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The new mathematics National Curriculum

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by arsinh, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

    I was just wondering whether anyone has responded to the Call For Evidence for the new National Curriculum Review either individually or through your subject assocations or the NCETM?
    Anyone cynical might conclude some of the questions in the document are redundant as many key decisions have clearly already been made but, if you do want to have your say, the deadline is Thursday.

    Reading between lines, the Department for Education are already on record as saying:

    • Currently only 20% of students in England go on to study mathematics post 16. The DfE would like to increase this to 80% and this is at the forefront of their thinking.
  2. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I have children in my class working from level 1 to level 6, can someone please explain how I can teach them all the same thing at the same time!
  3. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Could you clarify the " every primary student will learn the same thing at the same time " part please?

    I presume they mean the same topic/ subject area, for example division. ( which is what happens in every school I've been in). They don't mean no differentiation, surely?

    In my y6 class I have a range from p level 6 to level 5+. If they all learned the same thing at the same time some would be bored and some would learn nothing!
  4. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Lol snap!
  5. You teach them all level 1, of course
  6. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    Oh, goody, that will really raise standards in maths[​IMG]
  7. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

    Don't shoot the messenger.
    I am not a Primary specialist so can only report what the Department are saying.
    "In Korea differentiation has been almost completely mandated out of the Primary classroom".
    "In Hong Kong there is no differentiation at Primary but at Secondary they differentiate like mad".
    In these countries, the students all work at exactly the same level throughout the Primary years. The content is much reduced and they work on the same topics for LONG periods of time (weeks and weeks on place value for example) instead of returning to it regularly in a spiral fashion. The able learners support the weaker ones or work on improving connections and acquiring a deep understanding but do not move on to another topic until everyone in the class is deemed ready (presumably when the teacher decides he or she is flogging a dead horse). There is a huge cultural pressure not to fall behind which clearly will not be present here but that is the problem with adopting systems from other countries and expecting them to work here.
    Singapore and Hong Kong have national textbooks accompanied by Powerpoints and other resources for every lesson. All Primary mathematics is taught by subject specialists but teaching is a non-graduate profession in these countries so they have a lot of "incompetents" (their words) who are supported by this high level of prescription. Our Primary workforce is considered to be stronger but such materials could also support weaker teachers here while stronger teachers would still be free to do their own thing.
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    So my Y6 bright spark who left y5 with a level 5a would do the same lesson as the lovely lad in y6 who has just learned how to write his name and can sequence numbers to 5 - but only on a good day, with a prevailing south westerly. I think they might need to go back to the drawing board with that idea.
  9. This doesn't make sense. Our schemes of work go out of the window for a new year-by-year curriculum? We all teach the same thing at the same time across the country, irrespective of the needs of our students? Yet this curriculum only fills some of the expected teaching time? Does "contextualisation and application" include the new Functional element? There will be no NC levels? We are following the model of a country with a very different culture and regard to education and schools and teachers??
  10. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Hey - at least the last major revamp of the way maths was taught in this country had such a major impact. The Numeracy Strategy cost millions of pounds and involved the deployment of hundreds of National Strategy Consultants.
    This time around there will be no cash for it and all the consultants have been sacked.
    Maybe we will get a motivational video from Carol in place of training event?
  11. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

  12. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

    One of the briefs is that the new NC should be accessible (and indeed used on a daily basis by) parents to support the learning of their children. The existing levels are incomprehensible to parents - hence they must go.
    There is a side benefit to this. One of the words that will be used to describe the new curriculum is "coherent" and the KS2 National Tests have been deemed "highly incoherent" as they distort the curriculum in Year 6. Make of that what you will. On the other hand, you may be alarmed by the statement "with coherence comes control". That sounds to me like prescription but I am reliable informed that "control comes in many different forms, it can be highly devolved so that it rests with individual schools". No, I have no idea what this means either.

  13. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

    Everytime a new curriculum is introduced in Singapore or Hong Kong (this happens at set intervals of 10 years to remove political influence) all teachers undergo national training.
    There will be no training given here.
  14. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

    Not at the same time but in the same year. There will be more freedom in Secondary than Primary. You might think they are putting the needs of the country (increased update in mathematics post 16) ahead of the needs of individual students but the Department believes this approach is exactly what students need. Personalisation of learning is so last decade.
    I haven't heard functional maths mentioned once.
  15. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

    i meant to say increased uptake
  16. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    "Some statistics will be moved into the Science and Geography programmes of study"
    Oh good. Me: "Why on earth has that student drawn a line graph for "amount of different minerals in the North Sea? Geog. teacher: "They get more marks if they use several different sorts of graphs." (I think there was a similarly crazy pie chart.)
    students in primary classrooms will move forward together (every
    student will be taught the same thing at the same time, there will be no
    differentiated tables working on different topics)"
    Does that include the traveller children in my daughter's class, one of whom has only just started school?
    (Cynical thought: is this actually a ruse to encourage more primaries to become academies, in order that they can use some common sense?)
    " The
    content will be sparse and will not occupy that much teaching time –
    Headteachers and Governors will decide what else should be taught
    (Ofsted will not be impressed by schools that teach the bare minimum)
    and applications of mathematics will be removed (schools and teachers
    can decide whether contexts are necessary)"
    Does that mean that the power will actually be in the hands of the exam boards?

    "There will be no common structure between different subjects – it is artificial and unnecessary"
    Well at least they've said one sensible thing.

  17. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'm sure. Given that the financial incentive is quickly eaten up by the additional costs incurred, I really can't see the point.
  18. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    My prediction is that very little will change. We may see some more topics in the KS4 programme of study (not a bad thing in my opinion). But I still think schools will end up doing their own thing.
  19. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

    Yup. It would be bad form to openly publish documents that suggest these decisions have already been made when the Call for Evidence includes questions like "Should the Programme of Study for mathematics be set out on a year by year basis or as it currently is, for each key stage?", "Do you think the National Curriculum should continue to specify the requirements for each of the 8 levels of achievement?" or "Please give examples of any jurisdictions that could usefully be examined to inform the new National Curriculum."
  20. arsinh

    arsinh New commenter

    Great question and the answer is absolutely not.
    "The curriculum will drive assessment, assesment will not be permitted to drive the curriculum. This is an example of incoherence. Testing to the test is absolutely fine so long as the examination dovetails perfectly with the curriculum".
    There is some talk of a single national exam in each subject. Awarding Bodies could be invited to tender for various subjects and they would be shared out to ensure competition - OCR might get music, AQA maths and Edexcel geography for example. Ofqual will wield a big stick to keep them in line.

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