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News release: A 'heads up' for the new primary curriculum

From consultation to classroom

Last updated: 09 Dec 2009


Schools minister Diana Johnson's keynote speech prompted round table discussions on exactly what is changing, when it is happening and how this will improve children's primary education.

Diana Johnson said:

"More than 70 per cent of teachers, parents, pupils and education experts are saying the new curriculum will give our students a sound education; we are now in a good position to move forward.

"A good primary teacher, together with an engaging curriculum, can plant the seeds of education that will take root and blossom in our students.

"But what our Key Stage 2 results also showed was that all primary schools are capable of improving and offering more for their students.

"So there is no reason for local authorities or schools to be dragging their feet, not forming close partnerships to drive up school improvement."

The Minister also outlined that there will be a strengthened focus on securing essential literacy and numeracy skills with opportunities to develop, use and apply these skills. Plus she discussed the continued entitlement to a broad, balanced and coherent curriculum through the creation of areas of learning,, underpinned by the new ‘pupil guarantee’.

Leigh Thompson, headteacher of Little Ealing School in London, said: 

"I was reassured about the level of change, timescales and major landmarks planned, as it reflects a lot of what we are already doing in terms of current best practice. I am excited and energised by the opportunity to improve my school and pupil outcomes, especially as I feel supported and know where I can get further advice and guidance."

Shirley Thornton, an improvement adviser at Bury local authority, said:

"The plans announced today should provide a powerful tool to tackle continuous school improvement through self assessment, renewal, development and review of the effectiveness of the curriculum. I am enthused by it, and its potential to effect school improvement.

"Local authorities will be in a position to aid planning for progression through the three curriculum phases and help reduce the dip in performance in the middle years of primary."

Sue Horner, of QCDA said:

"QCDA will be supporting local authorities as they work with their schools on the implementation of the new primary curriculum. This process has begun with our conferences this week. We are delighted that many schools are ready to work with their local networks to develop a stimulating and challenging curriculum that will motivate their children to learn and achieve."

Other speakers included Robin Hammerton of Ofsted and Paul Bennett of the National College.

Notes to Editors

Further information about the primary curriculum can be found at www.qcda.gov.uk/curriculum

For further media information please contact Steven Brassey on 020 7509 6789 or email steve.brassey@qcda.gov.uk

About QCDA

QCDA is the government agency for the development of curriculum, delivery of assessments and reform of qualifications. We work with the education, skills and business communities to develop effective and innovative ways to help children and adults to progress, achieve their full potential and to demonstrate that achievement to others.

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