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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:21 am 
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Not sure if this has been posted, I didnt find when I searched;

Fractions for five-year-olds in rigorous new curriculum
By Graeme Paton, Education Editor

6:00AM BST 08 Jul 2013

Children as young as five will be taught about fractions, times tables and mental arithmetic as part of a tough new National Curriculum designed to drive up standards in schools.

David Cameron will unveil sweeping reforms to primary and secondary education today in an attempt to put England on par with the world’s top-performing countries and develop the “engineers, scientists, writers and thinkers of our future”.

In a series of major changes, the new mathematics curriculum will place a greater emphasis on the basics at an early age to prepare pupils for more challenging subjects at a later stage.

In the first year of school, pupils will be expected to read and write numbers up to 100, count in multiples of ones, twos, fives and tens and learn a series of simple sums using addition and subtraction off by heart.

Children will also be introduced to basic fractions such as ½ and ¼ at the age of five – a subject currently left until pupils are aged seven to 11 – and algebra will be taught at the age of 10.

Further changes include the requirement to learn 12 times tables by nine rather than an expectation that pupils will master tables up to 10x10 by the time they leave primary school at 11.
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Speaking before the launch of the curriculum today, the Prime Minister said: “From advanced fractions to computer coding to some of the greatest works of literature in the English language, this is a curriculum that is rigorous, engaging and tough.”

The document – to be introduced in English state schools from September 2014 – will cover all subjects including English, maths, science, foreign languages, history, geography, physical education, computing, design and technology, art and drama.

It is intended to emphasise the basic knowledge that pupils should know at each stage of their education – scrapping many of the “woolly” cross-curricular themes introduced by the last Labour government.

Ministers insisted it would benchmark lessons against those found in the world’s most advanced education systems, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland and parts of the United States.

Among a series of changes:

• In English, pupils will be expected to spell a list of almost 240 advanced words by the end of primary school, master grammar and punctuation and read more novels, poems and plays in full, including Shakespeare;

• Science lessons will introduce pupils to evolution at primary school for the first time, increase the amount of practical and maths-based work and scrap “vague”, non-scientific topics such as caring for animals and societal context;

• In computing, pupils will be taught how to code and solve practical computer problems at 11 rather than using work processing packages.

But some of the biggest changes are made in maths where the calculation of fractions, volume and the area of shapes will be introduced much earlier.

At five, pupils will memorise and reason with “number bonds” up to 20 – allowing them to recognise and use sums such as 9+7=16 and 16-7=9 – tell the time and recognise and name 2-D and 3-D shapes.

From seven, pupils will recall and use the 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10 times tables, add and subtract amounts of money to give change using pounds and pence and add and subtract simple fractions with the same denominators.

At secondary school, pupils will be taught to reason with algebra, geometry and rates of change.

Michal Gove, the Education Secretary, said: “In primary maths, there’s more emphasis on arithmetic and fractions to build solid foundations for more advanced algebra and statistics…. This curriculum is a foundation for learning the vital advanced skills that universities and businesses desperately need.”

Stephen Twigg, the Shadow Education Secretary, said: "This is now Michael Gove's third attempt to rewrite the curriculum.

"He should listen to the experts and not try to write it himself based on his personal prejudices. We need a broad and balanced curriculum that prepares young people for the modern world and gives teachers in all schools the freedom to innovate."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... culum.html

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:58 am 
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Not sure how the maths will be done - you can show the concepts of fractions - cutting up pizzas/cakes sharing things out etc which I am sure I would have done at home at age 4-5 but more formal sit down and just working with the numbers might not have worked for my DS who was in a bit of a world of his own until he was about 7 - he has still taken level 6 maths and reading tests though at age 11.

DD and DS's school have been involved with an RSC schools project and have taken part in joint performances of a Shakespeare play with other partner schools that seemed to work very well.

It seems some schools are doing quite a bit already so I don't know what needs to be changed really


Last edited by DC17C on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:04 am 
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I think one needs to read the draft maths curriculum - I'm not entirely sure the Telegraph has done a good job of summarising it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:55 pm 
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And there is another consultation ....


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:39 pm 
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5 yr olds already do lots of this, journalists are not the best (or numerate!) of sources...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Fractions for five year olds - takes me right back to Sandycroft County Primary, circa 1964 :)

No doubt there will be some for whom this will all be expecting too much too soon, but then when I was a Parent Helper in a yr1 / yr2 class, there were some (indigenous, and no, not "special needs") six-year-olds who couldn't recognise a two-pence piece :(

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Oh, why oh why.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:51 am 
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As it was, I kept my children away from school until the latest date I could, legally (5 years plus one term). If this is all true (and I haven't had enough to drink yet to tackle the original document) then I would advise any parent of a pre-school child to think seriously about emigrating to somewhere where they still have childhood.
moved wrote:
Oh, why oh why.
Indeed. And the answer, I think, is 'because Michael Gove thinks it will be a good idea.' Didn't do him any harm, after all :twisted:

And again: why do we allow politicians to dictate what is taught in schools? Nowhere else does this!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:33 am 
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ToadMum wrote:
Fractions for five year olds - takes me right back to Sandycroft County Primary, circa 1964 :)

No doubt there will be some for whom this will all be expecting too much too soon, but then when I was a Parent Helper in a yr1 / yr2 class, there were some (indigenous, and no, not "special needs") six-year-olds who couldn't recognise a two-pence piece :(


The government is expecting schools to pick up the slack of poor parenting. A child will not thrive if they have only six hours a day of structure followed by neglect the hours they spend away from school.

Schools will not be successful without engaged parenting. I come from a family of teachers and the stories I hear....


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:38 am 
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Question: is it any more serious if a six year old child cannot recognise a twopence piece than if the same child cannot recognise a blackbird, an oak tree, a newt? Or cannot tie its own shoe laces, recognise the face of the Prime Minister (we shall spare it the goodly Mr Gove) or chop carrots? Personally I don't see that in itself as a symptom of the catastrophic breakdown of our early years education system*.

* there are plenty of others though. :wink:


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