The Advantages of the English National Curriculum

14 March 2018

The English National Curriculum is used by the vast majority of schools in England and by thousands of International schools all over the world. It was first launched in 1988 and has been developing consistently since then, so is a very well-established and recognised curriculum. It is often described as a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum as pupils study a breadth of subjects that are needed to help them develop into well-rounded citizens of the future.

A strength of the curriculum is that it is highly structured so teachers can monitor effectively how well a pupil is achieving. It is designed to meet the needs of all pupils through differentiated teaching and learning activities while enabling teachers to identify, celebrate and nurture talents. The curriculum is divided into six ‘Key Stages’ which are structured to build on each other to ensure progression, with the first three stages applying to the primary years. Key stage 0 is widely known as the Early Years Foundation Stage, in which children undertake a well-planned programme of learning through play up to the age of 5, and gradually develop their core understanding of reading, writing and mathematics. The structure at this stage is well-regarded because it lays the foundations for future education. Key Stage 1 and 2 cover the rest of primary education to age 11 with subjects being initially taught through a more topic based approach, allowing pupils to explore links between subjects, before moving into specific subject areas in Year 3 or Key Stage 2.

British education is recognised for its emphasis on the development of the whole person. Young people need to develop their potential to explore and discover the world around them, to think for themselves and form opinions, to relate to others, to develop their bodies through sport and physical education, and to gain experience in taking responsibility. A primary school using the English National Curriculum will teach pupils to learn by questioning, problem solving and creative thinking rather than by the mere retention of facts resulting in young people who are flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances without inhibition, enabling and empowering them to meet future challenges.

At POWIIS Primary the English National Curriculum will be taught so that there will be a seamless transfer for pupils from the primary to the secondary school. The ongoing development of this curriculum to encompass skills of leadership, teamwork, problem solving, global awareness, digital literacy, breadth of thinking and creativity, gives the curriculum high international credibility.