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National Curriulum - Essay Example

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Summary
The essay shall look at challenges in balancing national literacy strategies and curriculum content in light of assessments and timetables. Additionally, the issue of flexibility within curriculum implementation shall also be examined and the education reform act's challenges…
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National Curriulum
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National Curriulum

Download file to see previous pages... The strategy required that students be given one hour of literacy classes on a daily basis. In other words, they were supposed to engage in reading and writing classed at any one time. (The BBC, 2009)
While the latter strategy may seem like a good thing, there are certain concerns that have been raised about this issue with regard to the curriculum and lesson planning issues. However, before looking into some of these arguments it is essential to understand that there have been some positive outcomes in this regard. First of all, the literacy national strategy has led to better teaching of literacy skills through incorporation into the curriculum. Many experts argue that this may be one of the most important skills to be learnt from school by students. Additionally, the process of balancing the national curriculum with the national strategy is that it necessitated a massive training program for teachers consequently, leading to better knowledge with regard to the process of reading and writing.
Through the national literacy strategy, there was a need to change the curriculum so as to incorporate new teaching aspects. For example, it has been found that aspects such as grammar and phonics (which had been previously left out) are now being put into consideration. It should also be noted that through the process of balancing the national curriculum with the national strategy, there have been greater amounts of resources that have been dedicated to primary education in the United Kingdom. In fact, experts assert that numerous schools within the region have restored their libraries and now boast of plenty of books which are now at teachers' and children's disposal. On top of the latter, there are many situations in which teachers have had to include activities and games in the lesson planning process thus making education more colourful and interesting for children. (DFES, 2006)

However, it is not just these positive outcomes that have emanated from the latter strategy. In fact, it is a proven fact that whenever there is a government led project within the education sector, certain unintended consequences must emanate from it. For instance it is a big challenge for teachers to balance between three of the following aspects
School league tables
Targets
Tests

In the process of balancing between the national curriculum and national strategies, teachers have found that most of their time and attention has been driven towards the issue of tests instead of other learning issues. This matter is further compounded by the fact that there are high stakes in those tests. Most of the time, parents want to find out how their children performed and they usually use this issue as a criterion for success. In the end, the individual who suffers is the child who finds that their mind must always be on the tests. Learning then becomes a boring process for them. It can therefore be asserted that the aims for which these two aspects i.e. the national curriculum and the national strategy were intended in accomplishing actually end being sidelined. (Department for Schools, children and families, 2008)

Most of the time, curriculum implementation needs to be done in such a manner that it allows for greater flexibility in the teaching and the learning process. However, the literacy national strategy eliminated this aspect through its rigorous and one size fits all strategy. The taskforce appointed to implement this aspect ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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