DfE publishes draft PoS for primary English, maths and science
The DfE has published draft National Curriculum programmes of study (PoS) for primary English, maths and science.
The drafts are described as 'a starting point for discussion with key stakeholders'. A public consultation will be launched towards the end of the year; changes are scheduled for introduction in 2014.
The stated aim of the draft English PoS is 'to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word, and develop a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment'; the maths PoS emphasises problem-solving, mathematical reasoning and 'fluency in the fundamentals of mathematics'. In science the focus is on process and practical applications, alongside scientific knowledge.
Primary Headship editor Suzanne O'Connell commented:
'The new primary National Curriculum programmes of study for English, maths and science are billed as being "plans to restore rigour". It is perhaps a process of restoration in the same way we might restore an ancient building or archaeological site. It certainly does not present the new visionary construction that we might have been hoping for.
'Some of what’s included is justified on the basis that it is taught "in the high-performing education jurisdictions of Singapore and Hong Kong". That does not mean it is right for inclusion here. The fact that they teach the 12 times table in Massachusetts hardly convinces me that this is what we’re missing to be internationally competitive.
'Having seen the efforts that Rose and Alexander put into their respective reviews I can only wonder that this is all the great minds can come up with to help our pupils through all the turbulence of an unstable economy and uncertain future.
'We do not know exactly what knowledge our pupils will need. But we do know that they will have to be resilient, confident, flexible, creative and adaptable. They will need to solve problems throughout their life and be able to communicate with a wide range of people. They will need to find meaning in their world and establish motivations and develop empathy. This hardly seems the curriculum to deliver these attributes and is a great but not surprising disappointment.'