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National Curriculum do all schools have the same lesson topics?

(4 Posts)
sallyfish1 Thu 19-Jan-17 14:06:40

I was wondering if anyone can help me. I am trying to understand how the national curriculum works. As I understand it not all schools in the UK need to follow the national curriculum. How set is the NC for those who do decide to follow it? are there differences in what schools in different local authorities teach in history for example, or do they all follow the same topics? There are loads of local authorities and so I am interested if they can decide to drop certain sections of the curriculum if they decide they don't want to follow it for example.
Also do Wales, Scotland and Ireland also follow the same national curriculum or are there differences there too? Bit of a complicated question for a Thursday afternoon but it seems really unclear to me.

TeenAndTween Thu 19-Jan-17 14:26:19

LA run schools in England have to follow the NC. Academies, Free Schools (I think) and Private schools don't.

I'm not sure these days on flexibility of history and RE topics. There certainly used to be some.

Where a school decides to use random topics to pull through the NC, e.g. 'Pirates' then that is up to the school.

What is the reason behind your question?

BigWeald Thu 19-Jan-17 14:26:28

Do you mean, does the NC prescribe specific topics e.g. all Y2 children should cover 'Kenya' in geography and all Y1 children should cover 'The Battle of Hastings' in history, that kind of stuff? Or more like, all KS1 children must cover two history topics and two geography topics, so schools/LAs cannot choose to drop the subject altogether but they can choose which topics to cover within the subject?

I'm sorry but I don't know. Nor do I know, provided the topics aren't prescribed by the NC, if LAs prescribe topics for all LA maintained schools within their LA (or academy chains for all the schools in their chain).
I do know though, from your questions,
- that the NC is just England,
- that academies and free schools do not have to follow it, but as they have to sit the same SATS they are likely to stick to it anyway, at least in the SATS subjects
- that private schools sometimes do not sit SATS at all, but some do, so it depends
- that the statutory parts of the NC relate to the Key Stage rather than to each specific year. So even if a certain topic (e.g. Kenya for KS1) is statutory, that does not mean that all schools will cover it in the same year. They can choose to do it in Y1 or in Y2.

mrz Thu 19-Jan-17 16:54:16

All state maintained schools must follow the a National Curriculum that isn't the same as having the same lesson topics.

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