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Foundation subjects

Teacher and class with a Big Book

The rest of the National Curriculum subjects are outlined in much less detail, simply stating the aims of each subject and listing the content to be taught at each key stage.

As with the 'core' subjects, there is a clear emphasis on facts and figures. The geography curriculum, for example, is all about identifying and naming places and geographical features and describing key aspects of physical and human geography, while any mention of climate change or sustainability has been removed.

The history curriculum focuses strongly on British history and, from Key Stage 2, takes a strictly chronological approach, starting with early Britons and settlers and ending with the Glorious Revolution.

The newly statutory Key Stage 2 languages curriculum specifies the teaching of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin or Ancient Greek, with modern language teaching to focus on practical communication, and Latin or Ancient Greek teaching to provide a linguistic foundation for learning modern languages and for reading comprehension.

The new computing curriculum, as mentioned on the Core subjects page, aims to create a new generation of computer scientists, getting children writing simple programs in Key Stage 1 and correcting errors in algorithms and programs in Key Stage 2.

What happens next?
The consultation period runs until 16 April. The DfE will publish their response in the summer, and will publish the final National Curriculum 'early in the autumn term' to give schools a year to prepare for first teaching from September 2014.

Between September 2013 and September 2014 there is a complex proposal to allow schools to 'disapply' parts of the current National Curriculum in order to better prepare pupils for the introduction of the new curriculum.

The current National Curriculum for all foundation subjects in Primary schools will be disapplied from September 2013, as will those for English, maths and science in Years 3 and 4 ('to give teachers greater freedom to prepare pupils for National Curriculum tests in these subjects when they reach Year 6'). Teachers in Years 1, 2, 5 and 6, however, will need to continue to follow the current National Curriculum for English, maths and science, in order to prepare children appropriately for SATs.


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Last updated: 8 months ago