3rd July 1998 at 01:00
Long-awaited guidance on how to cut back the primary school curriculum has been published by the DFEE

From September 1998 to September 2000, all schools providing for key stages 1 and 2 will be required to teach:

* a broad and balanced curriculum; including the 10 national curriculum subjects and religious education.

However, from September schools will have greater freedom to decide what is taught in:

* design and technology

* history

* geography

* art

* music and

* physical education with the exception of swimming which remains a statutory requirement.

There will be no changes to the existing recording and reporting requirements. New arrangements for Ofsted inspections are set out in Changes to the National Curriculum in Key Stages 1 and 2, which has been sent to all schools.

From September 1998, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority will monitor how schools use the increased flexibility. This will inform the revised curriculum orders in the six subjects that will become statutory from September 2000.

Implications for curriculum planning

The new arrangements should not involve schools in major replanning. However, if a school does intend to modify its curriculum, it should be done in a planned and systematic way. Matters to consider include:

* the recommendations of the National Literacy Strategy

* the preliminary recommendations of the Numeracy Task Force

* the impact of changes in time for maths and English on the rest of the curriculum

* the relationship between the six foundation subjects and the school's needs and priorities

* whether current curriculum plans are realistic and practical A systematic approach

* Secure adequate time per week for literacy and mathematics.

* Check that time for the remainder of the programmes in English, science, IT and RE are sufficient.

* Review the range of other things to be taught.

* Devote the remaining time to the six subjects and other areas, such as personal and social education.

* Review current curriculum plans in the six foundation subjects and decide whether they can be taught effectively.6. Finally, check whether there is continuity from year to year.

Whole school plans should identify opportunities to link work in English, maths and IT with other subjects.

The QCA recommends: prioritising the key aspects of non-core subjects; teaching more than one key aspect at once, possibly combining elements from different subjects; and removing some elements from the programme.

Key aspects

Design and technology

Key stage 1

* develop skills in designing and modelling

* practise skills in making

* investigate material, simple ideasand products

* design and make products

Key stage 2

* using and understand a range of materials, components and techniques to make products

* evaluate work as it develops

* produce designs and plans

* accurately measure, mark, cut, join and combine a variety of materials

* design and make products combining skills and understanding of materials and components, mechanical and electrical systems and structures


Key stage 1

* learn about familiar and famous people and events from the recent past and from beyond living memory

* look for similarities and differences between today and the past

* talk about what happened and why people acted as they did

* find out about the past using different sources of information Key stage 2

* find out about people and important events and developments from recent and more distant times

* learn about different aspects of British and world history

* discuss why things happened or changed

* carry out historical enquiries

* understand chronology when talking about the past


Key stage 1

* children should understand their own area and how it is similar to others * ask geographical questions such as "what is it?"; "how did it get like this?"

* use geographical enquiry skills

Key stage 2

* study places and themes at different classes from local to national in Britain and overseas. Investigate how people and places are linked

* study how and why physical and human features are arranged as they are

* ask geographical questions like "how and why is it changing"

* develop and use geographical skills including making and using maps


Key stage 1

* work in two or three dimensions

* observe and record the natural and made environment, expressing ideas and making images and objects

* respond to and evaluate images from the locality, from past, present and different cultures

* investigate qualities of pattern, texture, colour, line, tone, shape, form, space

Key stage 2

* key aspects - further development of above


Key stage 1

* understand pitch, dynamics, duration, tempo and structure

* recognise, select and control sounds using singing and instruments

* respond to and describe sounds using words, symbols and movement.

key stage 2

lunderstand the expressive use of pitch (including melody), dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure

* learn how to create music, usingnotation and IT as a support

* develop instrumental and singing techniques and present performances

* respond to, analyse, evaluate music


Key stage 1

* develop a positive attitude to activity and health

* learn safe practices including responding to instructions and how to liftequipment

* engage in dance, games and gym with the emphasis on performance

Key stage 2

* develop positive attitudes to activity and healthy lives

* learn safe practices including warming up and recovering from exercise

* engage in dance, games, gym, and swimming and if possible, athletics and adventure

Copies can be ordered from QCA Publications, POBox 235, Hayes UB3 1HF, Pounds 3

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