The education system can be quite the mind field and as your child progresses through school, it can become even more challenging to wrap your head around. In short, the curriculum outlines what your child will be studying throughout their time at school as well as where they are expected to be in their learning. It’s a way of making sure that they are on track and to assess whether further support is needed. The national curriculum is compulsory for all schools to follow, with the exception of independent schools who follow their own. There may also be differences in teaching depending on where their school is located geographically. Details of the exact curriculum that your child follows can be found on their school website, along with official guidance on GOV.uk.
This post was put together by a private girls’ school in Hertfordshire and is designed to help you improve your understanding of the curriculum.
As well as the sources mentioned above, you may find speaking to other parents helpful as they’re in the same boat as you and can make recommendations. Schools often have PTA’s which are boards made up of passionate parents. They are their own little communities with a say in the running of the schools.
How Understanding the Curriculum Can Help Your Child
- You will be able to make sense of your child’s educational needs, understand the progress that they’re making and where they need help.
- You can make the most of parents’ evenings and support their teacher.
- Show your child that you are invested in their education and that it is important.
Have a Word with Their Teacher
If there’s anything that you’re not quite sure of, their teacher may be able to help. They are trained at delivering the curriculum so know it better than anyone and may be able to refer you to resources which you can use to support your child’s learning at home. Also, as their teacher, there is no one better to fill you in as they are the ones marking your child’s work and observing them in class.
Talk to Your Child
Also, to learn about the curriculum you can just ask your child. They won’t be able to teach you about all the ins and outs but will be able to tell you about what they’ve been doing which can give you an indication as to how they’re getting on and whether they’re being taught correctly at school. It’s also a good revision exercise as they will need to cast their mind back to what they did at school.
Forums are another good source of information, just be mindful of the specific curriculum that your child follows and how current the information that you’re looking at is. The curriculum changes from time to time to meet the needs of the world. Some of the resources that you come across may become irrelevant. YouTube is also a good place. You can find video tutorials to learn how maths methods are used and can be taught.
As highlighted above, there are subjects which are compulsory. There are also ones which aren’t which you have discretion over, such as sex education for example. For religious and cultural reasons, some parents opt out of these lessons being taught at an early age. Other optional subjects include modern foreign languages and citizenship. Details of these can be found over on the GOV.UK website.
We hope that this post provided insight and helps you in learning about your child’s curriculum. For more parenting resources, be sure to check out my other posts.