Close

December 18, 2015

Changes to the National Curriculum

Changes to the National Curriculum and assessments explained

In an attempt to improve the standard of education within the UK, the government have redesigned the National Curriculum and the way in which students are assessed. It is hoped that by doing so, the UK’s current PISA ranking will improve and that students will be better equipped to succeed at Higher Education.

Changes to the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 for English Maths and Science

The National Curriculum has been streamlined in order to facilitate an in-depth focus on core subject knowledge in addition to more generic skills which can be applied across multiple disciplines.

English will focus on the development of:

  • Grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary
  • Hand writing
  • Spoken English within the context of debating and presenting

Maths will focus on the development of:

  • An understanding of the number system
  • Fractions and the ability to convert into decimals
  • Mental arithmetic by prohibiting the use of calculators

Science will focus on the development of:

  • Scientific knowledge and the use of appropriate language
  • An understanding of the Theory of Evolution
  • Core scientific topics

Changes to Assessment for Key Stages 1 and 2 for English Maths and Science

One of the main changes is the abolishment of the old levels based assessment. Schools are now required to establish their own set of objectives and methods of assessment. Since the government has removed levels as a indicator of a student’s attainment level, it is assumed that most schools will adopt grading terminology such as “working at, below or above expected” to define a students progress to date.

However, in addition to the continuous in-house teacher assessments, National Assessments at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 will also take place in years 2 and 6 respectively. For these National Assessments, students will receive a Scaled Score instead of a level which will be informed by the number of marks they achieve in the exam. This grading system is to allow for a more accurate comparisons year on year.

Changes to the National Curriculum for Key Stages 3 and 4 for English Maths and Science

The aims of the National Curriculum at this stage of a student’s education, are summarised below and build upon what has already been established in Key Stages 1 and 2.

English will focus on the further development of:

  • Grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary
  • The ability to read widely and write effectively
  • Spoken English and the ability to speak confidently to a variety of audiences

Maths will focus on the further development of:

  • The fundamentals of mathematics and the number system
  • The ability to reason mathematically
  • Practically applying mathematics to problem solving tasks

Science will focus on the further development of:

  • Scientific knowledge and the use of appropriate language
  • The ability to use science to answer scientific questions
  • An understanding of the uses and implications of science

Changes to Assessment for Key Stages 3 and 4 for English Maths and Science

The assessment which takes place at this level has migrated from being modular in nature, to linear. This shift has required the removal of accumulative assessment such as coursework, meaning students will be graded by examinations only. The results of these examinations will no longer reflect the previous grading system which awarded an alphabetical grade of A* – G, but rather a new grading system which will award students with a numerical grade of 9 – 1 respectively.

Further information about the changes to the National Curriculum an assessment methods can be found in greater detail for English, Maths, Science (and other subjects not here mentioned) at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4

How Integrity Tuition Services can help

Our centre is staffed with qualified teachers who help parents and their children to navigate through and become familiar with all the recent changes to the National Curriculum and the new methods of assessment. They identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses in English, Maths and Science and establish what support is needed to help them achieve their academic potential. Our staff work with each child to ensure success.

Leave a Reply