Schools not prepared for new curriculum

Teaching unions have warned that schools may face difficulties with teaching the ‘rigorous, engaging and tough’ new curriculum and have criticised how it has been implemented.

The start of this term saw millions of pupils beginning Michael Gove’s new national curriculum in all local authority primary and secondary schools.  With significant changes in Maths, English and Computing, it puts greater emphasis in skills such as essay writing, mathematical modelling and computer programming, the BBC reports.

Teaching unions have said that although teachers have worked hard to prepare for the new curriculum, the timetable for its introduction is unrealistic. “One of the mistakes in the implementation of the curriculum is that it’s all being implemented at once,” Russell Hobby from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said. “In maths you need to learn the early concepts before you learn the later concepts, so there is a problem that there will be children who have not learned the earlier concepts before being expected to learn the more demanding ones.”

Jill Stokoe from the ATL warned that many teachers feel their school is not prepared to teach the new curriculum. “Teachers are saying they haven’t had enough information and some people really haven’t got to grips with the new curriculum. What we are saying to them is to use their judgment,” she said.

The president of the Girls’ Schools Association, Alice Phillips, warned that poorly trained teachers have “little or no grounding” in many key aspects of the curriculum, in particular English language, grammar and maths, the Telegraph reports. Mrs Phillips claimed that many staff are being forced to sign up for “hastily arranged training courses” and are even “burning the midnight oil” in order to prepare themselves.

Do you feel prepared to teach the new curriculum? Why join the discussion on the Eteach community, to share tips and ideas on how you’re getting ready with your peers.

3 thoughts on “Schools not prepared for new curriculum

  1. The main issue is not necessarily the new curriculum – at my school we have been preparing for it for a year, rewriting the English, Maths & Science curriculum as we went and also re-organising and planning the foundation subjects. This was done through staff grouping into subject working parties and meeting about 10 times to plan how the new curriculum would work in our school.
    The main issue is that this government have taken away the use of levels to track progress of pupils but have put nothing in its place. So now we have no levels to judge pupil work against and no way of showing progress. I went to an LEA meeting about it 6 months ago but they had no clue either about how progress was going to be measured.
    This government (who, remember, are unelected and only in office by default) have really screwed up education big time.

  2. I first started teaching in 1978 and we somehow managed to assess pupil’s progress without levels. I am still doing this in China. I regularly test my pupils with mainly old exam questions and experimental write-ups (I teach Chemistry) and that gives me very accurate feed-back on their progress. My predicted for grades for my most recent AS class were exactly correct for 11 out of 16 pupils and most of the other 5 pupils achieved higher than predicted. Non-examination classes, in the past, I have devised my own tests

  3. Cliqmo is correct. In the real world of inner city academies and four levels of progress rather than international schools full of aspirant students we have to report on levels of progress at least five times a year. At the level of KS4 and KS5 it’s relatively simple in that we can refer to exam grades, but what do you report and KS3? How can you measure the students’ progress from KS2 when they are reported in deciles?

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