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national curriculum - is it what they cover or what kids should be able to do/know?

(20 Posts)
dairymilkmonster Mon 19-Jun-17 11:17:38

This is probably a stupid question, but I haven't been able to find the answer easily!
The national curriculum sets out what has to be taught, but that is different to a child actually knowing it! Is it written with the expectation most children will be able to do everything on it by hte end of the relevant year?
ds is just finishing year 1. He appears to be fairly normal/average, certainly not especially good at anything particular yet and his writing ability seems a bit slow. School say this is fine motor skills related, and not to worry.
eg. Looking on the national curric for maths, it says the should tell the time to the quarter hour. I know they did time in reception and this year, but he is still absolutely hopeless! Similar with sharing things out for division or doing any mental maths.
I guess what my real question is is that if he can't do the national curric stuff a the end of the year, does this mean he isn't 'average'/normal or whatever?
I started looking into this as school have asked us to work on our childrens weak areas over the summer. Problem is I seem to be finding quite a few if we need to make sure he is up to speed with the whole curriculum. Thankfully his reading and comprehension are good, so that is a small blessing.
Thank you in advance for any wisdom!

irvineoneohone Mon 19-Jun-17 11:56:49

For fine motor skills, doing some fun things to develop them does work and worth doing it. Mrz has extensive list for those, and if you search "fine motor skills", plenty of threads comes up.

Telling time and sharing(division) can easily be incorporated into daily life. Ask him to tell the time regularly, and encourage to share sweets/ any object between children/ you and him/etc.
For maths, lots of things can be done easily without being formal.
Using abacus is great for place value, cutting something in 1/2, 1/3/ 1/4 is good visual for fraction, lego pieces are great for general calculation (especially times) etc.

MaryTheCanary Mon 19-Jun-17 13:01:11

I find the national curriculum of the UK is very vague. I live overseas and follow the UK edition of the Core Knowledge series (What Your Year 1 (2, 3, etc.) Child Needs To Know). I like it very much, except that the history is a bit overstuffed/overambitious. I particularly like that everything is contained in a single book as it's a kind of one-stop shopping trip.

For maths, I suggest getting the Singapore Math workbooks or something similar and just doing a page every day. Oh yes, abacuses are fantastic! Don't know what I would do without mine.

Don't worry if he is still really foggy on telling the time. It's quite normal and it is actually very hard to do. They do just need a lot of practice. Do you have a big analog clock in your house positioned somewhere where it is easy for your child to see? If not, get one, and just keep practicing by asking him the time and helping him to work it out.

Here's one to try that I took from the Core Knowledge book: any time they ask for something like a snack, say "You can have it when it is quarter past three" (if that's nearly the time), and then work out together what the hands will look like at quarter past three, and get him to come and tell you when it's the right time.

thebookeatinggirl Mon 19-Jun-17 13:22:38

The curriculum objectives for each year group are now what they must know/be able to do.

In the old curriculum it was a 'best fit' judgement that teachers made, but now you need to be able to tick off every single objective to say that a child is 'secure' or working at 'age-related expections' in that subject area.

If one objective isn't ticked, let's say telling the time to quarter of an hour, then the overall judgement for the child's Y1 attainment is 'developing', or not yet secure in the Y1 maths curriculum.

Go figure.

dairymilkmonster Mon 19-Jun-17 13:23:55

I have copied that list of fine motor skills - we have been trying but there never seems to be that much time (when ds is not tired, I'm not at work etc) to do all these things.

mrz Mon 19-Jun-17 17:54:03

Year 1 is telling the time to the hour and half hour
Multiplication and division is solving questions involving small numbers using concrete objects (I have 8 smarties and 4 cakes how many on each cake? Type)

Ferguson2 Mon 19-Jun-17 20:44:40

This is my standard advise for Maths:

Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.

ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other
then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :

dairymilkmonster Mon 19-Jun-17 20:50:13

brilliant advice, thank you

mrz Mon 19-Jun-17 20:53:25

Ma1/2.1    Number & Place Value
Ma1/2.1a    count to and across 100, forwards and backwards, beginning with 0 or 1, or from any given number

Ma1/2.1b    count, read and write numbers to 100 in numerals; count in multiples of 2s, 5s and 10s

Ma1/2.1c    given a number, identify 1 more and 1 less

Ma1/2.1d    identify and represent numbers using objects and pictorial representations including the number line, and use the language of: equal to, more than, less than (fewer), most, least

Ma1/2.1e    read and write numbers from 1 to 20 in numerals and words.

Ma1/2.2    Addition & Subtraction
Ma1/2.2a    read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (-) and equals (=) signs

Ma1/2.2b    represent and use number bonds and related subtraction facts within 20

Ma1/2.2c    add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including 0

Ma1/2.2d    solve one-step problems that involve addition and subtraction, using concrete objects and pictorial representations, and missing number problems such as 7 = ? - 9.

*Ma1/2.3    Multiplication & Division*
*Ma1/2.3a    solve one-step problems involving multiplication and division, by calculating the answer using concrete objects, pictorial representations and arrays with the support of the teacher.*

Ma1/2.4    Fractions
Ma1/2.4a    recognise, find and name a half as 1 of 2 equal parts of an object, shape or quantity

Ma1/2.4b    recognise, find and name a quarter as 1 of 4 equal parts of an object, shape or quantity.

Ma1/3.1    Measurement
Ma1/3.1a    compare, describe and solve practical problems for:
i.lengths and heights [for example, long/short, longer/shorter, tall/short, double/hal]
ii.mass / weight
iii.capacity and volume
Ma1/3.1b    measure and begin to record the following:
i.lengths and heights
iii.capacity and volume
iv.time (hours, minutes, seconds)
Ma1/3.1c    recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins and notes

Ma1/3.1d    sequence events in chronological order using language

Ma1/3.1e    recognise and use language relating to dates, including days of the week, weeks, months and years

*Ma1/3.1f    tell the time to the hour and half past the hour and draw the hands on a clock face to show these times*.

Ma1/3.2    Properties of Shapes
Ma1/3.2a    recognise and name common 2-D and 3-D shapes, including:
i.2-D shapes
ii.3-D shapes

Ma1/3.3    Position and Direction
Ma1/3.3a    describe position, directions and movements, including whole, half, quarter and three-quarter turns.

hollytom Mon 19-Jun-17 20:56:57

I would second what has been said about telling the time most children find it tricky even if they are generally confident with Maths. Number work is key really at this age.

For writing a little and and often works. When my son was younger he did a summer holiday diary with lots of photos postcards etc. A couple of sentences a day would be good.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 19-Jun-17 21:52:04

Mary the history part of the UK Core Knowledge is nuts. And possibly written by someone who's never met a ks1 child. grin

This from the CRE might be better and pretty much follows the sequence in Galore Park's So you really want to learn junior history/history textbooks.

Alternatively there's not actually much wrong with the original core knowledge history/geography curriculum.

MaryTheCanary Tue 20-Jun-17 01:58:18

I agree, I think the US Core Knowledge version does the history quite well, but then it is US-based, and the US just doesn't have as much to cover because written history only starts from about the 16th century or so.

The UK one is overstuffed--I think it would be better to stick to covering the "stone age-->Middle Ages" during primary, and then leave "Middle Ages--> modern" to be covered during Key Stage 3, but of course the course only goes up to the end of primary school. I do like that it is in chronological order, however. I am trying to give my child a rough overview but also be realistic about how much can be covered; not everything needs to be in depth, just a taster to get a kid interested and hopefully they can carry on learning by themselves.

I love this book--old, but you can still get copies. We just look through a few pages after the bedtime story and talk about it, it is fun and approachable for kids.

Galore Park books are great too--but really they are for age 7/8 upwards, so a bit grown up for the OP.

MaryTheCanary Tue 20-Jun-17 02:01:32

Oh, and?

For telling the time: we look at where the big hand is pointing, and rather than talking about which number the big hand is pointing at (which confuses them by introducing a second number), we talk about "Is the big hand hanging down or pointing up?"

Hanging down? Ha-ha-ha-half-past.

Up? Uh-uh-uh-o'clock.

mrz Tue 20-Jun-17 06:41:20

Disagree about UK primary history being overstuffed

Pupils should be taught about:
changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
a local history study
a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300. 

MaryTheCanary Tue 20-Jun-17 06:50:20

Mrz, "overstuffed" was in reference to the UK edition of the Core Knowledge series of books for parents, not the UK national curriculum as taught in most UK schools.

I found the CK history curriculum just overambitious/overstuffed. The national curriculum for UK, on the other hand, does not seem to be very specific in terms of content and things are not taught in chronological order--I prefer chronological order, personally.

So, we just look at the CK books together, but accept that some stuff will be skated over, rather than looked at in any real detail.

Sorry for the hijacking--this was not really meant to be a thread about primary history teachering, but still...!

PhilODox Tue 20-Jun-17 06:54:44

Is that KS1 and KS2 though, mrz? Seems fine for 7 years of schooling (says the mum of a history mad y3, who would do history every day of he could!)

OP do you have a clock? My son couldn't "get" time, then we realised we had no watches or clocks in our home. We put a clock in the kitchen, talked about the time frequently, and he got it in a few days. Using quarters of cakes helped him grasp the quarter past, quarter to thing quickly.

mrz Tue 20-Jun-17 06:55:14

The UK curriculum is a minimum entitlement and it's up to individual schools how they organise the teaching sequence

mrz Tue 20-Jun-17 06:59:24

KS1 history

changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
significant historical events, people and places in their own locality. 

dairymilkmonster Tue 20-Jun-17 11:01:12

Thanks to all.
I think I will try and do some structured stuff (few mins per day) over the summer with ds to try and make sure he is up to speed. I spoke briefly to his teacher this morning and she seemed to think that he appears much more able at school than he shows us at home. She thinks the main issue with maths is that if he doesn't understand/ know the answer immediately he tends to get angry and then can't think about it. Typical!
I think we will do a holiday diary for the writing - we did try to do one last summer but were a bit hit and miss with it.
Maths - right, I have the list of things and will work through it. I had a look at some core knowledge stuff last night, which does look very good.
I know nothing about primary school history teaching but I seemed to do virtually no history before 1914 at secondary school, and only recall Romans/Wars of the Roses at primary school. The lists of topics above sound a great improvement!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 20-Jun-17 17:40:56

Agree the galore park books are a bit old for the OP's son but thought I'd mention the CRE stuff in case you were interested in something a bit less overstuffed than the Core Knowledge.

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