Understanding Your Child’s Curriculum

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Curriculums – they change, they’re confusing and they’re really very important to your child’s future. Curriculums in the UK are standardised and known as The National Curriculum. The National Curriculum is broken up into 4 ‘key stages’ and children complete each key stage as they advance through their school years. Reception is not included in the key stages.

Key Stage 1
Key Stage 1 is taught to pupils aged between 5 and 7. This is when they are in years 1 and 2. When Year 2 is completed, all children sit their SATs (Standardised Assessment Tasks) which all children undertake nationally. These tests are designed to assess the academic ability of the child in the key subjects of maths and English. Only maths are English are tested. Parents receive copies of teacher assessments which are separate from the tests – parents can ask for the results of the test if they are interested. SATs are not like traditional examinations in that there is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’.

Key Stage 2
This is taught to children aged between 7 and 11 during years 3 to 6. At the completion of Year 6, all children take their SATs, and a lot of their final year at primary school is focused on underpinning previous years of education. Key Stage 2 SATs were redesigned in 2016 and became more challenging. These tests assess reading, maths, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. These tests are taken in May with results being available in July.

Key Stage 3
When children progress to secondary school, they begin with KS3, during Years 7 to 9 when they are 11 to 14 years of age. Key Stage 3’s curriculum covers core statutory subjects including religious education and sex education. There are no SATs at the completion of Key Stage 3 but rather formal teacher assessments.

Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 is studied by children aged between 14 and 16 through years 10 to 11. The assessment for Key Stage 4 involves GCSEs and it’s only once this stage is completed that children can finally move on to study A Levels.

After Key Stage 4
A-Levels are not compulsory but children must continue to study in some way until they are 18. Whether that is via an apprenticeship or a traineeship or volunteering is up to the child. Some students opt for a combination of education and training whilst others choose to focus completely on education.

Talk with your child’s teachers
If you have any doubts or concerns about the way your child’s curriculum works, always raise them with teachers. This senior school in Surrey ensures all parents have plenty of opportunities to discuss curriculum concerns with the relevant staff and this is one of the best ways to help parents help their children. Your child’s experience can be greatly improved if you understand their goals and any difficulties they may encounter along the way.

Teaching Your Child to Overcome Obstacles

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There will always be barriers to achieving something brave and worthwhile and teaching your child how to overcome them can help them to become more independent and achieve more from life. We have teamed up with an independent school in London to share a few ways that you can teach your child about how to overcome obstacles.

Set an Example
You can teach your child to never give up in the face of obstacles by being a positive role model and doing so yourself. At times things may seem tough, whether that be financially or in terms of reaching your personal goals. This will motivate your child to apply the same outlook to life by holding hope and trying their utmost best.

Giving your child the opportunity to face their own challenges is important when teaching them how to overcome obstacles. Through having prior experience, your child will develop self-belief and faith that they can accomplish whatever they put their mind to.

Praise Your Child
Lots of positive reinforcement can help your child to continue and not give up. Praise is a great motivator that can help your child to internalise their strengths and capabilities to create self-belief.

Exercise Problem Solving
Overcoming obstacles doesn’t always mean working harder. By working smarter and using problem-solving skills, your child can overcome any obstacle that comes their way by thinking innovatively and creatively. You can do this by playing fun family challenges at home and asking “what if” questions to push your child’s forward-thinking.

Set Goals
Goals can remind you of why you started a challenge when times get tough, and they can help your child to reflect on how far they have come. Without planning and creating checkpoints with yourself it is easy to think that your progress has remained stagnant and give up which is why goal setting is important.