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The national curriculum reform timeline

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Run up to the 2014 National Curriculum



DfE Schools White Paper: The importance of teaching

Understanding the new policy environment.’ A think piece by former GA Chief Executive and Professor David Lambert.



The DfE set up a National Curriculum review and call for evidence.

In response to the DfE’s call for evidence, the GA submitted its response.

The GA published draft Curriculum Proposals and a Rationale. A consultation was set up to comment on the proposals with a deadline of October.

The Framework for the National Curriculum, report by the Expert Panel, and a summary report of the call for evidence were published by the DfE. The GA’s Geography Curriculum Consultation was published as a full report and as a summary.



September – December
The GA’s Curriculum Proposals were the Association’s attempt to identify the core knowledge and understanding that all pupils should be expected to acquire in the course of their schooling.

They were in response to the 2010 White Paper ‘The Importance of Teaching’, which stated that ‘The National Curriculum should set out clearly the core knowledge and understanding that all children should be expected to acquire in the course of their schooling’. However, the Association made it clear that the essential core is not all that pupils should be taught. There were four accompanying documents:

  • A paper on ‘Thinking Geographically’ intended to promote discussion and help teachers reflect on what it means to ‘think geographically’ and why this is important
  • Aims and key stage outcomes statements showing how students progress through the key stages as they develop their ability to think geographically
  • Key stage content and guiding questions for each key stage, showing the core requirement. This was intended to be read like a course ‘specification’, and form the basis for a school’s schemes of work
  • Content exemplars providing a broad description of the content and associated assessment indicators.


The GA then consulted nationally upon these proposals in the autumn term through an online questionnaire and forum. We received around 200 responses which were overwhelmingly positive/supportive and published the findings of this consultation in the form of a feedback report.



GA feedback on the DfE’s final draft of the new geography National Curriculum programmes of study and attainment targets was published.

The new National Curriculum was announced.

The DfE consulted on effective ways to assess pupils ‘beyond levels’ in the primary phase, to which the GA responded. The response can be found here.



New National Curriculum begins.

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