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National curriculum and inclusion

Schools have a responsibility to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils. A statutory inclusion statement sets out how teachers can modify the National Curriculum programmes of study to ensure effective learning for all pupils.

When planning and teaching the National Curriculum, teachers are required to:

  • set suitable learning challenges
  • respond to pupil's diverse needs
  • overcome potential barriers to learning and assessment

Setting suitable learning challenges

All pupils should have the opportunity to experience success in learning and achieve as high a standard as possible. Teachers should plan suitable learning for pupils with attainments significantly above or below the expected key stage levels.

Responding to pupils diverse learning needs, teachers should:

  • set high expectations and provide opportunities for all to achieve
  • take account of legislation requiring equal opportunities
  • take specific action to create effective learning environments, secure pupils' motivation and concentration, provide equality of opportunity, use appropriate assessment and set targets for learning.

Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment

For pupils with particular learning and assessment requirements, teachers should support individuals and groups to enable them to participate fully in curriculum and assessment activities.

Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Teachers should:

  • take account of the type and extent of a pupil's special educational needs in planning and in assessment
  • provide support for communication, language and literacy needs
  • plan, where necessary, to develop pupils' understanding through the use of all available senses and experience
  • plan to enable children to take full part in learning, physical and practical activities
  • help pupils to manage their behaviour, to take part in learning effectively and safely and, at key stage four to prepare for work
  • help individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma and stress, and to take part in learning

Children with disabilities

Not all pupils with disabilities necessarily have special educational needs. Teachers must take action however, to ensure pupils with disabilities are able to participate as fully and effectively as possible in the National Curriculum and statutory assessment arrangements. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset, without the need for disapplication. Teachers should:

  • plan for enough time for satisfactory completion of tasks
  • plan opportunities where needed for the development of skills in practical aspects of the curriculum
  • identify aspects of programmes of study and attainment targets that may present specific difficulties for individuals

Pupils who are learning English as an additional language

Pupils with English as an additional language are not regarded as having special educational needs solely because of their language differences. Planning should take account of their diverse needs and careful monitoring should occur of each pupil's progress.

The ability of pupils to take part in the National Curriculum may be ahead of their communication skills in English.

Teachers should plan learning opportunities that help pupils develop English and should aim to provide the support to enable them to take part in all subject areas. Teachers should develop their spoken and written English and ensure access to the curriculum and to assessment.

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