Here you will find information and
documentation relating to reviews of the national
curriculum for mainstream primary schools.
Education reform 2010
Please note that the existing primary curriculum will continue
to be in force in 2011/12 and schools should plan on that
Curriculum review launched
The government has launched a comprehensive review of the
National Curriculum in England for key stages 1 to 4 (ages 5 -
The review will look at all subjects currently
within the National Curriculum. Religious Education will not form
part of the review and will retain its statutory basis, with
similar considerations applying to PSHE which will be
evaluated by a separate internal review examining how schools may
be supported in the teaching of this subject.
The National Curriculum Review will be
conducted in two phases:
English, maths, sciences and PE will all
remain statutory from KS1 to KS4. Phase 1 will provide new
programmes of study for these subjects and also evaluate the status
of all other current curriculum subjects, including whether they
should remain in the curriculum, and if so at which key stages and
with what kind of programmes of study.
Phase 2 of the review will provide draft programmes of study for
all other curriculum subjects, based on the outcomes of Phase
for Education (DfE) has invited stakeholders to respond
to the Phase 1 Call for Evidence from 20 January 2011 to 14 April
2011 - interested parties wishing to contribute their views should
Call for Evidence website. There will follow
consultation events for key stakeholders as well as work to ensure
that heads, teachers, parents and others can contribute their
views towards the reform.
A public consultation on Phase
1 will occur in early 2012 with the new programmes of study to be
introduced in schools in September 2013.
The Phase 2 call for evidence
will be launched in early 2012, followed by a public consultation
on Phase 2 programmes of study in early 2013. The programmes of
study for these subjects will be introduced in schools in September
The Department for Education will be supported in the review
process by an Advisory Committee. An Expert Panel led by Tim
Oates (Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge
Assessment) has also been appointed to provide an evidence base for
the review, informed by international practice.
For further information, please visit the
Department for Education website.
The importance of teaching – the schools White Paper
(DFE, November 2010)
The Schools White Paper sets out key
strategies and priorities of the Coalition Government in reforming
Read the CILT response to the White
Could do better – using international comparisons to refine the
National Curriculum in England
Assessment, November 2010)
The paper outlines both the strengths and the
weaknesses of current national curriculum in England. It draws from
transnational analysis some key concepts – including ‘curriculum
coherence’ and ‘curriculum control’ – to understand the operation
of other nation systems and establish what we can learn from them,
and identify what we can promote in our own system.
Primary curriculum reviews
Prior to the 2011 National Curriculum Review, two
previous reviews of the primary curriculum were carried
out and reported in 2009:
- The Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum commissioned
by the government in 2008 and led by Sir Jim Rose
- The Cambridge Primary Review began in 2006 and examined primary
education as a whole, including recommendations for curriculum
The recommendations for reform proposed by Sir Jim
Rose were accepted by the previous government. Ministers
announced on 7 June 2010 that the current government does not
intend to proceed with the proposed new primary
Independent review of the primary curriculum: final
(Independent Review of the Primary
Curriculum, 30 April 2009)
This final report follows from the interim report published in
December 2008. In the period between the two reports, further
evidence has been gathered and considered from research and
stakeholder engagement, including nine regional consultations with
heads and LA advisers, two further meetings of the Primary
Curriculum Advisory Group and consultations initiated by the review
team which received approx. 1,000 written responses.
The final report proposed situating statutory primary
languages within a new area of learning entitled ‘Understanding
English, communication and languages’.
Independent review of the primary curriculum: interim
(Independent Review of the Primary
Curriculum, December 2008)
The interim report from Sir
Jim Rose’s independent review of the primary curriculum. It
outlines some preliminary recommendations for introducing
compulsory languages at Key Stage 2 including models of provision,
which languages to teach, workforce development and managing
progression and transition.
The report proposes situating
primary languages within a new area of learning entitled ‘English,
Communication and Languages’ - view the
draft programme of learning.
A selection of the evidence
gathered for the review can be found at Primary education research.
curriculum review launched
A comprehensive overhaul of
the primary curriculum was announced by Ed Balls (Secretary of
State for Children, Schools and Families) who described the review
as essential to achieving the outcomes set out in the Children and
Young People’s Plan and Every Child Matters agenda.
The primary review is being conducted by Sir Jim Rose and aims to
build on his review of phonics teaching and early reading - the
Rose Report. Aims of review include ensuring continuity with new
curricula in other educational phases and creating space for
personalised teaching and learning. Sir Jim Rose will also review
how best to introduce primary languages as a compulsory
Find out more:
Cambridge primary review
The Cambridge primary review: special report on the
(The Cambridge Review, February 2009)
A review of the primary curriculum conducted by a team at the
University of Cambridge. This report forms part of the
wider Cambridge Review of primary education as a whole and
is therefore distinct from the DCSF-commissioned review
of the curriculum, being led by Sir Jim Rose.
The Cambridge Review is not due to give a final report
until late 2009. However, this special report on the
curriculum was published earlier so that it could
be available during Sir Jim Rose's consultation period.
Drawing on evidence from a range of sources including written
submissions, sounding sessions and literature
surveys, the review examines the strengths and
weakness of the current curriculum and outlines proposed
(The Cambridge review, 2006 to present)
The Cambridge review is an independent enquiry which aims
to evaluate primary education as a whole. The
review was conducted by a team based at the Faculty of
Education at the University of Cambridge and is being supported by
the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Beginning in 2006, the
review draws on a range of evidence to examine the current
primary system whilst also looking to the future of education in
this sector. A final report has now been published - for
information visit www.primaryreview.org.uk
The analysis is based around ten broad themes: Purposes and
values, Learning and teaching, Curriculum and assessment, Quality
and standards, Diversity and inclusion, Setting and professionals,
Parenting, caring and educating, Beyond the school, Structures and
phases and Funding and governmance.
Primary national curriculum
Developing language in the primary school: Literacy and primary
Guidance on making links
between primary languages and literacy, available as series of
pdf downloads on the National Strategies website. Intended for
Primary literacy and language advisers and consultants, this
document focuses on developing mutually supportive language
learning skills in children's first and additional languages.
Key topics covered include examining how the
objectives in the Primary Framework for literacy align with those
in the KS2 Framework for Languages, making explicit
the commonalities in language learning strategies in both
Frameworks and highlighting teaching and learning strategies that
can support their development. Links with the CPD
materials in Excellence and
enjoyment: learning and teaching for bilingual children in the
primary years are also made.
primary Framework for literacy and mathematics
(DCSF, October 2006)
The Primary Framework is
intended to provide guidance and materials for teaching primary
literacy and mathematics. Based around a set of age-related
outcomes linked to learning and progression, the Framework aims to
support children in working towards the Early Learning Goals and
the appropriate National Curriculum levels in Key Stages 1 and 2.
The renewed Framework constitutes a significant revision of the
original documents released in 1998/ 1999 and incorporates the
recommendations of the Rose Report into early reading.
National Curriculum for Key stages 1 and 2
The National Curriculum sets
out the programmes of study for all statutory subjects taught to
Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils in community and foundation schools
(including special schools and voluntary aided or controlled
schools). Statutory subjects are currently: art and design, design
and technology, English, geography, history, ICT, maths, music, PE,
science and religious education.
The curriculum became valid
in September 2000 and remains in force until further notice. An
independent review of the primary curriculum is currently underway.
The Curriculum 2000 handbook can be ordered via the
Secondary national curriculum
New secondary curriculum
A new secondary curriculum
was introduced in schools in September 2007.