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‘Tougher’ and less prescriptive STEM curriculum rolled out 05.09.14

New curriculum takes effect in UK schools this week

As a new school term begins, millions of children will be taught a new ‘world-class’ curriculum to prepare them for life in modern Britain. The new curriculum aims to be tougher and less prescriptive than those currently in place.

School Reform Minister Nick Gibb said: “Our plan for education is to ensure that young people leave school with the knowledge, skills and ambition to succeed in modern Britain and to compete in the global labour market. Central to that plan is our new curriculum which will not only give young people a solid grounding in the basics but also challenge them and ensure they fulfil every ounce of their potential.”

Changes to STEM subjects include:

 

Science

The new curriculum has a greater focus on scientific knowledge, increases practical work and emphasises mathematical requirements for science.

Evolution will be taught to primary school pupils for first time.

In secondary school pupils will study the 3 disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics in much greater depth.

 

Computing

Rather than learning how to use word processing and presentation packages, 5-year-olds will be taught how to write, create and test computer programs, using systems such as those developed by MIT and others.

From ages 11 to 14, pupils will be taught how to code and use a range of programming languages to help solve computer problems.

There is much greater emphasis on mathematical modelling and problem-solving, eg more sophisticated mechanics.

 

Design and technology

There will be much greater use of design equipment to keep pupils up to speed with the fast-changing high-technology industry, eg 3D printers, laser cutters and robotics.

There is an increased level of sophistication in the new curriculum in the use of electronics, eg pupils will be taught to incorporate and program microprocessor chips into products they have designed and made.

 

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