Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Outrageous Performance Descriptor Maths KS1

The Department for Education in England is engaged at present in a consultation about their proposed performance descriptors for children in Key Stages 1 and 2 in relation to the new primary curriculum.

I have just been looking at the mathematics descriptors for Key Stage 1.

The proposal includes the requirement that children who are to be judged as working 'at the national standard' at the end of Year 2 will be able to ...

     add and subtract numbers using ... the written columnar methods ...

They can't be allowed to get away with that! Columnar methods for addition and subtraction are NOT in the curriculum for Key Stage 1 mathematics. They are mentioned in the non-statutory guidance for Year 2, but they are quite clearly not required in the actual curriculum.

Non-statutory guidance is non-statutory!

But these proposed performance indicators will be statutory. Key Stage 1 teachers will be requried to assess pupils against these criteria. So, de facto, they will become the key focus of the curriculum.

This is an outrage. We must protest strongly at what looks like a deliberate attempt to give non-statutory advice about formal traditional written calculation methods the same status as what is in the actual curriculum.

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