'Championing the rights of children'

New national curriculum to introduce fractions to five-year-olds

Garry Mon 08 Jul 2013 07:37

According to final versions, pupils will also be expected to study computer programming in their first year of school.

The education secretary Michael Gove's efforts to revolutionise learning in England's schools will see five-year-olds studying fractions and writing computer programs in their first year of school, according to final versions of the new national curriculum published on Monday.

Among the changes are a requirement for 3-D printers to be used in design and technology lessons, after major revisions to the subject's curriculum.

According to a Whitehall source: "Three-dimensional printers will become standard in our schools – a technology that is transforming manufacturing and the economy. Combined with the introduction of programming, it is a big step forward from Labour's dumbed-down curriculum."

The latest versions of the national curriculum include revisions to drafts that were fiercely criticised when they were published in February. Subjects such as history and geography have had massive rewrites from their initial drafts.

Key skills in many subjects have been brought forward in a child's school career, so primary-age pupils will be given more demanding tasks. For example, tThe teaching of word processing will be dropped in favour of allowing five-year-olds to create and test programs they write themselves. The maths curriculum will see nine-year-olds taught multiplication up to 12 times tables, which is more advanced than the current curriculum allows for 11-year-olds; while the design and technology curriculum will see seven-year-olds introduced to computer-aided design techniques.

Read more... (The Guardian - 8 July)