According to a report published by the National Trust,...
- Education Professionals
Children go back to basics in maths
Children will be introduced to times tables, mental arithmetic and fractions in the first two years of school as part of a back-to-basics overhaul of the National Curriculum.
A draft mathematics curriculum suggests that five and six year-olds will be expected to count up to 100, recognise basic fractions and memorise the results of simple sums by the end of the first year of compulsory education. In the second year, they will be required to know the two, five and 10 times tables, add and subtract two-digit numbers in their head and begin to use graphs.
The proposals are intended to ensure that children are given a proper grounding in the basics at a young age to prepare them for the demands of secondary education and beyond. It represents a dramatic toughening up of standards demanded in English state schools in a move designed to benchmark lessons against those found in the world’s most advanced education systems, such as Singapore, Hong Kong and parts of the United States.
The planned overhaul of primary subjects will be put out to a public consultation to be launched this week. Proposals to reform other primary subjects – as well as lessons in secondary schools – will be outlined later this year.
The move is expected to be criticised by teachers who fear that the proposals give them less freedom to dictate the content of their own lessons. The changes come amid fears that rising numbers of pupils are leaving school unfit for the demands of the workplace.
A study published today by the Confederation of British Industry discloses that four in 10 companies were forced to offer young employees remedial lessons in English, maths or computing because of poor levels of basic skills.