The proposed changes to the English: Pupils will continue to study Shakespeare plays and sonnets as well as the canon of pre-20th century literary classics, including Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and George Eliot. There will be a suggested list of contemporary authors, such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Philip Pullman, and Bill Bryson. History: Pupils will continue to learn about the importance and impact of events in the last century, such as the world wars and the Holocaust. The history and impact of the slave trade will be added to the curriculum with explicit references to the role of reformers, such as Equiano and Wilberforce. Languages: will be given greater freedoms to offer economically useful languages, such as Mandarin and Urdu. But students will be able to drop all languages at age 14. Citizenship: Following Keith Ajegbo\’s review, pupils will study national identity and the diversity of living together in the UK, including issues such as the legacy of Empire. Geography: Sustainable development and environmental change will be given a much stronger focus.
Cooking: Pupils will be taught how to cook simple healthy meals from basic fresh ingredients in revamped food technology classes. Personal finance: Pupils will be taught essential financial life skills through functional maths and in personal social and health education (PSHE). These will include: personal finance, enterprise and financial capability; learning about risk and reward; investment and trade; personal budgeting; mortgages; interest rates; and balancing credit cards. PE: Lessons will combine physical activity with learning how exercise affects fitness and health. Schools will have even more flexibility to run the physical activities that best meet their pupils\’ needs. All 11 to 14-year-old pupils will continue to study all 12 subjects of the national curriculum covering, in addition to English and mathematics, science, design and technology, ICT, the humanities, a foreign language, art, music, PE and citizenship.
The new curriculum will put more emphasis on general skills, such as initiative, enterprise, and the capacity to learn independently – which are particularly valued by employers.
Many states and school districts have rules governing a review process for curriculum. For example, a school may need to review and revise curriculum every three or five years. For many of these schools, this is a multi-step process. Here\’s how it looks: Evaluate current curriculum, including goals and materials Research best practices, what is proven to work in education By going through this step-by-step process, students are ensured they will receive curriculum that is up to date and effective, and teachers will receive support as they implement new practices. Sometimes, a curriculum is found to be ineffective or not working as strongly as necessary. Let\’s say Southside Elementary\’s math scores have been declining as indicated on recent standardized tests. After investigating possible reasons for this, a committee determines the curriculum is not aligned to, or have the same goals as, the learning objectives.
Or maybe the curriculum doesn\’t provide enough high-level thinking experiences, or is confusing to teachers. For a variety of reasons, curriculum may not be succeeding in allowing students to find success. When this happens, a school or district may opt to develop new curriculum. Teachers play an important role in determining curriculum effectiveness. Imagine being given a new curriculum that is not easy to understand or does not have appropriate materials to support student growth. Although the curriculum looked acceptable to the curriculum committee, once in the hands of teachers its true impact is known. If this is the case, teachers may request a curriculum review. Teachers may also want to incorporate technology into their instruction. Curriculum does not always keep up with the constantly changing advances made in technology; a math curriculum may be better enhanced with the addition of apps on a smart tablet or other experiences using technology.
Finally, teachers may be dissatisfied with older content and techniques in light of recent research. They may be aware of better, more accepted practices in their field and not have access to those materials. If the math department at Southside Elementary is using a curriculum that is outdated, they may be spending personal time and resources to supplement, designing their own instruction, or purchasing materials to support student learning. Curriculum is comprised of the materials, objectives, assessments, pacing guide, and other resources used to instruct students. Educators should be mindful of when a curriculum new needs to be developed. This can happen for several reasons. A curriculum may be outdated, or it is time for it to be looked at more closely in a scheduled review process. It may not be as effective as shown by declining student success. Or, teachers may be dissatisfied with content or want to incorporate technology.