National Curriculum - Children, Schools and Families Committee Contents

Annex 2—National Curriculum and related documentation

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority website ( contains a large amount of information and guidance to help teachers and others working in schools. The following documents, in particular, are aimed at supporting teachers and others in delivering the curriculum:

  • National Curriculum Handbook (one for primary and one for secondary) (non- statutory). This includes general information regarding the purpose of the National Curriculum and details on the non-statutory aspects of the curriculum (e.g. skills frameworks). It also includes the Programmes of Study.
  • Programmes of Study (for each subject at each Key Stage) (statutory). These describe the subject knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils are expected to develop and specify the range of activities, contexts and purposes that they should experience. They too map out a scale of attainment within the subject.
  • Schemes of Work (for each subject at each Key Stage) (non-statutory). These are work plans that help teachers to translate the National Curriculum into teaching and learning activities.
  • The place of Every Child Matters in the Curriculum booklet (non-statutory guidance).
  • Guidance on timetabling the curriculum (non-statutory). This includes suggestions on how much time should be spent teaching each subject.
  • Homework: guidelines for primary and secondary schools (non-statutory).
  • Guidance on disapplication of the National Curriculum (non-statutory).
  • 'A Big Picture of the Curriculum' framework (non-statutory).

The key National Strategies resources that support the National Curriculum are listed below. The full list of National Strategies resources can be viewed at

Primary Framework for Literacy and Mathematics

Teachers can pick out guidance by subject, Year group and unit. An example is provided below:
Year 1 Narrative - Unit 1

Stories with familiar settings

(4 weeks or 2 x 2 weeks)

This is the first of a block of four narrative units in Year 1. It builds on children's experience and knowledge from the Early Years Foundation Stage and introduces new areas of learning that will be developed during the year. The unit can be linked to many other curriculum areas such as history or personal, social and health education. It can be taught in two sequences each lasting two weeks, as illustrated below, or as a single 4-week unit. The teaching sequence is repeated but the texts read and the writing outcomes are different.

Sequence 1 phase 1

Read a selection of stories with incidents and settings familiar to the children. Identify characters, settings and main events.

Sequence 1 phase 2

Re-enact stories using puppets, story boxes, etc. Order events in the correct sequence.

Sequence 1 phase 3

Use role-play to explore imaginative ideas based on a theme from reading and devise a class story. Take photographs to use as a story plan. Demonstrate how to write the story. Children write their own versions of the story.

Sequence 2 phases 1 and 2

As above, using different stories.

Sequence 2 phase 3

Tell a story based on your own experience. Demonstrate how to compose a short written version. Pairs recount their own experiences and draw a sequence of pictures. Children write a story based on their own experiences.


Read several stories during the unit which are based around incidents and settings that are familiar to the children. Identify where the story takes place, who is involved and what happens. Introduce the words 'character', 'setting', 'events'. Demonstrate how to apply word reading skills and strategies and involve children in using these strategies themselves.

Children identify the main events in a story and re-enact using, for example, props, pictures or puppets.

Identify and discuss a familiar experience in a story, for example getting lost. Children make links with their own experiences.

Explore imaginative ideas arising from this using role-play, for example 'The day Class 1 got lost'. Make a simple story plan, for example using a sequence of photos from the drama activity. Demonstrate how to write sentences to tell the story. Reinforce the application of spelling strategies and correct sentence punctuation. Make a class book.

Children recount their own real or imagined experiences orally. They record their plan by drawing a sequence of pictures, then writing sentence(s) to retell the story in writing. The sequence could be repeated twice using different books as a starting point.

Taken from the Primary National Strategy Primary Framework for literacy

The Primary National Strategies website also includes a compendium of all resources available across the site—teaching and learning resources, professional development and support materials and background and guidance documents.

Secondary Frameworks for the core subjects of English, mathematics, science and ICT

Each of the Frameworks are structured around learning objectives, linked to the Programmes of Study, which set out in reasonable detail the knowledge, skills and understanding which pupils need to acquire across Key Stages 3 and 4. Teachers can use the learning objectives to plan sequences of lessons that cluster objectives together and that cater for different groups of pupils.

The Frameworks offer guidance on 'key lines' of progression and pupil tracking.

There are examples of short-, medium- and long-term curriculum planning for teachers to follow. The short-term plans exemplify quality teaching, effective structured lessons and lesson sequences and appropriate use of intervention materials. Medium-term plans show planning for progression in key aspects of the subject, and how to plan for rich curriculum opportunities and links with other subjects. Long-term plans show how to cover the whole Key Stage.

There are also links to a subject, curricular and pedagogic knowledge bank, covering key concepts and processes in teaching and learning the subject, key teaching and learning approaches, guidance on inclusive teaching (including SEN and Gifted and Talented pupils), use of ICT to enhance learning in the subject and links with the National Strategies Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) programme materials and resources.[98]

Materials to help schools exploit the opportunities that the new secondary curriculum offers (covering English, mathematics, science and ICT).

Materials to support teaching in the foundation subjects.

All National Strategies guidance and recommendations are non-statutory.

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