Understanding Your Child's Curriculum*

“Curriculum” is a word you probably have heard floating around. It refers to lessons and assessments that children are taught at school. By studying it, parents can learn how best to support children in their learning. However, it can be quite the minefield to understand. To help you, we have some guidance below from a prep school in Potters Bar.

What Is the National Curriculum
Most schools follow what is known as the “national curriculum” which outlines the minimum teaching standards all schools must meet. This is otherwise known as the “British curriculum” and details of it can be found over on the GOV.UK website. The exceptions to this rule are independent schools that follow their own, and international schools who adopt the IB (International baccalaureate) curriculum.

Understanding Their School Curriculum
We suggest that you have a look at their school website as the curriculum can vary depending on location (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own which they follow) and the kind of school they attend.

Secondary School and Exam Boards
Things become a little more complicated when children move up to secondary school. There are not only the mandatory set of subjects that they will study, but also the options that they will get to choose for their GCSEs and differences depending on the exam board they follow. As well as checking with their school, we also recommend taking a look at the course specifications shared by their exam boards. Those that are typically used here in the UK are AQA, OCR, Pearson/Edexcel, WJEC (the Welsh exam board), CCEA and SQA.

If this is a grey area that you need a little support in understanding, it may be something to discuss at your child’s next parents evening. Plus, you will be able to learn about your child’s progress in relation to where they should be.

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