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What the curriculum proposes

Josephine Gardiner reports on what will be expected of English, maths and science teachers in future

ENGLISH

Recruits must have: a firm grasp of grammar, punctuation, textual analysis, the history of the language, knowledge of "key authors from the English literary heritage", standard English. If they don't, the course tutors will have to ensure that they are brought up to scratch. Trainees on 11-18 courses must "as a minimum" be able to teach national curriculum English at key stage 3 and key stage 4, plus either A-level English language or literature.

Students will also have to show that they can teach poetical forms and terminology, including metre, simile, metaphor, oxymoron, assonance, alliteration, sonnets and ballads; Shakespeare - language, dramatisation and historical context; spelling, techniques in writing for particular purposes - the difference between informative, polemical and analytical writing; punctuation, grammar and oral communication.

SCIENCE

Recruits must have a secure understanding of the nature of science, its terminology, and how different areas of science relate to each other. The curriculum also includes scientific principles that those intending to teach to A-level must understand - student biology teachers, for example, must show that they understand cellular processes, genetics and ecological principles to degree level. Universities must remedy any deficiencies. Students on 11-18 courses must be able to teach the national curriculum science at KS3, two GCSE science specialisms chosen from biology, chemistry or physics, and one science subject at A-level.

MATHS

All trainees must be able to teach all national curriculum maths at KS3 and KS4, including the "further material", plus the A-level core, which specifies that students should understand the nature of proof, techniques of algebra and calculus, geometry, and the analysis of processes. Students must know how to measure their own pupils' progress, and there is a clear specification of the subject knowledge they will need to teach effectively.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Every trainee teacher must be equipped with the ability to make sound decisions about how to use IT and to understand its potential. Course tutors must show students how to use IT effectively in their particular subject, rather than simply giving them general computing skills. Trainees must also be shown where the use of IT would be inappropriate and how IT can help special needs pupils.

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