The Education Insider: Another year older

In her latest post for us, education expert Jodie Lopez shares her thoughts at the end of another school year.

The new curriculum is another year older, the SATs are another year older, and we are all another year older. But are we any wiser?

This year has felt, overall, a little less controversial than last year. Maybe because people just know what to expect a bit more. I have seen individuals and schools being a bit braver too. It was always inevitable that making such major changes to the curriculum and assessment would cause huge shock waves, and there will always be a cohort of children who have to straddle two systems and that is never easy.

I don’t feel that anyone is yet feeling “super happy” about the changes but it feels as though a corner has been turned as everyone settles into their new routines and understands more about their new expectations.

There are still doubts over the progress measures and how they will play out in coming years. There may be more upheaval to come if anything happens regarding P-levels at some point. For now, however, there seems to be a grace period with no planned major changes which is always helpful to let us take stock, evaluate and try new things.

The next cohort to take SATs, next summer, will have had as many years working on the new curriculum as they did on the old. The children moving up to Key Stage 2, in Year 3, in September will only ever know the new curriculum. That is a milestone in itself.

In years to come we will be telling NQTs “I was around when the QCA schemes of work were in place!” and they will listen to our tales of old with wide eyes and disbelieve us when we talk of 2Bs. “The legends are true” they will whisper, “It wasn’t just a type of pencil!”

I remember the days before the National Curriculum existed, as a student. I remember when SATs were introduced. I remember my coursework being thrown away by gleeful teachers when SATs were cancelled at the last minute during the trial year. I remember being taught about QCA, EBD, and many other acronyms that have since been replaced by ever new and exciting jargon. Greater depth, mastery, rapid graspers, super heads….we will learn our new language with pride. And be prepared for the next big change when it happens. Because it will. When it comes to flexibility teachers are always top of the class!

Have a great summer. You definitely deserve it.

Jodie is an award winning ex-primary teacher who now works as a Freelance Edtech Consultant. Her interest in using technology in education has led to her working with a number of educational technology businesses since leaving the classroom. Most recently she has been Head of Education for an assessment system provider and has specialised in helping schools to transition to the new curriculum and leaving levels behind. Follow her on Twitter here.

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