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National CurriculumICT is part of the national curriculum

The National Curriculum is a framework which sets out the most important skills and knowledge that children are expected to learn from ages 5 to 16. It provides a framework for teachers and standards so that teachers can see how well children are doing and help them to do better. It also describes how children's progress should be assessed. One benefit is that children moving area should be able to adapt to a new school more easily, without missing anything crucial or having to cover topics more than once.

The Education Reform Act in 1988 resulted in the National Curriculum being launched at all state schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Initially, the guidance covered only part of the teaching time, but over the years the requirements have grown to cover virtually all teaching hours. Independent schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum.

In Key Stage 1 and 2 (five to eleven year-olds), the National Curriculum covers:

Design and Technology
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Art and Design

Physical Education

In addition, schools also have to teach Religious Education. Most will also teach personal, social and health education, some citizenship and maybe a modern foreign language. Subjects can be combined and taught together, or covered over a period of time, such as half a term of geography followed by half a term of history.

Schools in Wales are required to teach the Welsh language as part of the National Curriculum, in addition to all the other subjects.

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