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Curriculum and assessment

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NAHT is working to ensure that the curriculum supports the learning, progress and success of all pupils. NAHT supports the principle that a broad and balanced curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

NAHT is campaigning to: 

Support schools to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for their pupils

  • Challenge the government policy, including EBacc, which may narrow the curriculum
  • Enable and support schools to successfully deliver statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education
  • Lobby for improvements to government policy which supports schools to deliver inclusive education and fulfil their responsibilities under the public sector equality duty
  • Support schools to deliver effective careers education for all pupils
  • Support schools to deliver high-quality Religious Education to all pupils
  • Provide guidance, materials and information to support schools in educating pupils about environmental issues.

Ensure a valid and proportionate approach to statutory assessment in primary schools

  • Lobby the government to reconsider the introduction of the multiplication tables check
  • Lobby the government to ensure changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Early Learning Goals are appropriate and relevant for the early years sector
  • Influence the development and implementation of the reception baseline assessment
  • Support members to implement the new statutory assessment for pupils with SEND
  • Identify and challenge the STA over any impact on members of the contract change to deliver statutory assessment in the primary phase
  • Engage with the STA to influence changes and improvements to statutory assessment including moderation and maladministration
  • Campaign for KS2 SPAG to be made non-statutory and oppose any additional statutory testing in the primary phase

Ensure the KS4 and KS5 qualification framework and examination system is fit for purpose

  • Press the government, Ofqual and exam boards to ensure that reformed qualifications, both academic and vocational, meet the needs of all pupils and schools
  • Explore the issue of grade reliability, identifying solutions and improvements which are supported by members and pressing the government and Ofqual for appropriate action
  • Inform members of the latest developments in secondary assessment through engagement with Ofqual, JCQ and awarding organisations. 

Safe remote learning in PSHE education: advice from the PSHE Association

The PSHE Association has created a guide to teaching PSHE remotely, which not only includes valuable advice on what can be safely covered at home but also topics that should be avoided. 

Topics that can work well for remote/home learning at this time could include the following:

  • Strategies for preventing infection
  • Ways of promoting positive mental health and emotional well-being
  • Sleep and good sleep habits
  • Balancing time online with other activities
  • Managing online friendships and social media
  • Maintaining healthy eating habits and physical activity
  • Study and revision skills
  • Careers education
  • Shared responsibilities in caring for others. 

However, not all PSHE education topics are appropriate to deliver remotely. The PSHE Association would, therefore, strongly advise you to carefully consider whether a topic is safe to be addressed remotely or through home learning before setting any work in PSHE education for a number of reasons:

  • Many topics covered in PSHE education are complex and sometimes sensitive. Pupils should engage with such topics in discussions and activities facilitated by a teacher, within a safe classroom environment
  • Researching certain PSHE education topics can lead pupils to access websites that may be unreliable or even harmful
  • Learning in PSHE education should always take place within a carefully sequenced, developmental programme, which is far harder to achieve through setting activities to be completed over a period of time with no teacher input. 

Topics that should NOT be addressed through remote teaching or home learning for the reasons above include the following:

  • Unhealthy coping strategies, such as eating disorders and self-harm
  • Other mental health issues (other than ways of promoting positive mental and emotional well-being)
  • Abusive relationships and exploitation, FGM and forced marriage. 

If in doubt about whether work you are setting or planning to teach remotely is safe, consider the following questions: 

  • Might the topic be difficult for some pupils to discuss or learn about in the home environment?
  • Will this encourage or make it more likely that a pupil will go onto inappropriate or potentially harmful websites as a result of this lesson/activity?
  • Might any content cause distress or anxiety to pupils?
  • Might any content re-traumatise a pupil with personal experience of the topic?
  • Does the lesson/activity provide sufficient signposting to support currently available to pupils should they wish to discuss the topic further, make a disclosure, or get advice and help? 

You can find more information on support and resources from the PSHE Association here.

First published 02 April 2020