Will there be a different approach under the new primary curriculum?

Children reading in schoolKey Stage 2 (currently Years 3-6) would be split to form two new key stages (lower and upper KS2), each two years long.

The aim of this is to provide schools with clear direction as to what they should be covering within the two-year period, while avoiding the very narrow prescriptive nature of parts of the curriculum that exist at the moment.

Schools would be encouraged to set out their own schemes of work for each year group, and to publish these for parents (and inspectors) to see.

The review may recommend that primary maths follows a year-by-year structure, as at present.

By splitting the four-year key stage into two, the panel hopes to address what is seen as a current lack of pace and ambition in Years 4 and 5.

One of the report's most controversial and wide-reaching recommendations is that of progression. The review suggests all pupils in a class should have an appropriate understanding of key elements before the class moves on to the next section of the curriculum.

One of the review report's most controversial recommendations is that of progression - all pupils in a class should understand key elements before the class moves on.

This is sometimes referred to as a 'mastery model', although the review panel prefers the term 'high expectations for all'.

The panel recognises that adopting this approach would raise a number of issues, including stretching and challenging pupils who grasp a particular body of content more quickly than others, and supporting children with lower levels of ability.

However, the panel feels these issues are not insurmountable and that, based on international evidence, this approach is likely to lead to higher standards and a lower spread of attainment at the end of the primary phase of children's education. Whether teachers, schools and parents will agree with this approach remains to be seen.

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Last updated: 3 months ago