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Will the new National Curriculum, in effect, prohibit teaching from the next key stage and if so ...

(45 Posts)
diamondage Fri 28-Nov-14 08:33:47

do you think that is good or bad (or irrelevant)?

In the performance indicators (and in the Ofsted advice) it states:

The performance descriptors do not include any aspects of performance from the programme of study for the following key stage. Any pupils considered to have attained the ‘Mastery standard’ are expected to explore the curriculum in greater depth and build on the breadth of their knowledge and skills within that key stage.

As far as I'm aware the National Curriculum does not expressly prohibit teaching from above a child's current KS. However will the focus outlined above, along with the raising of the bar, drive schools to ensure as many pupils as possible achieve National, Above National, and Mastery standards effectively ending the teaching of KS2 and 3 topics to children before they reach that KS?

Is my question moot because so much has been drawn down from the next KSs Mastery effectively means L3 at KS1 and L5 at KS2?

Or will even more parents put their children through tutoring for the 11+ because being taught L5 / L6 content fades out all together (am I right that L5 and L6 still exist in KS3)?

How about natural mathematicians in KS1, will they just be given different problems to solve using only the methods and numbers "allowed" in KS1?

ReallyTired Fri 28-Nov-14 09:59:45

"How about natural mathematicians in KS1, will they just be given different problems to solve using only the methods and numbers "allowed" in KS1?"

I imagine that they would be given lots of word problems to solve. The website
nich has lots of problems for really bright key stage 1 mathematicans

nrich.maths.org/1087

The above problem does not require high level mathematical knowledge. It does get children to think.

I am in favour of more breadth in the national curriculum rather than acceleration.

redskybynight Fri 28-Nov-14 12:38:16

We had a big problem with this with DD (naturally good at maths). In fairness the school have risen to the challenge.

The sort of scenario we have is that the class is taught a new concept. DD grasps it after the 1st lesson. However there are then 3 other consolidation lessons to give the rest of the class time to get it. While this goes on, DD is given access to problem solving type questions as ReallyTired suggests.

For example - her class has just been taught various methods for addition and subtraction. While the rest of the class carried on working out 253+371 or similar, DD will get a problem along the lines of "If a farmer collects 135 apples on Monday, 456 on Tuesday and a thief steal 257 on Wednesday, how many apples will he have?

She is also given small group booster type classes where they look at the same concept in different ways

e.g. if you know 123+456=579 can you also deduce that 579-123=456.

I am tentatively happy about what is happening, though I do wonder what will happen in secondary school (where they must be used to the good mathematicians coming in with higher level skills).

sunnyfrostyday Fri 28-Nov-14 17:06:16

I am interested in this, both as parent with a year 6 child following the old curriculum and a year 3 on the new one, and as a school governor.

My limited understanding is that Master level will be more than a current level 6, and that it will be similar to the emerging level above.

I am also keen on widening knowledge, as education is not a race. I do get the point about 11 plus etc, though.

mrz Fri 28-Nov-14 18:29:56

The new National Curriculum does prohibit teaching from the next key stage

mrz Fri 28-Nov-14 18:57:24

Sorry that should read the new NC does NOT prohibit teaching from other KEY Stages

sunnyfrostyday Fri 28-Nov-14 19:00:37

mrz - what I am wondering is, what if you have a bright child in maths who does pick stuff up quickly? Will they only get to certain subjects at the Christmas of Year 6?

DS1, for example, covered the level 5 curriculum in Year 4, did it again in Year 5 at a greater depth, and was scoring 97/98 % consistently on level 3-5 papers at end year 5.

The secondary school entrance papers were fine because he had the knowledge.

Is this still possible under the new curriculum?

mrz Fri 28-Nov-14 19:10:42

There is nothing in the curriculum to prevent schools teaching from the next stage except the school itself. The NC sets out a minimum entitlement not a limit

MyFirstName Sat 29-Nov-14 00:24:10

mrz can you explain that a bit please - a new-to-the-role School Governor and I have been repeatedly told that the new NC means that they cannot teach beyond the year group curriculum stages - they can teach it in more depth but not go onto the next year-group topics/subjects/spellings/maths stuff. Are the head/teacher under a mis-apprehension about this do-not-teach-beyond-the-year then? Very interested to find out.

mrz Sat 29-Nov-14 06:02:55

There is no statutory barrier to teaching a child in Y1 the Y6 curriculum if that is where they are working.

Of course the new curriculum is fairly narrow (setting out a minimum entitlement) and I would hope most schools will provide a wider experience while recognising individual needs.

Littleturkish Sat 29-Nov-14 06:30:38

How does this work with secondary schools offering AS levels to KS3/4 students?

diamondage Sat 29-Nov-14 12:39:26

There is nothing in the curriculum to prevent schools teaching from the next stage except the school itself.

Yes, I should have worded my title differently, mrz. However I did state that as far as I was aware their was nothing in the new National Curriculum to prohibit teaching beyond the current key stage. I then highlighted the quite explicit guidance from the draft performance descriptors, which is quite unequivocal:

Any pupils considered to have attained the ‘Mastery standard’ are expected to explore the curriculum in greater depth and build on the breadth of their knowledge and skills within that key stage.

Therefore to say that there is nothing in the curriculum is, in my view, semantics. Why would schools ignore this steer coming from the draft performance descriptors unless it is removed? And when this document is no longer draft, will it become statutory?

I can also add the quotes from Ofsted's note to inspectors, which states on two separate occasions:

that more able pupils do work that deepens their knowledge and understanding and

deepen the knowledge and understanding of the most able

So that will be Ofsted's focus for the most able.

MyFirstName's school has already made the decision that seemed likely given the steer from the draft performance descriptors and Ofsted's note to inspectors.

I am still not sure how much of a problem this will be for able pupils, those wishing to try for grammar schools etc.. Is it true, as sunnyfrostyday contends, that Mastery at the end of KS2 is equivalent to emerging level 7?

mrz Sat 29-Nov-14 12:47:21

The performance descriptors are an end of key stage assessment "description"

mrz Sat 29-Nov-14 12:53:26

Any pupils considered to have attained the ‘Mastery standard’ are expected to explore the curriculum in greater depth and build on the breadth of their knowledge and skills within that key stage. but where does it say they can't also explore the next key stage?

redskybynight Sat 29-Nov-14 16:32:20

My DC's school is following the guidance in the new curriculum that says (and I quote) "the expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace". This means that they will stretch a child "sideways" if they grasp a concept quickly, but does seem to preclude moving onto higher stages.

diamondage Sat 29-Nov-14 17:11:44

mrz the bit that says "within that key stage" makes it seems straightforward and I don't think I'll be the only one to read it that way.

After all why bother adding "within that key stage" if you want to encourage progression onto the next key stage once Mastery is achieved.

They could have ended that sentence with "before progressing onto the next key stage". That would give an equally clear but quite different steer to "within that keystage".

Admiraltea Sat 29-Nov-14 17:26:37

Last week info on end of ks2 is that maths will only have one judgement level at the end of ks2 following external tests. The children will have passed or failed.

mrz Sat 29-Nov-14 17:34:45

As I said the curriculum sets out the minimum requirement so it makes sense to provide wider experience within the expected range but that doesn't preclude teaching objectives from the next KS.

RafaIsTheKingofClay Sat 29-Nov-14 18:29:09

But it doesn't have to be 'before progressing onto the next stage' does it? Surely it an be 'as well as progressing onto the next stage'. You can stretch out as well as up they aren't mutually exclusive.

The new curriculum document use to have a paragraph about stretching able pupils by using stuff from the next key stage. Have they removed that?

mrz Sat 29-Nov-14 18:35:14

No it doesn't

AmberTheCat Sat 29-Nov-14 21:07:56

I think there is a very strong steer in the new NC, the draft performance descriptors and all the rhetoric around them that the govt wants schools to focus on fewer things in greater depth, to ensure concepts are fully embedded before moving children on, and to keep the class together as much as possible. So while I don't think it expressly forbids teaching content from the next key stage, I think the implication is that this should only be done rarely.

I don't think there's any danger of this meaning kids are less prepared for the 11+, or to do well at secondary. Some of the Y6 content, particularly in maths, is very hard. The head at the school where I'm a governor, who teach maths to a very high level, doesn't think she'll have any problem stretching the brightest kids in the new curriculum.

PiqueABoo Sat 29-Nov-14 22:03:16

DD is in Y7 so this isn't my problem (hurrah!), but it's an interesting question and I think it's also worth throwing in the assessment. I'm unsure where we are with it now, but the draft test spec. said:

"at the extremes of the scaled score distribution, as is standard practice, the scores will be truncated such that above and below a certain point, all children will be awarded the same scaled score in order to minimise the effect for children at the ends of the distribution where the test is not measuring optimally."

JustRichmal Sun 30-Nov-14 08:02:30

Any pupils considered to have attained the ‘Mastery standard’ are expected to explore the curriculum in greater depth and build on the breadth of their knowledge and skills within that key stage.

In many schools this will mean the more able students being left by themselves with a worksheet or nrich problem in front of them while the teacher gets on teaching the rest of the class. It is carte blanche to not bother teaching the more able.

mrz Sun 30-Nov-14 09:03:45

Even if schools do as you say they will still be teaching children to a standard that was previously expected of most 14 year olds.

JustRichmal Sun 30-Nov-14 09:18:12

I don't follow. Surely 14 year olds will be doing things like having quadratic equations explained to them? An able 10 year old will be being given problems to get on with by themselves.

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