How are you addressing the changes to the new National Curriculum for England?

We developed 10 brand new units of work and have updated over 50 of our existing units of work to address these changes.

We started by looking at which units had the potential to cover a lot of the National Curriculum outcomes for science, and then backfilled these first. At the same time, we looked for opportunities for those units to also cover other National Curriculum areas of learning – art, music, design and technology, etc.

We also identified some existing units of work that had the potential to provide you with opportunities to teach the National Curriculum geography outcomes. These are quite specific to the UK, so the units won't contain any British geography so to speak, but do give you plenty of scope to achieve these National Curriculum requirements.


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How do I ensure that I'm meeting the new requirements of the National Curriculum?

We created new cross-reference documents, alongside three sample route plans to guide you in your planning. We’ve also pulled together a comprehensive set of FAQ's to work in conjunction with these documents.


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What's new in science?

We released our final set of compact science units – giving us 24 in total. We have also released a brand new science-focused unit in Milepost 3 called ‘Out of Africa’, which focuses on the themes of evolution and inheritance.

All the science units also include international learning, as well as technology. They are also versatile – you can use them in three different ways:

  1. Use them on their own and teach science topics discretely in your different year groups.
  2. Plan to teach the same topic at the same time as other mileposts, meaning you can share entry and exit points and experience a few awesome weeks of science projects.
  3. Use the learning tasks from the science units to enhance science in your existing, larger thematic units of work.

Despite the science outcomes being set out by year group in the National Curriculum document, the Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed that the outcomes need only be covered by the end of the relevant key stage. This means you can teach Year 1 National Curriculum science outcomes in Year 2, and vice versa. Here is the information taken straight from Page 156 of the final National Curriculum document issued by the DfE:

The programmes of study for science are set out year-by-year for key stages 1 and 2. Schools are, however, only required to teach the relevant programme of study by the end of the key stage. Within each key stage, schools therefore have the flexibility to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. In addition, schools can introduce key stage content during an earlier key stage if appropriate. All schools are also required to set out their school curriculum for science on a year-by-year basis and make this information available online.


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What's new in history?

We have developed two new history-focused units per milepost that directly address the National Curriculum's very specific outcomes around time periods and chronology.

Our history writer is a published author of children's books - choose your own adventure style – and the units he's written are brilliant. They give lots of scope to cover British history, with specific examples and case studies, but set in a global context. They go above and beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum and will help your children develop an international mindset.

The units also include international as a subject, and some of them include music and art, addressing the National Curriculum requirements for these subjects as well.


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What's new in ICT?

We have developed one ICT-focused unit of work per milepost. These are project based so you can teach them as discrete ICT lessons or combine them with existing IPC units of work.
Our ICT writer is a computer specialist and former primary school teacher. She currently works with a number of schools in London, many of whom use the IPC, so she's experienced with planning and helping to team-teach our units of work.

Naturally, these units also include international learning! Our advice would be to teach these units in the first year of each milepost so you can practice and consolidate any new skills in the following year.

The units cover all the programming aspects of the new National Curriculum. With regards to general ICT skills, internet research, email, presentations etc., there are plenty of opportunities to practice these in our new ICT-focused units and all of our other units of work.


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We're a mixed age class, help!

The units of the IPC were designed to be taught through the following age phases: 5-7 years, 7-9 years and 9-12 years. We have a number of schools that face this same challenge, and they tell us that it's often easier to teach units that are suitable for the older children, and differentiate these for the younger children. Of course, you'll need to be aware of the National Curriculum outcomes for each age phase to do this.

We asked some of our associate trainers to gather some general advice on planning, including mixed-age planning – we’ve made this available to our member schools on our IPC Member’s Lounge.


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Are there any parts of the new National Curriculum that you are not covering?

We are confident that the IPC will more than meet the requirements of the new National Curriculum. Let’s break it down for you subject-by-subject:

Science – all outcomes are covered through some of larger thematic units of work, and through our smaller science-focused units of work.

Computing – the programming and debugging outcomes are covered through our new ICT-focused units of work. Other areas of ICT will also be covered through these, and can be achieved through our existing units of work as well.

Art and design – these outcomes are covered in some of our existing units already, but we've updated more units to increase coverage.

Music – these outcomes are covered in some of our existing units already, but we've updated more units to increase coverage.

Design and technology – these outcomes are covered in some of our larger units, but also some of our science-focused units. It's likely that some units you choose for science will cover D&T as well.

Geography - opportunities to teach the National Curriculum geography are included in some of our existing, updated units. They won't be specific to British geography because we are an international curriculum! Teachers will need to be aware of the National Curriculum expectations for geography when teaching our units, to make sure the British specifics are ticked.

Citizenship – Apparently you don't have to worry about that in primary anymore! We do have society learning in some of our units, and international learning in ALL of them, so you can rely on us to help you teach your children to become well-rounded global citizens.

Physical education – we have it on good authority that all our schools in England follow a separate scheme of work for PE. In our cross referencing document, we have shown you which units have opportunities to cover aspects of PE, but we recommend keeping this separate from IPC, although any PE you can deliver through the IPC is a bonus we think!

Languages – we don't cover these currently.

English and Maths – We don't specifically cover these in our units, although we do make suggested links. We think there is huge scope for delivering the outcomes for English through our units, and many schools have told us that they believe that teaching writing, reading, speaking and listening through our units has increased standards in these areas.

History – The majority of history is covered through our new history-focused units. We've done a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Our history units enable schools all over the world to study the different time periods, and are therefore fully global in their approach. However, we've pulled out and zoned in on specific British history examples along the way. The following main themes from the National Curriculum will be incorporated into the units:

  • All the statutory outcomes for Key Stage 1.
  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
  • Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots.
  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
  • The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and an in-depth study of Ancient Sumer and Ancient Egypt (these are the examples we have chosen to focus on).
  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements, and their influence on the western world.
  • A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 (these are the examples we have chosen to focus on).
All of the above will be set in a global context, so it will be your choice as to whether you want to teach all the world history that we've included, or just stick with the British case studies and examples and go deeper with these yourself.


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Will you be changing your Assessment for Learning programme in any way?

We believe our comprehensive skills-based AFL programme is one of the strengths of the IPC, and with national curriculum 'levels' being dropped, our approach guarantees that children and teachers take a partnership approach to both assessing and improving learning across Mileposts 1, 2 and 3.

Each of our core skills (which are highlighted in bold in our units of work) comes with its own teacher rubric, pupil rubric and learning advice to help move children's learning forwards. The rubrics and learning advice are available in Word format in our Members' Lounge, so they can be adapted to match your particular needs.

So the simple answer as to whether we're changing our AFL programme is no, but we're positive that our current programme ticks a lot of boxes for all schools, whether they're following the national curriculum or not.


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Want to learn more about how the IPC can support you in achieving the learning goals of the National Curriculum for England 2014?

Click here to request your sample materials and IPC information pack today!