onto the next year’s curriculum these children will work on ‘mastering’ their knowledge through the application and reasoning of skills in different contexts – they will be deepening and enriching their learning.
Please note that the new age related expectations set out in the National Curriculum are more challenging and children are required to demonstrate greater knowledge and understanding at an earlier age. Some aspects of the new curriculum are more challenging and it may appear as if some children are working below what is expected for their age this year, despite making good progress. We expect that as the new curriculum becomes established children will be able to meet or exceed age related expectations.
We plan to hold workshops on the new Curriculum and assessment system in the Autumn term, helping you to gain a better understanding of the curriculum your child is being taught and how we measure their progress and attainment.
For further information on the children’s learning and the overviews of our new school curriculum, please take a look on our school website.