Wootton Lower School Head Teacher Personal Statement

New Primary Curriculum

The National Curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum. It became statutory for all primary school (except academies) in September 2014 (except pupils in year 2 and year 6 the new English, mathematics and science programmes of study will be introduced from September 2015.)

The final document was published in September 2013 giving schools less than a year to prepare.

It is now a legal requirement that all schools must publish their school curriculum by subject and academic year online.

* The Primary Curriculum is still divided into two Key Stages: Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6). The core subjects remain as English (76 pages in new document), Mathematics (43 pages) and Science (28 pages). For these three subjects there is very specific guidance in the Programmes of Study about what should be taught in each year group.

* The curriculum is also very specific that pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content.

* Programmes of Study for Foundation Subjects are organised into Key Stages where there is greater flexibility about when topics can be taught (all other subjects account for just 22 pages in the new document). Languages is now a statutory requirement at KS 2. RE continues to be taught using Warwickshire’s Agreed RE Syllabus. Citizenship and Sex and Relationship Education are not statutory until KS 3.

What has changed?

English: Stronger emphasis on vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and spelling (for example, the use of commas and apostrophes will be taught in KS1). Handwriting – not currently assessed under the national curriculum – is expected to be fluent, legible and speedy. Spoken English has a greater emphasis, with children to be taught debating and presenting skills

Mathematics: higher expectation in all year groups with an emphasis on Number - five-year-olds will be expected to learn to count up to 100 (compared to 20 under the current curriculum) and learn number bonds to 20 (currently up to 10) Simple fractions (1/4 and 1/2) will be taught from KS1, and by the end of primary school, children should be able to convert decimal fractions to simple fractions (e.g. 0.375 = 3/8). By the age of nine, children will be expected to know times tables up to 12x12 (currently 10x10 by the end of primary school).

Science: strong focus on scientific knowledge and language, rather than understanding the nature and methods of science in abstract terms. Evolution will be taught in primary schools for the first time. Non-core subjects like caring for animals will be replaced by topics like the human circulatory system

Computing: replaces Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with a greater focus on programming rather than on operating programs. From age five, children will learn to write and test simple programs, and to organise, store and retrieve data. From seven, they will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet. Internet safety will be taught in primary schools.

Art and Design: less guidance on the progression through skills, More freedom to choose the types of Art and Design to explore and teach. Larger focus at KS2 for the use of sketch books to develop ideas and review and revisit.

Design Technology: little significant changes. Separate section for cooking and nutrition which includes using the basic principles of a healthy diet to prepare dishes at KS1 and using a range of cooking techniques at KS2. Understand seasonality, looking at ingredients and know how they are grown, reared, caught or processed.

Geography: greater emphasis on location knowledge e.g. naming the oceans and continents and the placement of the United Kingdom on the world map at KS1 or countries of the world and cities in the UK at KS2 .Comparison between human and physical geography of an area in the United Kingdom and non-European area at KS1 extending to 3 way comparisons between UK , Europe and North or South America in KS2. Increased challenge in mapping skills development by use of basic compass directions, scales and keys at KS1 to the 8 point compass , O.S. symbols and complex scaling including six figure co-ordinates at KS2. Increased emphasis on geographical vocabulary

History: increased emphasis on chronological sequence. Throughout KS2 there are 9 periods of History to be studied where previously there were 6 .Pre-1066 has a more explicit programme of study although the other periods of time can be taught. Languages: a modern foreign language or ancient language (Latin or Greek) will be mandatory in KS2. Children will be expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the language

Music: in KS2 children are now expected to use and understand staff and other musical notations and learn about the history of music

PE: competition has a much higher profile than in the previous curriculum (although the skills to be taught are broadly similar). Swimming must be taught in either KS1 or KS2. KS2 pupils must compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best

What has the school done to prepare for the changes?


* Staff training given in Spring term by subject leader

* Purchase of new phonics scheme for Lower KS 2 and new reading books (training for Subject Leader and Year 3 teacher)

* Training by subject leader in Big Reading and new Reading Policy

* Big Writing to continue every three weeks with assessment against Ros Wilson framework.


* Staff training given in Spring term by subject leader

* new Calculations Policy written

* our Abacus Maths Scheme was updated free of charge and staff were given passwords to access on-line plans and resources to support them

* teachers from Year 3, 4 and 5 began planning from the new programmes of study in Spring 2014

* initial feed –back from teachers is positive. Although there are gaps in children’s knowledge which means in some topics they are having to teach from lower year group programmes of study

Other curriculum areas:

* training to staff by Curriculum Leader in Spring term

* purchase of Prospectus – a topic based scheme of work

* review of the whole curriculum by Curriculum Leader. In KS 1 only small changes were required but KS 2, where there is a two year rolling programme, required substantial change.

* to ensure adequate coverage of the science programmes of study it was agreed to teach science away from the topics unless it was relevant.

* once a skeleton scheme had been developed based on history, geography or science themes, other subject leaders produced guidance on how their topics fitted in

* class teachers have planned their first term’s topic and are keeping a weekly record of core skills and knowledge covered. These will enable Subject Leaders to oversee their subjects and make adjustments.

* It is going to take at least two years to get everything running smoothly!!

Proposed topic headings:

KS 1

Autumn Spring Summer

Cherry School Days Poles Apart Flight

Willow London’ Burning Indian Spice Wonder Women

KS 2

Year 1 2014/15 Autumn Spring Summer

Chestnut All about Me China Meet the Flintstones

Birch Invaders and Settlers Wild Water Rainforests

Sycamore Coventry Blitz Out of this World Healthy Lifestyles

Year 2 2015/16

Chestnut Extreme Survival Tomb Raiders Location, Location

Birch Roman Rule The World’s Kitchen Stratford

Sycamore Greece Lightning Disaster Lights, Camera, Action

Note: teachers may choose to do topics in different terms


* The current system of assessment using levels was removed in September 2014 for all year groups except 2 and 6.

* Schools are free to develop their own assessment system based on the end of key Stage expectations in the Programmes of Study

* However, the school must have an assessment system which enables schools to check what pupils have learned and whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the key stage, and to report regularly to parents. It must also measure progress.

* The national curriculum tests and teacher assessment at the end of key stages 1 and 2 will be

reported in levels for the last time in summer 2015, as pupils in Year 2 and Year 6 that year will not

* have been taught the new national curriculum.

* The first new key stage 1 and key stage 2 tests in English, mathematics and science, based on the

new national curriculum, will be sat by pupils for the first time in the summer of 2016.

Assessment is now the whole school focus. Currently we are looking at assessment systems that have already been published. These include: Ros Wilson Criterion scales, Learning Ladders, Passports and i-track.

Sian Gair – October 2014

Devizes School is a mixed comprehensive school in Devizes, Wiltshire, England, for young people aged 11 to 18. The school is situated in the centre of the town, next to the Leisure Centre, between the A342 and A360. Since September 2012, the school has been an academy.The school is the only Secondary School in the town of Devizes and it also serves many surrounding villages. Built around Georgian Southbroom House, the school now comprises additional teaching blocks of a more modern style set within its own sports fields. In May 2013, the sixth form moved into their new, enlarged Sixth Form Centre. Ofsted has graded the school Good in each of the past four visits, the latest in 2015. Mr Phil Bevan was appointed head teacher in April 2016 and the school became a member of The White Horse Federation in February 2017.


The school has been awarded specialist Sports College and ICT College status. School enrolment in 2012 was 1,181 students.[1]


Devizes School has a house system comprising four houses, of which each student, Year 7–13 belongs to: Gandhi, King, Mandela and Teresa.

Each house is named after a historical figure who worked towards understanding using peaceful methods. The names of the houses were selected by a vote. Each house has its own house colour - Gandhi is green, King is blue, Teresa is red and Mandela is yellow.


Former schools[edit]

The school was formed in 1969 by the merging of the co-educational Devizes Grammar School and the Southbroom Secondary School (a secondary modern school) to form a comprehensive school.


The new school used the Southbroom site, based around Southbroom House, due to the availability of space, It was cheap and the Grammar School Lower School was taken over by St. Peter's School[2] with the Upper School Braeside becoming a residential education centre. The Southbroom buildings were enlarged and by January 1973 there were 1,373 pupils on the school roll. Further new buildings have been erected and in 2002 there were 1,065 pupils with a sixth form of around 150.[3]

On 8 August 1990, the Queen attended the school to open the swimming pool at the adjacent Devizes Leisure Centre, when the headmaster was Colin Isted.

Shelley Rudman, the Olympic skeleton silver medallist, worked at the school as a classroom manager.

In February 2005, a 52-year-old builder, David Evans, was taunted by some teenage boys at the school. He confronted two of them, pushing two of them. Next day the teenage boys reported him to their headmaster, Malcolm Irons, who reported him to the police. Next day Mr Evans hanged himself.[4][5]

Academic performance[edit]

Outstanding results in A levels and GCSEs in 2012 broke records for the second year running.

At A level 52% of the grades were A*-B and 81% were grades A-C

At GCSE level, 75% of year 11 students achieved 5+ A*-C grades and 61% achieved 5+ A*-C including English and mathematics.


Devizes Grammar School[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

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