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The New National Curriculum – Your Questions Answered

National curriculum question answered

With a new national curriculum looming, everyone is full of questions and keen to identify sources of help. We’ve pulled together your most common questions in the blog post below and at the end you can find details of Creative Education courses which will help you to implement the new National Curriculum.


When do we have to start teaching it?

Some schools have already started adopting the new national curriculum and you have the freedom to do this.  From September 2014, all maintained primary and secondary schools in England will have to adopt the new curriculum by law.

Some of the changes are being implemented a little more gradually – pupils who start year 2 or year 6 in September 2014 will continue with the old curriculum and will be assessed based on this curriculum in their end of key stage assessments in the summer of 2015.


Does the new curriculum impact on all subjects and all phases?

The curriculum contains the programmes of study and attainment targets for all subjects, at all key stages, except key stage 4 English, mathematics and science, which will follow after a public consultation on the draft programmes of study. English and mathematics will be published by the end of July 2014 for teaching from September 2015. Science will be published by the end of 2014 with first teaching from September 2016.

What will be the impact on assessment measures?

The Department for Education published a response to the primary assessment and accountability consultation in March 2014 – if you have some spare time on your hands, you can read all 24 pages here: Government response to consultation on primary school assessment and accountability.

Key points to note include:

* The new curriculum is more challenging, new assessments will reflect this.

* Progress will be reported as a scaled score at the end of a key stage rather than a level.

* Detailed performance descriptors will be available to teachers to inform the process of assessment at the end of each  key stage. 

* Moderation will be updated with the aim of improving the consistency of teacher assessments.


What formal assessment measures will be in place?

The format of assessments will vary depending on children’s age. The assessments that will be completed for or by each child are:

* The existing statutory two-year-old progress check undertaken in EYFS

* A short reception baseline that will sit within the assessments that teachers make of children during reception

* A phonics check near the end of year 1

* A teacher assessment at the end of key stage 1 in mathematics; reading; and, writing, informed by pupils’ scores in externally-set but internally-marked tests and teacher assessment of speaking and listening and science

* National tests at the end of key stage 2 in mathematics, reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling as well as a  teacher assessment of mathematics, reading, writing, and science


Assessment levels have now been removed and will not be replaced

Schools have the freedom to develop their own means of assessing pupils’ progress towards end of key stage expectations. Where existing systems of assessment are already in place, they can continue to be used as long as they can be adapted to reflect the demands of the new curriculum.


Where can I find out more detail?

The following documents produced by the DfE are a good source of information:

Timelines for schools: mandatory and useful information

New National Curriculum Overview and links to specific subjects / phases

Video interviews on the new national curriculum and how it can be taught in schools

National curriculum and assessment: information for schools

Reforming assessment and accountability for primary schools


What training is available from Creative Education?

Creative Education are running a wide range of courses to help you prepare for and effectively implement the new curriculum. We can also deliver any of these courses, or a bespoke course, at your school – call 0800 881 8185 to discuss your needs.

You can find full details and dates of each of our courses by clicking the links below or calling 0800 881 8185.

Teaching the New Secondary Curriculum in PE with Confidence and Creativity

Teaching the New Secondary Curriculum in Languages with Confidence and Creativity

Outstanding Learning in the New Primary History Curriculum

Outstanding Learning in the New Primary Music Curriculum

Outstanding Learning in the New Primary Physical Education Curriculum

Teaching the New Secondary Curriculum in Art and Design with Confidence and Creativity

Teaching the New Secondary Curriculum in Music with Confidence and Creativity

Teaching the New Secondary Curriculum in D&T with Confidence and Creativity

Teaching the New Secondary Curriculum in Maths with Confidence and Creativity

Outstanding Learning in the New Primary Art Curriculum


What is available online to help resource development and curriculum planning?

In many cases, you’ll need to adapt, rather than rewrite existing lesson plans and schemes of work.  We recently shared some advice you might find helpful about how to breathe new life into an old lesson plan.


You may also find the following useful:

Leading Curriculum Development – a tool from the National College to help you review and develop your curriculum.

National Curriculum Group on TES Connect – a regularly updated area on the TES Connect website dedicated to sharing information, resources and lesson plans about the new curriculum.

The National Centre of Excellence in Teaching Mathematics – have developed resources to help you implement the new curriculum in maths.

The National STEM centre have produced new materials to support the teaching of primary and secondary mathematics, and guidance on the primary and secondary science programmes of study, as well as on practical science.

The English Curriculum Review and Planning Tooldeveloped by the National Literacy Trust

The Computing at School website hosts a range of information and resources to help you deliver the new primary computing curriculum.

DATA have produced guidance and resources for those delivering the new design and technology curriculum.

The Association for Language Learning has resources to support the teaching of languages in key stages 2 and 3.


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