Assignment 3. 1. Explain what is meant by the term National Curriculum. The National Curriculum was introduced in 1988 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its purpose was to set out the statutory requirements for the knowledge and skills that every child is expected to learn at school. The National Curriculum sets out the standards to be used to measure the progress and performance of pupils in each subject to help teachers plan and implement activities that meet individual learning needs of the pupils. Guidelines for the National Curriculum are summaries in the Education Perform Act of 1988. The National Curriculum applies in England in all state schools. Wales and Northern Ireland follow the National Curriculum with some exceptions: Welsh is additionally a core subject in Wales and in Northern Ireland schools can develop additional subjects to the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum sets out what pupils should study, what they should be taught and the standards that they achieve. It is divided into Key Stages: – Key Stage 1: 5 to 7 years old (Year group :1 and 2) – Key Stage 2 : 7 to 11 years old (Year group: 3, 5 and 6) – Key Stage 3 : 11 to 14 years old ( Year group: 7,8 and 9) – Key Stage 4 : 14 to 16 years old (Year group : 10 and 11) Key Stage 1 and 2 are usually taught in Primary schools. Key stage 3 and 4 are usually taught in Secondary schools. The National Curriculum consists of three core subjects: English, Mathematics and Science. Plus 6 foundation subjects: information and communication technology (ICT), design and technology,history, geography, art and design, music, physical education (PE) also additionally modern foreign languages for Key Stage 3 and citizenship for Key Stage 3 and 4. Each Key Stage and subject area of National Curriculum has: scheme of work, programs of study, attainment target and level description. Scheme of work, published by DfEE and QCA describe how the programs of study and attainment targets can be used in teaching plans. The programs of study gives detailed information about what pupils should be taught in each subject at every Key Stage. Each attainment target de?nes the ???knowledge, skills and understanding which pupils of different abilities and maturities are expected to have by the end of each Key stage??? (Educational Act 1996). Attainment target and level description contain nine level descriptions of increasing dif?culty including the description for exceptional performance. These descriptions form the criteria for assessment of pupil?s performance at the end of each Key Stage except Key Stage 4.
Pupils are assessed by National Curriculum tests (SAT) at the end of each Key Stage: – Key Stage 1 test in English, mathematics are taken at age 7 (Year 2) – Key Stage 2 tests in English, mathematics and science are taken at age 11 (Year 6) – Key Stage 3 tests in English, mathematics and science are taken at age 14 (Year 9) – Key Stage 4 is assessed by GCSE levels of achievement at age 16 (Year 11) Additionally to SATs tests teachers provide formal assessments showing how well the child performed in the class over the long period. Teachers? formal assessments in Maths, English and Science are submitted to the government agencies at the end of each Key Stage. The results of teacher?s assessments alongside the tests are send to schools before the end of term and according to the results each child is given the level for each core subject.