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Classrooms without walls

glass-wallsFlexibility is the key to the new national curriculum with learning taking place in and out of the classroom.

The aim is to tailor education to pupils’ needs to a greater extent and to make closer links with employment and the skills required in the 21st century world of work.

Giving all pupils fundamental skills in English, maths and ICT is central to this. It also aims to help young people work in teams, solve problems and make decisions.

As well as thinking about lessons events, visits and out of school activities are also factored in, and the links between subjects get greater consideration.

The central concepts of Every Child Matters, which aims for children to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens, underpins the changes to the curriculum.

Wellbeing, economic and personal, combined with financial capability, will also be taught.

Assessment will not be as rigid – the aim is to use a number of methods to look at pupils’ progress.

It will also enable pupils to go on to higher levels of achievement and make it easier to do this with flexible learning.

Diplomas at key stage four are also part of the new curriculum. Introduced in September 2008, diplomas are effectively an extension, or revision, of NVQs.

The aim is to integrate the more vocational education activities and make them equivalent to GCSEs and A Levels. In theory, this means that diplomas, as well as delivering vocational education, be a route to further education at college or university.

Schools will continue to incorporate technology such as virtual learning environments (VLE) and Learning Management Systems.

A VLE is set up on the internet so that pupils can look at resources, email teachers, get their work marked, find out their grades and be assessed by their peers.

They don’t have to be in the school building to do this, which means their education moves outside the classroom.

This benefits all pupils, and allows access to education to everyone including those who have for one reason or another been excluded from school, and for people on the move, like travellers.

It also helps schools set up links with other educational establishments elsewhere in the world, to the benefit of different sets of pupils.

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