The National Curriculum
The information below can be found on the DfE website http://www.education.gov.uk
Aims, Values and Purposes
Education both influences and reflects the values of our society, and the kind of society we want to be. It is therefore important to recognise a set of common aims, values and purposes that underpin the curriculum and the work of schools. The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that each school plans for its pupils. The National Curriculum is an important element of the school curriculum.
The National Curriculum has three aims. It should enable all young people to become:
- successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
- confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
- responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.
The curriculum should reflect values in our society that promote personal development, equality of opportunity, economic wellbeing, a healthy and just democracy, and a sustainable future.
These values should relate to:
- ourselves, as individuals capable of spiritual, moral, social, intellectual and physical growth and development
- our relationships, as fundamental to the development and fulfilment of happy and healthy lives, and to the good of the community
- our society, which is shaped by the contributions of a diverse range of people, cultures and heritages
- our environment, as the basis of life and a source of wonder and inspiration that needs to be protected.
The statutory curriculum should establish an entitlement for all children and promote high standards.
The purposes of having a statutory curriculum are:
- to establish an entitlement for all children, regardless of social background, culture, race, gender, differences in ability and disabilities, to develop and apply the knowledge, skills and understanding that will help them become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens
- to establish national standards for children’s performance that can be shared with children, parents, teachers, governors and the public
- to promote continuity and coherence, allowing children to move smoothly between schools and phases of education and providing a foundation for lifelong learning
- to promote public understanding, building confidence in the work of schools and in the quality of compulsory education.
- In particular, the curriculum should:
- promote high standards, particularly in literacy, numeracy and ICT capability
- provide continued entitlement from early years to a coherent, broad and balanced curriculum
- instil in children a positive disposition to learning and a commitment to learn
- promote and pass on essential knowledge, skills and understanding valued by society to the next generation
- be relevant to children and prepare them for the here and now, for the next phase of their education, and for their future
- widen horizons and raise aspirations about the world of work and further and higher education
- make children more aware of, and engaged with, their local, national and international communities
- help children recognise that personal development is essential to wellbeing and success.
For further information on individual subjects see the DfE website: