National Curriculum Essay

1541 Words Apr 20th, 2013 7 Pages
Diagnostic Written Task: The National Curriculum

According to Directgov (2012), “the National Curriculum is a framework used by all the maintained schools to ensure that teaching and learning is balanced and consistent.”

The National Curriculum is thought by many to be complex and unclear. However, it is at the heart of the education system in England. This is noted by Baumann et al (1997) and Kyriacou (2009) who document that the basis for the National Curriculum was established in the Education Reform Act 1988; creating the idea that education must begin with the needs and interests of the child. The following model acknowledges how the National Curriculum is central to a school and a pupils learning.

School Curriculum
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One of the main key features is to create a national benchmark, and this is done through many forms of assessment throughout a school career. Assessment plays a number of crucial roles in relation to the National Curriculum and since children develop at different rates, providing a national benchmark of level descriptors within the National Curriculum allows teachers and schools to map and judge a pupil’s progress. Furthermore, this can give an idea of how a child is developing in terms of their age as a pupil’s attainment will be assessed and reported in terms of these levels.

Kilpatrick (1918) and Pring (1976) comment that a curriculum provides “the underlying theory of value reflected in the concern for the interests of the child”. This supports the National Curriculum with reference to the key feature of setting out essential knowledge that best meets the needs of the children. However both authors maintain that this cannot be done without a certain hierarchy of values and needs. Maslow (1954) identified these values and needs, and in terms of the National Curriculum they relate to identity, relationships, society and the environment. All these values are fundamental to the progress and development of a pupil’s learning and as a basis of fulfilment and inspiration. If a child can gain knowledge relating to these values, then they will become successful learners who achieve their potential.

For each subject, the National Curriculum

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