Spotlight on the new National Curriculum for English

As Lead Producer for English, I have found that there are three standout elements to the new National Curriculum for English; there is a strong emphasis on the importance of synthetic phonics, there is a newly robust emphasis on the ‘writing’ element of the subject (particularly ‘transcription’), and generally speaking, expectations seem to be higher, with more expected of children at a younger age for most aspects of the English curriculum. These have been our key ‘headline’ concerns when planning out English content production for the coming months.

For phonics, our ‘Letters and Sounds’ area will receive a boost through the production of new content to fill gaps, supporting the learning of tricky words, and support preparation for the Phonics Screening Check. There are some great-looking and engaging Activities and Topic Tools in development right now, and we can’t wait to have them ready to share!

We will be beavering away, preparing updated word lists for the vocabulary which children will be expected to read and spell, year on year. These word lists will be integrated into our selection of Topic Tools, and a brand new tool will be produced to further support spelling skills. We’re excited about this one!

A range of new Learn Screens will be produced to teach the different stages of the writing process. Stig and the rest of the team have a new project, and your pupils can go through the writing process with them from the ideas stage to the finished article!

We have also been working with Patrick Mainprize, our Education Lead, to remap our content to the demanding requirements of the new National Curriculum. This is shining more of a light on other key areas for us to cover. As part of this, we’re exploring ThinkIts as another handy avenue for curriculum coverage! They are teacher-led, open-ended and get the children involved; it’s no wonder everyone loves ThinkIts!

All in all, the new Curriculum is offering a challenge to us, but it’s also a great thing for us to get our teeth into, and we revel in the opportunity to see how we can better support you, our subscribers, in your implementation of the new National Curriculum.

We’ll be working hard in the run up to September 2014!

Dean Smith, Lead Producer-English