Michael Gove's New School Curriculum: Coding, Fractions And Climate Change

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TEENAGERS IN A CLASSROOM
Micheal Gove has unveiled his new school curriculum | Getty

Micheal Gove has published a revised national curriculum, to be introduced to schools in England in September 2014.

The publication has received support from David Cameron, who has praised the curriculum, calling it a "revolution in education".

Here are some of the main points by subject:

English

Between the ages of five and seven, pupils will be expected to learn how to use punctuation such as commas and full stops, capital letters, question marks, exclamation marks and apostrophes as well as learning about conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions.

By the time they leave primary school at age 11, youngsters will be expected to be able to read fiction, poetry, plays and reference books, recite poetry by heart and spell words with "silent" letters, such as "knight".
They will also be expected to known how to debate and present a topic.

In secondary school, pupils will have to read at least two plays by Shakespeare and study at least two authors in depth each year.

The curriculum also says that 11 to 14-year-olds should study a range of English literature, both pre and post-1914 including prose, poetry and drama.

Maths

Pupils will begin learning about simple fractions at age five - the first year of formal schooling. Under the current curriculum fractions are introduced at age seven.

Between the ages of five and seven they also be taught how to count up to 100 and in multiples of ones, twos, fives and tens as well as how to tell the time and recognise common shapes.

By age eight they should be able to interpret and present data on bar charts, pictograms and tables. At the age of nine, children should know their tables up to 12 times 12, compared to the current curriculum, which stated that youngsters should know up to the 10 times table by the end of primary school.

And by age 11, pupils should be fluent in long multiplication and division and able to use fractions, decimals and percentages.

At secondary school pupils will be taught more advanced concepts such as probability as well as learning subjects such as algebra and geometry in depth.

Ministers say that the new maths curriculum will help prepare teenagers to continue studying the subject beyond GCSE.

Science

Evolution will be taught in primary schools for the first time under the new science curriculum.

Ministers said that the curriculum will focus on scientific knowledge with more practical work and more emphasis on maths.

In secondary school, pupils will study biology, chemistry and physics in greater depth, as well as topics such as diet and nutrition and "climate science", including recycling and the impact of humans on the climate.

Primary school pupils will learn more about topics such as the solar system.

Computing

The subject of computing replaces information and communication technology (ICT).

It will see children as young as five taught how to write and develop their own computer programs as well as learn how to store and retrieve data.

Between the ages of 11 and 14 students will be taught coding, and how to solve computer problems.
Internet safety will also be taught from the age of five.

History

The history syllabus has had an extensive re-write. The draft syllabus, published in February, had proved controversial, and opinion on it quickly split.

Those against it argued that the plans are too narrow, prescriptive and would leave pupils without a decent understanding of the subject, while those for the new curriculum - which will teach historical topics in a chronological order - say it is long overdue and will give pupils an overall understanding of the subject.

The latest revision will see primary pupils taught British history from the Stone Age to the eve of the Norman Conquest and then the chronology of our ''island story'' from 1066 onwards once they get to secondary school.

It followed suggestions that requiring primary pupils to learn events right up to the Act of Union in 1707 - as laid out in February's document - was too much for young minds.

Under the new syllabus primary school pupils will also be required to conduct a local history study, and learn about an aspect or theme in British history beyond 1066. They will also have to learn about Ancient Greece and a "non-European society that provides contrasts with British history".

Between the ages of 11 and 14 pupils will learn about British history from 1066 to the present day.

Geography

The latest geography curriculum contains new references to the climate, including stating that 11 to 14-year-olds should be taught to "understand how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate".

It comes after a campaign was launched amid concerns climate change was missing from the geography curriculum. The Department for Education always insisted that the topic had not been removed.

The geography syllabus also says that between the ages of five and seven, children should learn "basic geographical vocabulary" such as "beach", "city", "town", "river" and "soil". They should also be taught how to find the UK on maps, atlases and globes as well as simple compass directions.

Between the ages of seven and 11 pupils should learn how to locate countries, name and locate counties and cities in the UK, use the eight points of a compass and grid references and be able to describe and understand aspects of topics such as climate zones and the water cycle.

Design and Technology (D&T)

This subject has also undergone a significant re-write. It came amid concerns that the syllabus focused more on ''life skills'' such as cookery, bike maintenance and gardening than science-based subjects like engineering which are required by industry.

According to the new syllabus published today, pupils will be taught how to design and make products.

They will also be taught how to use high-tech design equipment such as 3D printers as well as learning about robotics.

D&T also covers food and nutrition, with pupils expected to learn about where food comes from, healthy diets and how to cook a range of dishes.

Music

Children will be taught to perform, listen to, review and evaluate music from a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions.

They will learn to sing, play musical instruments and improvise and compose music and they will receive lessons on understanding and exploring how music is created and produced.

PE

In PE lessons children will learn basic movements such as running, jumping, throwing and catching as well as taking part in "outdoor and adventurous activity challenges" individually and as part of a team and playing competitive sport.
Schools will also be expected to teach pupils to swim by the time they are aged 11.

Citizenship

Secondary school pupils will get citizenship lessons which will cover how the UK is governed at the rights and responsibilities of its citizens. This includes topics on the workings of Parliament, the justice system and human rights and international law.

Art and Design

The new art and design curriculum requires pupils to produce creative work "exploring their ideas and recording their experiences."

They should learn how to draw and paint as well as other techniques such as sculpture.
Schoolchildren will also be expected to learn about great artists, craft makers and designers and the development of their work.

Languages

Seven to 11-year-olds will be expected to learn a foreign language under the new curriculum. this could be a modern or ancient language and should "lay the foundations" for further study when they go to secondary school.

The new syllabus for languages says that children should learn to speak with "increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity", understand grammar and write for different purposes and audiences in the language they are learning.

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