Assignment 3 – the Curriculum

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Assignment 3 – The curriculum

1. Explain what is meant by the term National Curriculum. All pupils in England except those at independent, private or public schools are required to adhere to the National Curriculum. It is a guideline for teachers, pupils and parents to follow and gain knowledge of the skills and knowledge that children will be taught through their school years. Every school has National Curriculum documents for each subject which contains the materials they must teach at different ‘key stages’. Here are the four key stages of the Curriculum: Key stage 1 – Age 5-7 (taught in primary schools)

Key stage 2 – Ages 7-11 (taught in primary schools)
Key stage 3 – Age 11-14 (taught in secondary schools)
Key stage 4 – Age 14-16 (taught in secondary schools)
Although there are specific topics and skills teachers must teach in all of these stages they plan their own lessons and decide in what order they wish to teach the syllabus. The National Curriculum consists of core and foundation subjects, the core subjects are English, Science and maths which are the leading subjects in schools because they are important to achieve for the future. Leaving school having passed these three subjects increases your chances of going onto college and university as most courses have an entry requirement of ‘C’ and above. The foundation subjects are design and technology, ICT, history, geography, art and design, music, physical education, modern foreign languages and citizenship. These are the subjects which are available for pupils to choose to continue with when they reach year 9, usually they will choose the subjects they most enjoy and may be of help to them in the future when choosing a career path. At the end of Key stages 1, 2 and 3 pupils will take part in standard Assessment Tests, commonly known as SATs which are aimed to test how a child is performing and whether or not they are achieving or underachieving. The subjects tested are the core subjects and will help to group pupils into their ability for the next key stage of learning.

2. Discuss 5 key factors that influence learning.

* Family – Parents and grandparents can have a huge impact on their children and their attitudes to learning. A family who encourages learning will produce a positive child who is willing to listen and learn at school. For example when a child has homework to complete, it is important that the parent contributes to helping the child so that they learn the importance of completing work set for them. They will then replica this attitude in the classroom.

* Methods of learning – each child is different and will find different learning methods to suit them. For example some children are visual learners, this means they prefer to see things demonstrated. Others are auditory learners which are to hear what is being taught, by speaking loud and clearly and repeating the answer will improve this method. Finally there are Kinaesthetic learners who learn best by mimicking your movements as they watch you teach. When teaching students you will learn that while one method of teaching may work for a majority of the students, other students learn more quickly from a different teaching method. So the best teaching method if possible is a combination of all three.

* Peers – Our friends can have a big impact on whether we are successful or unsuccessful academically. If we are in a peer group that are motivated and willing to learn than we too are more likely to follow this path, however if our peer group are less interested in learning and more interested in socialising we are more likely to copy these actions and therefore be less successful with schoolwork.

* Rewards and punishments – If a child relies on rewards in order motivate themselves to learn then they will have difficulty as they get older and are based in a non-reinforcing environment such as college. People go to college because they want to...
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