There have been lots of headlines created by the press about the forthcoming changes to the UK National Curriculum – but how does the average parent find out the facts? Here at MagiKats, it is part of our job to keep on top of the changes as they are announced and to ensure that our materials remain current – but it’s a full time occupation and you need to be able to understand some very complicated language! So, how can a parent find out what they want to know?
There are lots of solutions out there, but here are a few of our favourites:
1. The TES
The TES website (TES is short for Times Educational Supplement) is a great starting point. Their ‘News’ section provides some really useful commentary on what is happening, whether you are reading as a parent or a teacher. Some articles are restricted unless you are a paid member, but the key points always seem to be freely available.
There are lots of blogs out there – this one included! There is an excellent one written by Michael, a deputy headteacher in Nottinghamshire, called ‘Ramblings of a Teacher’. He also runs the website ‘Primary Curriculum 2014’. Two of his recent posts, ’10 things you might not have realised about the new primary English curriculum’ and ‘10 things you might not have realised about the new primary maths curriculum’ are especially good.
3. The government!
Since launching gov.uk a few years ago, most government departments have come together online, to provide a vast website covering everything from education to road tax. They do, however, have useful press releases, such as this one on the new GCSE grading system. As information about the secondary curriculum is much harder to collate (due to it being in the hands of different exam boards), these central announcements are often a good starting point. If you are feeling brave, then links to the full documents can be accessed from this page.
4. Exam boards and local schools
There is a useful summary of the GCSE changes provided by OCR (an exam board) here. Otherwise, some schools provide excellent information on their websites and once you know which board your child is studying, have a look on their website too. Primary schools will often have useful information on their websites too.
Years of operating across different curriculums in different countries (including those considered far superior to ours) have shown us one thing – kids are generally expected to know the same key skills by the time they leave full time education. Since launching over ten years ago, we have continually monitored curriculum changes, yet our materials have needed only minor adjustments. What we have needed to do is change WHEN material is taught – such as our most recent revision to include times tables in earlier modules to accommodate the new requirement that all tables should be known by age 9. It is that sort of monitoring that you need to be able to rely on, so that when your child is receiving additional support from a company like ours, you know it is the RIGHT support.
By Sarah Marsh, Director of Operations, MagiKats HQ
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