St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School

National Curriculum 2014

Although the new curriculum is intended to be more challenging, the content is actually slimmer than the old National Curriculum, focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming. The main focus of the national curriculum is on excellence and core skills.

So, what are the changes to the curriculum?

It would take far too long to cover the whole curriculum, particularly in any great depth. But the main changes to the key core subjects are highlighted listed in the ‘Parents Booklets’ below.

Assessing Without Levels

The Department for Education announced in 2015 that there would no longer be National Curriculum levels and that schools would have to set up their own way of assessing pupils. Here at St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School, we have spent a long time researching various different methods of assessing pupils, and we have decided to create a bespoke system of assessment using both written tests and teacher assessment against the learning objectives for each year group. Every child will then be assessed against the end of year expectations for each year group and will be grouped as working under one of the following three categories:

· Working Towrards — Yet to be secure in the end of year expectations.

· Working at the Expected Standard — Secure in the end of year expectations.

· Working Above the Expected Standard — Secure in all of the end of year expectations and is able to use and apply their knowledge and skills confidently.

So how will this look at the end of each Key Stage?

Key Stage 2

Lots of you may have heard of the expression ‘Secondary Ready’ as the standard children must achieve by the end of Year 6. The DfE have slightly distanced themselves from this phrase and are talking about children reaching the assessment point of Year 6 'expected standard'. Similarly as with Year 2 pupils, there will be some children who exceed the Year 6 expected standard and some children who are working towards it at the end of the Key Stage. 

How can you help?

Work with your child to ensure that their weekly homework is completed and handed in on time.

Spend time, at home, practising weekly spellings with your child.

If your child does not know their times tables, this would be a great starting point at home. As soon as a child knows their times tables up to 12 x 12, they will be able to apply this knowledge to a range of mathematical problems. All times table facts should be secured and fluent by the end of Year 4.


So how will the process in school work?

By the end of each Autumn Term teachers will have had an opportunity to assess how the children are working. At the start of each year group, every child will be 'working towards' as they are being judged against the End of Year statements. By using their professional knowledge and judgement, teachers will know what the children can already do and what they think the children can achieve. They will then give a forecast as to where they think a child will be by the end of the Year.

Important note for Parents’ Evenings

During the year, when we have conversations with you about your child’s progress, you won’t be given an actual definitive position of where they are on a scale. Instead you will be told whether your child is on track to meet their end of year target. It may well be that they are above or below where they need to be, in which case their end of year target may be adjusted.