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New curriculum faces North Devon children on return to school

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 02, 2014

Computer programming will be taught from ages five to 14, just one of the curriculum changes

Computer programming will be taught from ages five to 14, just one of the curriculum changes

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As children and teenagers from across North Devon go back to school over the next week or so, they will be faced with a revised curriculum.

A four-year campaign started by former Education Secretary Michael Gove to bring back a more traditional curriculum will be continued by his successor Nicky Morgan.

Computer programming will be taught from ages five to 14, and foreign languages will be made compulsory at primary school.

Children aged five will have to recite poetry by heart, 11-year-olds will sit maths exams without calculators and teenagers will study at least two Shakespeare plays

There will be a new emphasis on spelling and grammar, and history will focus on the story of Britain.

The curriculum which covers primary school pupils, aged five to 11, and secondary schools pupils up to the age of 14 was finalised last September.

Some of the changes:

From age five onwards pupils will learn computing which will include understanding algorithms, writing code and learning how to create and debug programs.

Science will focus more on hard facts and there will be new content about the solar system, climate change and evolution.

Pupils will learn about 3D printing and robotics in Design and Technology.

English will strengthen the importance of Shakespeare, with pupils between the ages of 11 and 14 expected to have studied two of his plays. Word lists for eight and nine-year-olds include "medicine" and "knowledge", by 10 and 11 they should be spelling "accommodate" and "rhythm".

The history curriculum will offer a more chronological approach through British history.

Maths pupils will need to learn their 12 times table by the age of nine. Basic fractions, such as half or a quarter, will be taught to five-year-olds.

A new curriculum for 15 and 16-year-olds will come into force from September 2015.

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