For generations, parents have found themselves visiting primary schools with their children only to hear themselves saying: “It’s not like when I was at school.”

Things change quickly in education, and at no time in the past 25 years has that been more true. In September 2014 the National Curriculum for schools in England was updated. The Jersey Curriculum is based on the National Curriculum so the changes applied in our schools from September 2015.

We have also taken the opportunity to make sure Jersey school children learn about their Island’s unique culture and heritage and have ensured local dimensions are included in subjects such as geography and history. The Jersey Curriculum is also slightly different because it still includes Personal, Social and Health Education (known as PSHE)

In 2014 a new curriculum was launched. English, mathematics and science remain very important and are considered the core subjects in both primary and secondary education. The Jersey Curriculum sets out in some detail what must be taught in each of these subjects and they will take up a substantial part of your child’s learning week. Alongside these are other familiar subjects, referred to as Foundation subjects: Art, Computing, Design and Technology, French, Geography, History, Music, PSHE (including Citizenship), Physical Education as well as Religious Education.

Changes to the curriculum focused on ‘higher expectations’ in various subjects. It is certainly the case that in some areas the content of the new primary curriculum is significantly more demanding than in the past. For example, in mathematics there is now much greater focus on the skills of arithmetic and also working with fractions. In science a new unit of work on evolution is introduced for Year 6; work which would previously have been studied in secondary school. In English lessons there will now be more attention paid to the study of grammar and spelling.

Monitoring progress

Your child’s progress at school was previously measured using Levels between 1 and 6. These are now out of date because the curriculum has changed, so Jersey schools are developing a new system of assessment. Teachers at JCP will be able to give you more detail about how they measure your child’s progress.