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National Curriculum

Essentials for learning and life

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Essentials for learning and life

‘If we can give children these skills – to communicate, to work together, to present, to talk, to be confident, to be successful – they will be confident and successful learners in whatever career they choose.’ Primary head teacher.

The essentials for learning and life describe the skills, attitudes and dispositions that children need to become well-rounded individuals and lifelong learners. They include literacy, numeracy and ICT capability, learning and thinking skills, and personal, social and emotional skills. The design of the new curriculum prioritises these skills and offers teachers scope to teach them well.


Communicating effectively and responding critically to a wide range of information and ideas

Using mathematics to solve problems and make sense of data in learning and in everyday contexts

Using technology confidently and safely to support learning and in everyday contexts

The skills of successful learners - investigating, creating, communicating and evaluating

Skills that build confidence - working independently, managing feelings, physical coordination

Working well with others - being responsible, adaptable and sensitive to others' views

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