The National Curriculum Framework-Supporting a new vision for learning


The NCF has been developed by a team of curriculum developers with the assistance of a local consultant in collaboration with educators, teachers, parents, employers and the wider community.  Numerous consultations have been an important part of the process in order to ensure that the NCF reflects the needs and aspirations of our society while at the same time considering the global challenges.

Prior to the launching of the finally document, the last consultation meeting took place on May 15, 2013 with the participation of various key education partners, including members of the National Assembly, representatives from other ministries, head teachers, school councils, students, National Qualification Authority, Tertiary Education Commission and NGOs.

This week’s Education Page brings you a feature article with more information on what the National Curriculum Framework entails.

The National Curriculum
Learning and teaching are the core business of schools and the curriculum is central to this process. The term ‘curriculum’ refers to a dynamic concept that may vary in scope and content depending on the context in which it is used.  In the context of Seychelles ‘the curriculum’ means the intended learning expected of all students, the learning environment, the resources, teaching strategies and approaches, assessment processes and methods, all interlinked with the values and ethos of the school, the relationships and behaviour among students, teachers, school leaders and parents.  It also encompasses the ‘hidden curriculum’ which comes between the intended, experienced and achieved curriculum. Clearly the curriculum is much broader than a syllabus which only provides an outline of what is to be taught.

About The National Curriculum Framework (2013)
The National Curriculum Framework has three major components:

• The policies governing the National Curriculum, and guidelines necessary for its implementation, contained in this document: The Seychelles National Curriculum – a framework for learning and teaching (2013).
• The expected learning outcomes of each essential learning area in terms of subject content and achievement standards describing what students are typically able to understand and do at each key stage. These are to be found in a series of curriculum documents describing each of the essential learning areas such as ‘Mathematics in the National Curriculum’, ‘Science in the National Curriculum’, ‘The Arts in the National Curriculum’, etc.
• Achievement objectives in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding for each subject, contained in programmes of study.

Rationale for the National Curriculum Framework
The National Curriculum Framework 2013 replaces the National Curriculum Framework of 2001. While building on the strengths of the latter, the present framework takes into account the views and experiences of learners, schools and educators over a decade, along with changes that are taking place within our society and globally.

The National Curriculum Framework provides a basis for planning for learning and teaching in all state schools. It establishes the principles and values to guide curriculum planning and implementation. It outlines the essential competencies and life skills necessary for the development of successful lifelong learners who will become active and responsible citizens.

Aims, goals and objectives of the NCF
The Seychelles National Curriculum Framework presents the official policy for curriculum in all state schools. Adherence to it is therefore mandatory. The NCF sets the national direction for learning and provides guidance for schools in the review and design of their curricula.

The goals of the NCF are to provide a coherent framework for the planning and delivery of school curricula and to ensure consistency and balance between the intended, experienced and achieved curricula.

Its main objectives are to:
- Establish the principles on which decisions regarding school curriculum are based.
- Indicate the values that are important to education and are to be encouraged and modelled.
- Establish the essential competencies and skills needed for successful lifelong learning.
-Outline the educational outcomes to be achieved by all students at the different stages of the schooling process and in each of the learning areas of the national curriculum.
-Guide the development of achievement standards at each key stage, for the different learning areas.
- Provide guidance on assessment and reporting of students’ achievements.
- Provide guidelines for curriculum implementation in all state schools.
-Provide guidance on parental and community involvement.

Diagram illustrating the key stages of the national curriculum and the transition points students go through as they progress

Nine principles guide the implementation of the school curriculum. They apply in particular to the processes of school curriculum planning, prioritising, teaching and review, and they are focused on students and on learning. They should help schools determine what is important and desirable in curriculum planning and delivery; all curriculum should be consistent with the following statements: 

1. Entitlement to high standards of education
2. Learner-centred learning
3. Inclusion
4. Curriculum coherence
5. Parent and community engagement
6. Education for sustainability
7. Quality assurance
8. Leadership for effective learning
9. Teacher and school support

Progression and key stages
The national curriculum is for all state schools and it is designed for all students. It is considered as one single framework for learning and development from 3½ to 16+ years. 
Since children and young people progress at different rates over time, the curriculum is designed to allow for such progression in their achievements. Thus the national curriculum specifies five key stages to indicate the different levels and rates of progress students can achieve in learning. They serve as signposts to help us establish clear and high expectations of progress and attainment.

CR: Creche, P: Primary, S: Secondary, Yr: Year

Essential learning areas
The essential learning areas of the national curriculum are guided by and derived from the principles and values described earlier.
Learning areas are broader than subjects. They usually comprise a number of related subjects which can lead to different levels of specialisation as students progress through learning.

The National Curriculum Framework specifies nine essential learning areas which, combined with the values, essential competencies and skills described here, help students acquire the necessary knowledge and understanding, skills, attitudes and values that will enable them to become successful lifelong learners and to develop the capacities and values to be active and responsible citizens.

They are: 
- Languages
- The Arts 
- Sciences
- Technical and Vocational Education
- Social Sciences
- Personal, Social and Citizenship Education
- Health and Physical Education
- Information and Communication Technology

All nine learning areas contribute to a balanced curriculum and are essential for a broad and general education.
For more information contact:
Ministry of Education
Tel: (+248) 4283 283/ 4283252


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