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When will Primary National Curriculum/EYFS change again?

(24 Posts)
januaryresolutions Sat 07-Jan-17 17:11:30

Got thinking from another thread, when will the National Curriculum be likely to change again?

From my understanding, the Primary National Curriculum has had a big change to make it harder. I've read a large chunk of children aren't meeting standards. Is it likely to remain as is, or is it something that is likely to alter again soon?

mrz Sat 07-Jan-17 18:02:45

Very much doubt it will change in the next decade

januaryresolutions Sat 07-Jan-17 18:12:22

Oh! I'd hoped it may be a blip! How will the government/schools cope with so many children not meeting standards? Looking as a parent it seems too hard, certainly at years one and two.

januaryresolutions Sat 07-Jan-17 18:31:35

Is it supposed to be a syllabus being taught or are the children expected to be able to do it? For example, a five year old being able to spell the days of the week correctly?!

mrz Sat 07-Jan-17 18:38:49

They'll academise any school failing to meet thresholds and that will magically solve the problem smile

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sat 07-Jan-17 19:54:25

The irony that one of the local schools changed to an academy and has now got freefalling exam results isn't lost on me.

mrz Sat 07-Jan-17 20:16:18

and academy chains won't touch "difficult" schools with a barge pole hmm

januaryresolutions Sat 07-Jan-17 20:55:52

I don't understand about academies. Do you mean the National Curriculum is actually pitched OK?

Pud2 Sat 07-Jan-17 21:03:52

They will steadily lower the benchmark for expected and engineer progress over the next few years.

Feenie Sun 08-Jan-17 00:59:43

It will change when there is a change in government and another Education Secretary fancies making a name for his/herself by stamping their authority on it and probably refusing to listen to any expert advice at all, a la Gove. That's how much we are at the mercy of politicians.

rollonthesummer Sun 08-Jan-17 01:13:28

I don't understand about academies. Do you mean the National Curriculum is actually pitched OK?

No, it's not.

What do you know about the national curriculum?

Feenie Sun 08-Jan-17 01:40:12

Last year,at the NAHT conference, Nicky Morgan promised headteachers that only a very small percentage of schools would end up below floor standard. She couldn't have known that - the children hadn't even sat the test. She didn't seem to understand that she was admitting to fixing the statistics before they'd even sat the test.

januaryresolutions Sun 08-Jan-17 09:03:02

Rollonthesummer, I've read it as a parent, and it seems far too hard to me.

I have an August born boy, who can start this September or in 2018 if I delay him. I would rather send him this September if he could take his time learning and carry on playing appropriately.

But, Because of the National Curriculum, his freer Reception play exists only until he is four. He will be taught, and expected to to write, read, have decent grammar, maths and complete Year one aged five, sitting for extended periods. Unless he's extremely advanced, he won't be able to do it, or want to. It seems a waste of his and teachers efforts.

At best, most of it will go over his head and l"ll try to help him catch up when he's ready. At worst, he'll be bored, frustrated put off learning, maybe feel what the teacher says and group activities don't really apply to him. He'll also be missing out on development appropriate to a five year old. By which I mean largely playing.

It occurred to me, maybe it will change and I needn't worry about it, but it seems it's here to stay!

mrz Sun 08-Jan-17 11:18:37

*"*^*his freer Reception play exists only until he is four. He will be taught, and expected to to write, read,*^*"* in a play based setting
"^*Unless he's extremely advanced, he won't be able to do it, or want to.*^*"* Speaking as mother of two summer borns and someone who taught reception for many years you don't need to be advanced to do well in reception and surprisingly very few children aren't motivated to want to learn.

BigWeald Sun 08-Jan-17 14:04:24

Mrz I think OP isn't referring to reception. OP is talking about the NC and 5 year olds (her DC won't turn 5 in reception). OP talks about 'freer Reception play' existing until he is four (inclusive, presumably), so up to and inclusive of reception.

Reception at just-turned-four is tough. So say the stats. Only roughly half of summer born children achieve 'good' learning outcomes in reception, and little more than half of all boys, leading me to estimate that only about a third of summer-born boys achieve good learning outcomes - and that's including April born boys who are 5 months older than August born DC. Also summer born children, particularly boys, are more likely to be diagnosed with SEN.
So are summer-born boys just 'not up to scratch', are they indeed more likely to suffer from SEN? Or are the expectations for them wrong? If only about a third can 'pass' and meet the expectations?
IMO the expectations are set wrong. No, you don't have to be a genius, terribly advanced to meet the EYFS goals, even as a summer born boy. But being 'average' won't be enough. You DO have to be more advanced than the average.

Nevertheless, learning through play as it is done in any decent reception class is probably age/developmental stage appropriate for 4 year olds (just as it is for their 5 year old class mates). Just the expectations for outcomes are a bit wonky. But as no-one will look at their EYFS outcomes when considering a job/uni application, you could argue that it doesn't really matter very much if they achieve a 'good learning outcome' at this stage.

The REAL problem (and what OP presumably is referring to) is starting Y1 at just-turned-five. At finishing Y1 at still-five.
Yes, my just-turned-five year old boy was taught how to spell the days of the week. And no, it wasn't learning through play. It involved sitting still, sitting at tables, for the largest parts of his school days. And no, I do not think this is developmentally appropriate, just as it wouldn't have been for his classmates who are a year older than him, when they were in reception. And yes, having him spend the majority of his waking hours at school, doing desk-based work, at age 5, did cheat him out of the opportunity for age-appropriate activities i.e. playing, running, climbing, ... these should have been the largest majority of his days, rather than confined to short breaks and the limited after-school time.

Now as it happens, my August born boy (in Y2 now) hasn't had a problem with this. Academically he is doing fine, better than fine in fact. He can sit still and he has learned to spell the days of the week, with no tears or struggles involved. But he hates school and I can't blame him. The only thing he likes about school is break time. And I'm convinced he would have learned more, academically, if he had been at home when he was four, and if he would have had the opportunity to learn in a play-based way when he was five. (As most of his classmates did)

My daughter has an April birthday. If these new rules about leaving parents the choice about deferring reception entry for a year for summer borns come into effect in time, I will be 'holding her back' (unless her development speeds up massively in the next years), because as you say OP, anything else would be a waste of the teacher's time and cheating her of developmentally appropriate activities.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Sun 08-Jan-17 14:10:55

Don't forget, the NC isn't compulsory in academies. So if the plan to move all schools to academy status is successful, the NC won't be revisited until a change in political ideology forces the issue. If most schools become academies then the government won't change the NC because it will be an incentive for those remaining maintained schools to convert if they are able to break free of the NC.

mrz Sun 08-Jan-17 14:19:12

*"*^*I have an August born boy, who can start this September or in 2018 if I delay him.*^ ^*I would rather send him this September if he could take his time learning and carry on playing appropriately. *^
But, Because of the National Curriculum, his freer Reception play exists only until he is four.*^*"*

I may be misreading this but it seems to me the OP is talking about reception

OddBoots Sun 08-Jan-17 14:39:00

I am concerned that there will be a change to the EYFS soon, the expectations at KS1 (and beyond) have been raised so much that many children are struggling to meet them. It wouldn't surprise me if the government decided that children not meeting the expectations they have set is a reflection on early education rather than excepting that expectations are unreasonable.

januaryresolutions Sun 08-Jan-17 15:27:12

Yes, I can see Reception being ok, it looks more fluid with the EYFS. I was referring to Year One Nat Curriculum looking so hard. How do they fare then from your experience?

januaryresolutions Sun 08-Jan-17 17:14:30

Sorry, I missed some posts. Bigweald, you sum up my concerns. Could I ask, did your son keep up academically from the start of reception?

admission Sun 08-Jan-17 21:14:18

What seems to be being forgotten is that whether you follow the national curriculum or not, the KS2 test which has to be taken will be based on the national Curriculum (or is supposed to be!)
That will always mean that schools will be trying to teach to the National Curriculum. If schools are saying that a pupil is making expected progress then that has got to be against the national curriculum expectations or it is a meaningless comment.

mrz Sun 08-Jan-17 21:50:14

It's also important to remember that expectations only relate to the end of each key stage. In other year groups children are working towards these expectations

anotheryearcomesandgoes Mon 09-Jan-17 07:57:10

The EYFS statutory framework is currently being reviewed/updated but that is likely to be around the compliance aspects. Much of the EYFS is good practice guidance and not statutory. Academies and free schools have to comply with the EYFS statutory guidance.

Whilst academies do not have to follow the NC they are still subject to the accountability measures (SATS) age 7 and 11 and so in practice they do have to follow in in English, mathematics and science. All the curriculum must be brand and balanced which Ofsted seem to interpret as NC or a curriculum including those subjects .

BigWeald Mon 09-Jan-17 10:15:21

januaryresolutions, yes in the 'academic' parts (which are the least important in EYFS) he was fine/ahead, right from the start. As in, he was able to read at a level 'expected' for end of reception, and his maths was at a Y1, sometimes Y2 level. 'Understanding of the world' was great too. His writing was average, he didn't have the hand muscles to write much (never into drawing). So whilst not exceptional (there's a huge range of 'normal' within reception), he was definitely an early developer, regarding 'academic' stuff. Which was great insofar as it enabled him to really focus on the other, arguably more important things that they learn in reception, without us having to be concerned about his academic progress, or him getting any feeling of not keeping up.
Also he's the kind of child who fits well into school. He is keen / anxious to please, and likes being told/shown what to do. Precise instructions are his thing, they lessen his anxiety and give him a sense of control. Meaning that once he figured out the 'unwritten' rules of school, his behaviour has been impeccable. Which is obviously conducive to learning. E.g. when the teacher says to get their science books, go to the last page, and start writing a list of different kinds of animals, that's exactly what he does. So he'll be busy working while other children are still milling around, half-heartedly looking for their books. Also he is confident and talkative which makes him easy to 'assess'.

DD however is very different. On the one hand, I judge her to be developmentally far behind where DS was at the same age, so that I think (if things remain as they are) that even being 5 months older when starting school/starting Y1 than he was, she'll be way behind where he was, developmentally. I can see her not getting phonics at all in reception and really really struggling in Y1. On the other hand she very much 'does her own thing' and is extremely resistant to any adult guidance. I can imagine her being a very difficult child to handle at school. And she doesn't talk to people, so even when she does understand something, it's hard to tell.
There is still some time until she is due to start school, so things may well change. But if they don't, I can imagine her, at 4.5, remaining in a high quality nursery school setting being preferable over her going into reception (better child : adult quotas, no pressure to get the children 'ready' for Y1), and going into reception at 5.5, rather than into Y1, allowing her developmentally appropriate play based learning. So if we have the choice, I will definitely consider this.

Just to add, I don't think of DS as the clever one, DD as not so clever. They're just different, with DS fitting a lot better into school requirements. In the long term I think DD might be better placed to 'succeed' than DS. She is self-driven, and by figuring things out herself (rather than being shown) she gains a deep, unmediated understanding. Just very slowly. DS on the other hand waits to be told what to do, and though his great memory makes learning easy and fast, I sometimes feel he 'knows' things without properly 'understanding' them. He is definitely set to easily succeed at school, but I'm not so sure about 'succeeding at life'.

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